We picked up the new Traveler’s Guide to Batuu last weekend on our run to Target! As someone who has yet to set a foot in Batuu east OR west, I feel it is my duty to do a mini review about it. I’m super excited about this release even though it’s just a little guide book, let’s jump right in.
The Traveler’s Guide to Batuu gives off the in-universe feelings the same as the Secrets of the Galaxy series. Those titles include- Book of the Sith, Imperial Handbook, The Jedi Path, The Bounty Hunter Code, and recently The Rebel Files, and Smuggler’s Guide. All of them are super informative books on canon content, plus they appear to be in universe texts as if they were being used by characters, complete with annotations throughout.
Off the bat, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu is getting points for looking just so in universe.
Now the traveler’s guide doesn’t have those handwritten notes as seen in The Jedi Path but that’s not making it any less in-universe. With this little guide book, slip off the half-jacket with the star wars logo on it, and you’d be fitting right in at BSO like a REAL tourist in the galaxy.
This title is penned by self proclaimed Galaxy Adventurer Eloc Throno. Which is just an anagram of the real author’s name, Cole Horton.
Throno often enjoyed to visit the planet Batuu, writing a guide about the planet and its inhabitants, which he updated more than once. He authored more than a dozen guides including The Traveler’s Guide to Tatooine, The Traveler’s Guide to Xibariz, Volcanic Planets: Your Guide to the Galaxy’s Hottest Destinations, and Mandalorian Battlefield Tours. He also made frequent appearances on regional HoloNet programsVia Wookieepedia, https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Eloc_Throno
This, is the kind of original character that I aspire to create one day. Like holy smokes. Talk about self inserting yourself into a universe. I hope this guy crosses paths with Beaumont Kin at some point during his career, as historians and travelers really should go hand in hand.
Bonus points for the in universe author being a minor celebrity with a feature on the HoloNet.
Jumping into the actual guide now, we’re gifted an up to date map of the galaxy including some locations from The Rise of Skywalker. Ajan Kloss, Kijimi, and Pasaana are noted but Exegol is unsurprisingly not listed. In an interesting turn of events, Alderaan is listed. Unsure when in the timeline this guide was printed, assuming sometime during the events after The Last Jedi but also before TROS. But this is just a map in a guidebook for a tourist location, maybe there’s a memorial for Alderaan at it’s former location.
TheHigh Republic is quickly mentioned early on. The Jedi established a research station in the wilds on Batuu.
This is something that we’ll most likely be hearing about in future releases with the High Republic! Possibly some additions to the actual parks as well at that point? Anything is possible.
Like any usual guidebook, recommendations are given for a few surrounding planets in addition to Batuu since space travel in this galaxy is as simple as taking a flight in our world. Information is provided on some nearby stops, such as Endor, which is perfect for those interested in nature and history, or to Yakork, a planet known for it’s fungi festival.
It’s exciting to see planets that are well known to all, such as Takodana or Endor mentioned, but also lesser known planets like Yakork, which was mentioned in Thrawn:Alliances, and planets such as Gannaria and Zaddja which were originally mentioned just in board games!
This guide is an actual key resource to the full story of BSO.
It breaks down each point of interest within Galaxy’s Edge, with the story that the parks were intending to tell. In the novels so far, it’s been people who are living within Black Spire Outpost and going about their own day to day. You can only spend so much time explaining a setting before it gets in the way of the actual storytelling. A travel guide is the perfect in between, we get those descriptions and additional history about the setting, without having to worry about someone’s day to day life there.
Again, as someone who has never been before, I know very well that Savi’s Workshop is where you build lightsabers! (I’ve seen the videos, it seems magical, very Disney, and I’m very excited to have that experience myself one day!) The section about Savi’s Workshop is possibly one of the most intriguing sections to read in this guide. Everyone on Batuu, or almost everyone it seems, knows the workshop as Savi and Son’s Salvage. Honestly, the best part is their motto- “We’ll take your (s)crap.” They don’t seem to talk about the lightsabers that are being constructed there… Eloc Throno explains-
Though I’ve spoken many times to the Gatherers about the Force, on my last visits I saw something I never expected. Standing inside the shop I heard a traveler tell the Gatherers, “I’m here to gather some parts. Savi sent me.” With this seemingly ordinary request, the traveler was whisked away. A bit later, this traveler emerged wearing what looked to be a lightsaber on her belt!Eloc Throno, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu page 42
Let’s slide over into Oga’s Cantina. We’re given a full description about Oga Garra herself and a little bit about how the cantina was recently remodeled. (Recent as in 20 years ago, which is recent enough for the outpost he writes!) Of course, a full explanation of the drinks menu is included as well.
I’ve been told that the drink “Spice Runner” should be the one I should go for for my first cantina drink.
It’s a cider, and a local cider is always my go to at any bar. (I am blessed to be in the New England area and have so many at my disposal year round.) We’re given an array of photos and descriptions of the fun drinks available at Oga’s, everything from the Fuzzy Tauntaun to the Blurrgfire.
Of course we’re given a little backstory about DJ R-3X from his early days of piloting Starspeeder 3000s for Star Tours back in the day to how he ended up on Batuu in the first place. A casual tourist seeing this droid turn it up in the corner of the cantina wouldn’t know he was a reprogrammed tour guide, reprogrammed by Mubo himself! (Another local, the owner of the droid workshop!)
Did you know Galaxy’s Edge has a radio station? Sign me up for the graveyard shift!
BSO 401.72 is the call sign! The letters BSO standing for ‘Black Spire Outpost’ and 401.72 refers to their coordinates in space. BSO having a radio station is a little bit of info that no one has told me before, or I’ve even heard chatter about yet! (Guys come on, I did radio all four years of college I need to know about silly radio things in Star Wars!) The guide claims that the best place to hear the broadcast from the local station is at the Service Yard. Which is really just the plaza by the refreshers, or restrooms.
The station’s DJ, Palob Godalhi, is the closest thing Black Spire has to a local celebrity. Stick around a while to hear the latest news, some favorite music, and more.Eloc Throno, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu page 61
I’ll give you one guess who this “Palob Godhalhi” is. (Pablo Hidalgo, the king of canon Star Wars lore.) I’m unable to confirm if there’s actual clips of his voice being used in the broadcasts, the audio is impossible to find online. (At least for me, digging through reddit didn’t yield anything unfortunately!) From what I’ve been able to uncover about it so far, it includes music, dejarik tourneys, podraces, and droid cage fights from nearby planets. The actual station isn’t a place to visit at the outpost unfortunately.
You’re listening to BSO 401.72, where the spires keep a watchful eye but Oga keeps a closer one.
(Hire me as the BSO DJ, I’m pleading. That’d be a dream. New OC incoming..)
I’ll be honest, I haven’t researched that much into the First Order occupation of Black Spire Outpost. A piece of info that I’ve enjoyed learned in this guide though is the unit of troopers stationed at BSO is the 709th Legion, nicknamed the Red Fury. Included in the guide is a full overview of the basic troop units, but to my knowledge only officers and regular stormtroopers are seen in the actual park. It’s interesting that this guide dives that far into the different troops and various ships in the First Order.
But now let’s move on to my old friend over at the Spaceport, Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo has always been one of my favorite characters in Star Wars, and I am all about Ohnaka Transportation Solutions. Not much else is written about Hondo in this guide. The Millenium Falcon is only mentioned once and that it’s under heavy repairs to be in Hondo’s possession right now.
Of course, no guide is complete without a list of shops! It makes sense the way it is displayed in this guide. Again, it’s very in universe but as a reader in the real world it’s very silly to see photos of Disney parks stores just in the middle of a Star Wars book.
This is the only point I feel I’ve broken immersion from the world of Batuu. Everything else visually has seemed as though we’ve been on a different world. But suddenly seeing a regular Earth-bound cash register, whoops, that just brought me back.
One of my favorite details in all of BSO is that of Strono “Cookie” Tuggs. He was head chef for years at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana and only recently left due to the destruction of her castle. He’s had his fair share of lore written about him as well! A short story was penned about him, about a cooking match he held to select a new sous chef which ended up with some very high risks. And he also is the author of the Galaxy’s Edge cookbook. (Real author, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel) So when it comes down to the food at BSO, Tuggs’ Grub is probably where I’ll end up first. Although I have tried making the Ronto Wraps myself at home and they didn’t come out so hot. Might have to give Ronto Roasters a chance as well.
We’re given a brief blurb about the Resistance towards the end of this guide, much less than the First Order. It does make sense though, the Resistance is acting in secret in the wilds of Batuu, and the First Order is out and about on patrol in the outpost. There’s a glimpse of Vi Moradi, but not much to say as we’ve learned her story so far!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I hope to one day go to Batuu with you all. And this book has honestly given me a few bits of information that I don’t think I would have picked up as a casual (not so casual) observer! For our eagle eyed fans who get to make more frequent trips to Batuu, the majority may seem like common knowledge. But to those that are really looking for more information, or want to plan their best in universe experience, this is the title for you.
Til the spire!