Rebuilding the Galaxy: Star Tours and the Planetary Pioneers

Back during the early years of the Expanded Universe, several sources, seemingly coincidentally, focused heavily upon the colonization of the galaxy following the end of the Galactic Civil War. However, neither account properly aligned with contemporary EU, and both have been largely forgotten today. These are The Maverick Moon storybook (1979) and the backstory for Star Tours (1987) as imagined by the Disney Imagineers and printed in the pages of Starlog 118.

Of the two accounts covered in this article, The Maverick Moon would have been by far the most difficult to work back in continuity in its entirety. It seemingly assumes that the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope, simply known as Star Wars at the time, marked the end of the fighting between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, an interpretation it shared with The Star Wars Storybook (1978), despite The Empire Strikes Back having been far into production when this book was released.

the maverick moon

In this story, Luke has joined the New Academy for Space Pilots, where he and his classmates, the Planetary Pioneer, are training to assist with colonization efforts. Their special mission is to transport the smartest, strongest, and most talented young men and women to uninhabited worlds, where the pioneers will help to build new colonies founded on peace, justice, and goodwill towards the rest of the galaxy. They would help build homes, schools, and power stations, which would be powered using Zukonium rays, a powerful weapon given a peacetime use.

There is no mention of the Rebellion or the Empire in this story, Leia is described as a member of the intergalactic government, and General Oleson (Luke’s favorite instructor) is unsure whether academy’s old X-wings were still spaceworthy. Also notable is the fact that Luke had almost forgotten he was ever trained to use the Force by Obi-Wan, indicating that he was long out of practice in this bizarre micro-continuity.

Few elements from The Maverick Moon have been mentioned in other sources. Oleson received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008) that declared him the commanding officer of the Rebel Alliance New Academy for Space Pilots (a possible attempt to help fit the story into continuity), while the Planetary Pioneers were mentioned in The Essential Atlas (2009) because Jason Fry’s son enjoyed the story. Here, there were described as a Galactic Republic program meant to promote the settlement of the galaxy’s New Territories region.

While the colonization efforts as described by Starlog 118 make more sense timeline-wise, taking place after the Empire’s defeat in Return of the Jedi, they were never mentioned in any capacity within the Star Tours attraction itself. Still, the magazine offers an interesting insight into the post-Empire galaxy of the early EU.

starlog 118

With the Galactic Civil War (or the Star Wars, as this article calls it) mostly over, the Rebel Alliance desired to rebuild its worlds in peace, believing that an influx of adventurous tourists and potential homesteaders was just what the galaxy needed to be revitalized. As such, they partnered with Star Tours, the galaxy’s first intergalactic tour bus company, to bring in tourists by offering “pleasure tours” of former Rebel and Imperial bases. In fact, Star Tour’s hangar aboard Tomorrowland Starport had once belonged to the Rebel Alliance during the war, and R2-D2 and C-3PO retired from military service and began working with the company to help recruit tourists.

While this account isn’t nearly as out there as the one provided in The Maverick Moon, it still doesn’t mesh perfectly with either the contemporary Expanded Universe nor was it mentioned when the events of the ride were later retconned back into the modern EU. The main sticking point is that the Rebels are still the Rebel Alliance, despite them having reformed into the Alliance of Free Planets shortly after the Battle of Endor in the contemporary comics. Aside from that small detail, this interpretation is mostly compatible with later sources that place the events of Star  Tours during the Nagai-Tof War fought after the fall of the Empire at Endor in Marvel’s original Star Wars comic series. That Imperial remnants would make occasional appearances in the comics works with the magazine’s assertion that the civil war wasn’t quite over yet and the appearance of Imperial forces within the Star Tours ride itself.

While neither of these accounts of post-war reconstruction really worked with the modern Expanded Universe, they both made interesting assumptions as to the state of the galaxy after A New Hope, a film that could be comfortably viewed on its own without watching the rest of the trilogy, and Return of the Jedi, the intended conclusion to the saga at the time of its release.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s