It might seem like an odd connection, but believe it or not, Captain Jack Sparrow was helpful in the development of Galaxy’s Edge. By having the legendary pirate walk around the park, Disney were able to gauge how the visitors would react.

When trying to achieve a new level of immersion, where guests can interact with rebel spies and bounty hunters, Disney wanted to find a way to present meet-and-greet characters in the park without having them wait in a line. In an attempt to test their theory, Walt Disney Imagineering decided to have Jack Sparrow walk around Magic Kingdom and interact with guests.

According to OC Register, by having the pirate walk around the land, Disney was able to figure out the logistics of story-driven interactive experiences, to see how they compared to traditional meet-and-greet experiences.

“If Captain Jack Sparrow was just walking through the land, how would guests react? And how can we create constructs that allow the story-driven experience? How can we let those story-driven experiences happen and still allow people to get the photo they want, but not turn it into a line of people waiting to take photos?,” said Imagineering portfolio creative executive Scott Trowbridge to The Orange County Register.