Before joining us for the end of our Level Up! journey through Walt Disney World and Disney video games with Part 4, make sure you read the previous installments first. Part 1 explains why Disney hosted us at the parks and began our trip at the Magic Kingdom to learn about Disney Dreamlight Valley. Part 2 explores our time at the Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar learning about the video game Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. And Part 3 races through EPCOT to see why the free-to-play Disney Speedstorm is a winner.

The Millennium Falcon at Galaxy's Edge split with the character poster for Star Wars Outlaws

Star Wars Outlaws

The upcoming Star Wars Outlaws will be the first-ever open world game set in the galaxy far, far away. It takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Players will visit planets both infamous and new as a smuggler trying to establish themselves in the underworld. And while it was the only Level Up! game no one has actually played, it was also the easiest to understand why being at Disney was the single best way to promote it.

Our final full day at Walt Disney World brought us to Hollywood Studios to experience Galaxy’s Edge. It is simply the most immersive, complete, and incredible amusement park land I have ever experienced.

As a dedicated Star Wars fan who has also spent many years writing about the franchise and this attraction, I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Then I couldn’t believe it actually exceeded my impossible expectations. I was in awe in every sense of the word. It’s like walking directly into a Star Wars movie. The level of detail, both big and small, is unlike anything else. Everywhere you look, both inside and out, there’s something to appreciate.

Galaxy Edge’s stores, especially Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, feel like they actually exist as part of the market of distant planet. The restaurants, most notably Oga’s Cantina and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, are so authentic you expect to see Han Solo shooting someone at the next table. I could have spent all day just sitting in Galaxy’s Edge drinking green milk (better than the blue!) and that would have been enough for me.

Thankfully we did a lot more than that. (Like meeting the Mandalorian and Grogu. Grogu was the only character I nerd’ed out over during my time at Walt Disney World.) I know I’m not saying anything countless other Star Wars fans haven’t already learned, but Galaxy’s Edge has two rides that will blow any fan’s mind. They each left me, someone who never shuts up, speechless for different reasons. The first we went on was Smuggler’s Run.

Nerdist (I got to see the baby!)

The ride itself is super fun. It has you work as a team to steal something for Hondo Ohnaka. But it’s what precedes the actual ride that left me floored. Before you’re seated you walk into a replica Millennium Falcon. It’s one of the coolest places I have ever been, period. It was absolutely surreal and had me geeking out in ways I didn’t know I could.

Of course I sat down at the Dejarik table and pretended to be playing. How could you not!? How. Could. You. Not?

Nerdist (Me and FanSided’s Camila Domingues dorking out.)

Then came the masterpiece: Rise of the Resistance. For a sentimental Star Wars fan it’s the most hypnotic ride at any of the four Walt Disney World parks, but you don’t have to know Andor from Endor to appreciate it. If you’ve never ridden it don’t watch any videos about it. Wait–hard as it might be—until you experience it in person. That’s what I did and I am so very happy I did. There’s nothing like it for reasons I refuse to spoil.

What I will say is that when Rise of the Resistance (which celebrates two of my favorite Star Wars traditions: terrible security and daring escapes) ended I couldn’t find any words to convey how I felt. My hosts asked what I thought and all I could do was stare at them in silent wonder. I simply couldn’t believe that ride was real. I felt the exact same way the second time I rode it.


If Star Wars Outlaws captures even a tiny fraction of the feeling and joy Galaxy’s Edge gave me, I am going spend a whole lot of time in front of my TV working as a smuggler in the galaxy far, far away.

I wasn’t planning to do that before Disney invited me to Orlando, which is exactly the reason they did.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist who is not exaggerating about Rise of the Resistance leaving him speechless. You can follow him on  Twitter and  Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.