Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Galactic Adventure Hardcore Mode

In some ways today was even more crazy than yesterday. Now we not only had the exciting conclusion of the drama aboard the Halcyon but we had missions to accomplish on the planet Batuu.

Before we went anywhere, though, Ernie needed to be prepared for any threats he might encounter planet-side. We popped in to Loth-Cat Crew Lightsaber Training.

I wouldn't want to cross blades with this maniac.

You can't subjugate a galaxy on an empty stomach so we had to go to the Crown of Corellia dining room for some space waffles and other alien delicacies.

I couldn't get enough of that delicious green, green milk. It reminded me of my home on Dagobah.

We got these cool metal pins to wear so that the poors would know to bow when we walked past.

After space breakfast we traveled not inside a van that drove us to Disney's Hollywood Studios but inside a transport shuttle to the Black Spire Outpost, the largest settlement on the planet of Batuu.

This is an advertisement for Oga's Cantina. Oga is actually the one who runs the shuttles to the planet in order to support his business.

This was a nice little touch. Only Halycon cruise guests could enter the park this way, and some of our blue shirted staff was both guarding the gate and helping passersby with their questions. They had bottles of cold water as well. It was nice to know if we needed anything or Ernie had an issue that we were never too far from our mothership.

For the Order!

We had various evil missions to complete for the glory of the First Order. Some of my dastardly tasks felt more like busy work errands than anything super duper cool. There was a lot of QR code scanning for example.

We got fast passes to both of the Star Wars themed rides. Our story line weaved in with the story on each of the rides which was pretty cool. I thought they did a good job with that. Of course the good guys win at the end of both of the rides' stories which was sad. I had to report that I'd failed both of my missions.

This was my first time riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so this was quite a treat. I was super nervous that one or both of the rides would be down for maintenance today but luckily we avoided that tragic possibility.

This ride was really impressive.

There were First Order officers everywhere scolding you and being generally authoritarian. Hank said that his kids were genuinely troubled by this because they are the types that always follow the rules and getting yelled at by the staff was a new feeling for them.

The ride was pretty advanced. It ran on trackless cars so you never knew what was going to happen next. It was also interesting because it was like a layer cake, with a line then a ride then a line again so you got multiple immersive areas to enjoy.

Big Ern informed me that I was to address him as Astromech Droid Ern while he was wearing his R2-D2 gear.

The "Disney charges you to take your photo" game is lightyears ahead of where I remember it. Every once in a while they'd put your photo in a cool Star Warsy animation.

We had a cool mission to accomplish at Oga's Cantina as well in between sips of exotic boozes.

I was entertained by the antics of the DJ R-3X. That droid has kind of a cool backstory. He was the pilot from the original Star Tours rides at various Disney parks. They've since updated the ride and he's no longer flying there, and I think the story is he crash landed on Batuu and was reprogrammed to drop funky beats. He is voiced by the late great Paul Reubens of Pee-wee Herman fame.

The deal generally at Disney parks is that you aren't allowed to wear costumes. Among the reasons for this is probably that Disney doesn't want people to confuse fellow guests for legit park characters. Well Galactic Starcruiser guests are an exception to this rule, so we would often spot fellow cruisers walking around in serious costumes. I overheard normal people mentioning this and wondering whether they worked at the park or not.

One of our missions involved turning off this engine, which was kind of cool because it affected other guest's experience in the world in a small way.

Next we headed to the other Star Wars ride: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. I'm excited every time I see the Falcon. She's a beauty.

Linda and Ernie went on a side quest while we did our important mission.

While waiting aboard the Falcon I snuck in a quick round of Dejarik, also known as holochess. Let the Johnny win.

I was really surprised and excited when we got an additional bit of dialog out of the pirate Hondo Ohnaka because we are fancy people. "Well, well. Passengers from their fancy galaxy cruiser. Let’s see if those coordinates from your contact are any good."

Here I am using the dark side to punish Lydia who told me I shouldn't buy this rad cape.

Me and the Mandalorian bonded over both having very hungry little buddies to carry around all day.

We'll have to worry about building our own droids and lightsabers a different day. It was now time to head back to our luxurious starcruiser. 

The Coke products on the planet are in cool containers with Aurebesh written on the label.

They strapped Astromech Ernie's stroller in very tight for the ride in the transport shuttle.

We met up with one of the Saja and learned about the Force and how to wield a lightsaber.

Yoda made an appearance. No big deal, it was.

This particular droid has very bitable feetsies.

Linda/Lydia and Me/Hank did our lightsaber trainings in separate duos so that we could watch robo-Ern.

The captain and crew were suspected of being rebel sympathizers so the ship was put under First Order control and we could see the reassuring sight of TIE Fighters patrolling through our room's window. 

Now that we were firmly in the evil camp we were invited to the engine room by Lt. Croy.

This is the droid you're looking for.

We all worked together and sabotaged the ship's engines. It's really inspiring to see the power of team work.

Sabotaging the ship was in practice similar to operating in from the Bridge. There were lots of evil mini games to be performed.

Listen, all y'all, it's a sabotage
Listen, all y'all, it's a sabotage

Later our dark side bunch was invited to the bridge to do some more naughty stuff. We were deep enough in the story that only evil people could attend. I saw a dad and son get separated because the dad tried to beep in with his bracelet but he was deemed not evil enough. Sad.

I thought that they did a good job of showing the oppressive nature of the First Order's totalitarian structure. Lt. Croy is our nearest baddie but he gets non-stop dunked and humiliated by his superiors.

It might be my imagination but Astromech Ernie has been seeming a little bit eviler today.

It bittersweet to get cool achievements because I knew that they would probably be permanently shutting the app down soon and all my progress would be lost. How will people know how evil I've become?

Gaya like me the best.

For anyone who feels like they aren't following the plot, here's Ernie the Astromech with a recap.

Ouannii was a fun character. She is a Rodian keyboardist and only spoke in Huttese the entire journey. Her head was pretty impressive from a technical standpoint. Her alien mouth moved realistically when she spoke.

The food continued to be both delicious and inventive. These are blue shrimp from the planet Felucia, Ouannii's favorite.

I ordered

The Halcyon's Bloody Rancor
Vodka, Golden Tomato Juice, Carbonite-dipped Bloody Rancor Cubes

Chandrilan Air Cake with Chocolate, Cream of Jogan Fruit, and Terateak Fruit Jelly

After dinner was the story's grand finale in the atrium. All of the schemes that the different groups of guests had been working towards came to fruition in one action packed finale. Ernie got a shout out from our evil coconspirator but sadly was already asleep.

Lt. Croy: "And is Ernie here? Ernie?"
Me: "He went to bed."
Lt. Croy: "He didn't make a peep the entire time he was sabotaging the ship. Just adorable."

We sort of got screwed with our view of the action. There were a painful amount of pillars and other crap blocking our sight line. Anyway, one cool thing that we didn't see is that Rey has this cool extending lightsaber that looks like it does in the movies. It's very delicate though, so after she extends it she bends down and switches it for one more suitable for fencing.

Disney patented it so we can see how it works. I think it's kind of like how you can extend a tape measure straight up and it stays firm as long as you don't make it too long or swing it around. And the tape measure part glows blue in this scenario.

There were space fireworks at the end.

Captain Riyola Keevan

Saja Fen Runa did my lightsaber training.

The last night in the Sublight Lounge was a rager. Alien guests were all over the place. I think that now that the official show had concluded guests were allowed to bring out their hardcore costumes and get weird. 

Whenever anyone ordered the four-person Krayt Reactor drinks a special song was played and there was a lot of hooplah. The place was packed and some randoms asked if they could share a table with us. Sure. They were all theater/creative types and said that a particular woman on the cruise had paid for all of them to come. I think she was so hardcore about this experience that she wanted its spirit to live in the minds of people who might learn something and make a similar show of their own. They apparently weren't informed of their invitation until days beforehand, which I thought was intense. They had a lot interesting stuff to say. I guess the guy who plays Raithe on our cruise also plays Gaston in one of the parks. I think it would be fun to bump into him someday. They also said that the Rey we had also plays Rey in park, which I think is so cool. It's fun to think that people in the normal park get to have a picture with her or whatever but we know her true powers.

They repeated a rumor that I don't believe but was still fun to hear: that the last voyage would have a different storyline to wrap everything up and explain why it was ending. Doubt it but nice thought.

Drinks were had. After a server set down my drink she asked "would you like a sipping tube?" You could tell that the workers were pretty intensely committed to this place. I noticed that several of them had Halcyon tattoos.

We got some epilogue communications after all the adventuring was over. I really think that they should be remembering how evil I was for when I go back to Galaxy's Edge. I feel like I was both an unforgettable and unforgivable amount of evil.

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