Disney confirmed in November that the mysterious new planet that will be featured in the upcoming Disneyland theme park Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be known as Batuu, although you won’t have to wait until the 2019 theme park opening to learn more about this far-flung corner of the universe. LucasFilm released an excerpt from Timothy Zahn’s highly-anticipated Star Wars novel Thrawn: Alliances, a follow-up to last year’s Thrawn, which reveals that Batuu will be featured in this story. Here’s a small part of the much larger excerpt from Thrawn: Alliances, featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn, Darth Vader and The Emperor.
“‘You surprise me, Admiral Thrawn,’ Palpatine said. ‘I would have expected a certain eagerness to journey within sight of your home.’ Thrawn’s glowing red eyes narrowed slightly, and Palpatine felt his sudden caution. ‘Excuse me, Your Majesty?’ ‘The disturbance is located at the edge of your Unknown Regions,’ the Emperor said. ‘It appears to be centered on a planet named Batuu.’ Again, he sensed a reaction to the name. This time, the reaction came from both of them. ‘I believe you have heard of it?’ Thrawn’s eyes were hooded, the expression on that blue-skinned face swirling with memories. ‘Yes,’ he murmured. ‘I have indeed heard of it.'”
When the planet of Batuu was first revealed in November, it was described as a planet on the Outer Rim that used to be a “busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes,” but it ultimately fell by the wayside due to the advent of hyperspace travel. Batuu is now home to those who prefer to live their life off the grid, and it has become a popular home for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers, and it has also become a “safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.” It seems, as you can see in another part of the book excerpt, that Darth Vader and Thrawn had both been to Batuu before.
“As, of course, had Vader. It was the place where he and Thrawn had long ago interfered, albeit unwittingly, with one of Palpatine’s plans. But again, Vader remained silent. “Very well, then,” Palpatine said. “You, Admiral, will command.” He looked at Vader. “You, Lord Vader, will deal with the disturbance.” “Yes, Your Highness,” Thrawn said. “Yes, my master,” Vader said. Palpatine leaned back into the depths of his throne. “Then go.” The two servants turned and walked toward the door between the double line of red-cloaked Imperial Guards silently lining their path. Palpatine watched them go: the Chiss in his white Grand Admiral’s uniform, the Sith garbed in black, his long cloak swirling behind him. The solution to this particular puzzle would indeed require both of them. But more importantly, it would address Palpatine’s lingering questions. He smiled thinly. Time for Thrawn to face his future. Time for Vader to face his past.”
Thrawn: Alliances will be published on July 26, 2018, and with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge slated to open sometime in 2019, it may offer the only details about the planet until the theme park opens. There is no indication is the events of this book will have any direct correlation with the theme park quite yet. You can read the full excerpt over at StarWars.com.