While we were exploring the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land at Walt Disney World, some of the creative minds working on Star Wars, and specifically the park, were there as well. Not only were they there witnessing the final product here on the Orlando side of things, but they were also cool enough to chat with guests! I was able to take a few minutes to chat with the Lucasfilm Story Group's Matt Martin!
Matt Martin is a Creative Executive in the Story Group, which essentially means that he helps move the story of this franchise forward through all Star Wars mediums! Check out what he had to say about Galaxy's Edge:
Alden: Ladies and gentlemen, there would not be a Black Spire Outpost, on Batuu, without the Lucasfilm Story Group. One of the members is here. Ladies and gentleman, give it up for Matt Martin.
Matt Martin: Hey, how's it going?
Alden: So Matt, I got some questions. So Disney obviously becomes part of the Star Wars family, in a big way. And we had some buildup of..."Well if it's Disney, there has to be a Star Wars theme park." When does that come across your desk? What are the initial conversations like? And how nervous was everybody?
Matt Martin: Yeah, so it came across my desk actually pretty early on, but I wasn't on story team at the time. I used to work for StarWars.com, and producing videos, and overseeing their social media. So I was sort of getting wind of it as this is going to be a thing I need to promote. And then probably three and a half years ago, when I joined Story, that's when I found out, "Okay, this is going to be a project that you're working on." I think that's part of why I got the job, because I'm a big parks fan.
Matt Martin: And then it all hit. We're like, "Oh wow. We're making a Star Wars land people need to walk into that has to feel real and authentic." And it's so much pressure. But at the same time, again as a big parks fan it was like, this is Imagineering doing this so we're going to be fine.
Alden: Absolutely. And they've done such an incredible job. It's taken on a life of its own. Even in canon. The word gets thrown around a lot. Canon, especially on your Twitter. You're batting away questions! But in terms of...we got some novels releasing this week, Black Spire, there's also A Crash of Fate, the comic books. How do you look at a land like this and say "this could go into print, and this could go into print?" What is that process like?
Matt Martin: It was a pretty fascinating process because it kind of started out with figuring out where on the timeline, very specifically where on the timeline this day happen. So we kind of look at the story of Batuu in the park, is happening all on one day. So what happens on Smugglers Run, and what happens on Rise of the Resistance, they're all the same day. So figuring that out was kind of the start and then it was, okay, so what leads into that and then what mediums can we tell these different stories in? So the comic was pretty obvious because we wanted to tell the story of some of Dok's antiquities.
Matt Martin: And so it was pretty simple. Let's tell a story where Dok is...there's a framing narrative around Dok. And we get to flash back in time to how he got some of these things. The other ones were a little bit more complex because, especially Black Spire, because it actually really tells the story of how the Resistance came to Batuu. So from the start of of development, we knew the Resistance was here. But then it was all kind of reverse engineering. How did they get here? Why did they get here? Why did they choose Batuu? How did the First Order find out that they were here? All of that.
Alden: And so you're looking at the smaller details that you might only pick up at a glance. Earlier we were in Dok-Ondar's, and there's actually a glimpse of The Mandalorian in there. You get a helmet, his signature weapon. Are those the kinds of things that we might see evolve over time? Say Rise of the Skywalker has a piece of jewelry or something. Is that the kind of thing you guys were thinking about?
Matt Martin: I would expect so. As long as it makes sense in story. If something showed up in Rise of Skywalker that didn't exist before, wasn't found before, obviously that couldn't really show up here because this takes place before that. But if there are natural connections, we'll find them. And there are actually, I may give away a secret, but there are actually some Rise of Skywalker props hidden somewhere. And I'm not even going to tell you where. It may not be someplace that you can even get to right now.
Matt Martin: But there are some little tidbits already around, because obviously Rise of Skywalker was in production and pre-production while this park was in production.
Alden: Right. And so we'll close with this, speaking of areas you might not be able to get into. My partner and I here we got to see a little bit of [the new ride] Rise of the Resistance earlier today. No photos obviously. We're going to keep it hush hush. But how hyped are you for that? And what was your role in conceiving that aspect? Because it's got Kylo Ren in it. That's not side characters.
Matt Martin: No, it's actually got a lot of main characters. And the Imagineering team worked with us on the Story Group to conceive the entire story of the attraction, including the script and everything. So a lot of back and forth with that team trying to figure out exactly how we incorporate you as a guest into the story in a way that made sense and felt true. And I'm beyond excited. I'm actually jealous cause I haven't been in there yet. So you've beat me to it.
Alden: Well [Lucasfilm VP & Executive Creator Director] Doug Chiang was in there earlier today. And I saw him around. So that's who you've got to bully to get in.
Matt Martin: (laughs) Oh okay.
Alden: (laughs) For sure.
Matt Martin: (laughs) Oh yeah. I can bully Doug Chiang!
Alden: Yeah, yeah exactly. (laughs) But anyway, thanks so much for your time, man. We really appreciate it.
Matt Martin: Awesome, thank you.