Will Galactic Starcruiser Succeed Or Fail? Here’s What We Know.
I’m an optimist by nature and someone who always hopes for the best with others.
As such, I’m something of an oddball on the internet, a place where cynicism and negativity provide the fuel feeding the machine.
Recently, Disney headlines have belied the company’s positive momentum. To hear critics tell it, the company is in the downward spiral.
The latest source of outrage involves Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the upcoming Star Wars Hotel.
In certain circles, people have convinced themselves that this project is disastrous. Are they right? Will Galactic Starcruiser succeed or fail?
Let’s weigh the merits of both sides of the argument.
Pro: A Star Wars Hotel
I’m an Occam’s Razor guy. Whenever a subject comes up, my first approach is to evaluate the obvious.
In the case of Galactic Starcruiser, we’re talking about a fan’s literal fantasy come true.
I almost smothered to death in a Darth Vader mask on Halloween in the 1980s. I’ve been tracking the Star Wars phenomenon for a while.
Trust me when I say that these are among the most passionate pop culture fans on the planet, possibly THE most devout of all.
I still remember some of the hate mail I received in 1999 when I wrote less than flattering thoughts about the potential box office of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
I postulated that the movie might not be good, which later became the punchline at the end of 2009’s Fanboys. Even diehards accepted it wasn’t good.
The same underlying statements apply here. The passion for Galactic Starcruiser is undeniable. Disney sold out reservations four months in advance of opening.
Then, some of those same Star Wars fans turned on the project after a single ill-considered promotional video.
Star Wars zealots are mercurial, fickle, and challenging to please. So, if Disney gets the hotel right, they’ll praise it ceaselessly. But if it’s not perfect…
Con: An Inescapable Hotel
Well, that’s when we start discussing the shortcomings of Galactic Starcruiser. I’m talking about complaints big and small.
Like, have you considered the fact that there’s no pool at this hotel? When’s the last time you heard of a luxury resort without a swimming pool?
That’s the give and take of committing to this premise. Guests could feasibly swim on the luxury starship, the Halcyon.
They’d walk outside and immediately smother/freeze in the cold vacuum of outer space.
In fact, that very behavior is the punishment in Battlestar Galactica. Enemies of state get spaced.
So, you cannot swim at the hotel since it’s supposed to be an outer space vessel. Now, Jennifer Lawrence somehow had one in Passengers, but I digress.
The point is that the Star Wars Hotel is inescapable. You’re not in charge of your itinerary, which is a bit odd for a place that lets you live out your Star Wars adventure.
That lack of control could prove bothersome. Then again, if Disney has done it right, nobody will think twice about the lack of agency since they’re having too much fun.
Pro: A Fully Immersive Star Wars Adventure
Speaking of which, Disney has promised something that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.
Once you arrive at the hotel, you live the planet Earth behind, figuratively bordering on literally.
The theming includes a sequence where you take a passenger vessel to a space dock leading to the Halcyon.
Disney recently unveiled similar technology on Space 220. So, we know it’s both possible and believable.
Once guests enter that section of the hotel, they’ll enter an unprecedented immersive experience wherein only The Resistance and the First Order matter.
You pick sides and battle the opposition in hopes that your team will one day emerge victorious.
You’re the hero in a Star Wars adventure. What could be better than that?
Con: Cheap Set Pieces
Well, that depends. How good is the theming? That’s the all-important question we cannot answer yet.
Critics have locked in with laser focus on two points. The first stems from that since-deleted promotional video.
At brief intervals, Disney showed the interior of the pilot deck on the Halcyon.
Some people found the composition of the set…lackluster. They noted that many of the controls looked straight out of the early 1980s.
We’re talking the quasi-futuristic look that defined EPCOT’s early pavilions, the same one that Imagineers later removed. That look had grown outdated.
So, Disney definitely doesn’t want anyone associating that style with its super-expensive luxury resort experience.
The second criticism stems from something I find patently absurd. Some internet sleuths uncovered images of the entire of the transportation vans.
As a reminder, park officials had promised immersive transportation to and from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The conceit is that you’re deboarding your luxury cruise ship to spend a day on Batuu.
Your ride is supposed to be decadent since you’re the intergalactic elite. Instead, the pictures suggest that you’re just riding in a box truck.
Since we don’t have real Landspeeders on this planet, I don’t know what else Disney was supposed to do.
They’re taking legitimate mass transportation and theming it to fit the premise. That’s what Disney has done since 1955. What’s the problem here?
Some people spend way too much time thinking up ways to criticize the things they love. It’s weird. It’s okay to be happy and enjoy life, my friends.
Pro: Unprecedented Amenities
Disney has rolled out the red carpet for Galactic Starcruiser. The amenities promised here rival anything in the history of tourism.
You can train with a Lightsaber, visit the bridge and participate in training exercises, or even watch a dinner show.
Okay, that last one doesn’t sound original, but the show involves an intergalactic superstar and some unprecedented immersion.
In fact, you won’t have a television in your hotel room. Instead, you’ll stare at a digital projector. It reveals your interstellar journey as you whiz by planets and stars.
Disney wants you to buy into the illusion that you’re traveling through outer space.
All elements of the hotel exist to persuade you this is true.
Con: The Price
At this price, Galactic Starcruiser had better deliver. I’ve seen people inexplicably compare the Star Wars Hotel to NBA Experience.
That’s not just silly; it’s intellectually lazy. Nobody ever saw the demand for that Disney Springs offering. Disney operated the store to strengthen its relationship with the NBA.
The demand for Galactic Starcruiser is demonstrably impossible to overlook. Remember how I said tickets sold out immediately for several months?
That doesn’t happen by accident. Yes, some of those guests proved to be fence-sitters, too-easily swayed by the court of public opinion.
Still, the proof of concept is what matters here. People want to believe, if I may mix my sci-fi metaphors.
If Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser lives up to its hype, it’ll prove successful for many years to come.
Conversely, if questions linger about its quality and bang relative to buck, that’s when Disney faces hard questions.
After all, the one con that matters the most is the price. Is Galactic Starcruiser worth more than $1,000 a night? We’re about to find out.
I’ll be surprised if Disney misses here. However, I fully expect similar media behavior to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
For the body of a year, I read about what a disappointment it was. Meanwhile, all of Disney’s earnings reports told a vastly different story.
Enough people love Star Wars so much that there’s demand for virtually any good product, no matter the cost.