Welcome to our Lightsaber Training review! Lightsaber Training is one of the main activities on board the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World. Guests will wield a lightsaber and face off against a dynamic training remote. Under the tutelage of the Saja, you’ll learn the basic movements and ancient philosophy behind the elegant Jedi weapon known as the lightsaber.
As one of the main scheduled activities on the Halcyon Starcruiser voyage, Lightsaber Training can either be completed by passengers on either the first day of your cruise or on the second day. The Play Disney Parks app “Datapad” will automatically schedule your time, but you may be able to speak with a Passenger Services crew member to adjust your Lightsaber Training time. We suggest calling ahead of time if you’d like to make adjustments as day-of adjustments might be difficult to make. We did Lightsaber Training on the first day of our cruise, and we liked having it on the first day to allow us time to complete other story-based tasks on the ship on day two. Lightsaber Training largely doesn’t affect your own storyline. That said, it might be a good opportunity to align with the Saja – something that you might want to do should you want to try for a story moment that aligns with the Jedi path.
The Lightsaber Training Pod is located on Deck 4, in the same hallway as the Climate Simulator and the gangway for the transport shuttle to Batuu. Guests should arrive to their Lightsaber Training early, but because this is a pre-scheduled activity, arriving 5-10 minutes early should be more than fine. The activity starts on time and does not wait for any passengers. If you think that you might not make it to the training session, speak with a Passenger Services crew member to make adjustments to your schedule.
We mentioned earlier that the Lightsaber Training session was conducted by “the Saja”. Who or what are the Saja? In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the Empire destroys the Jedi temple on Jedha, which was under the protection of a group known as the Guardians of the Whills. Though their survivors were scattered throughout the galaxy, the Guardians remained dedicated to preserving knowledge of the Force. Descendants of this group, known as the Saja, have found a safe haven aboard the Galactic Starcruiser and use one of its training pods to teach the ancient art of the lightsaber. Though not Jedi themselves, the Saja can sense the Force in others and teach them how to find their own connection to this mystical power.
Inside the Lightsaber Training Pod, there are four training remotes and four spaces to face off against the training remotes. The space is relatively intimate but does contain enough room for 16 guests, and a bench along the perimeter of the back wall to place items that might encumber your Lightsaber Training session. Each class size consists of 16 people, meaning that a row of four guests is assigned to each training remote. It doesn’t matter if you’re first to face the training remote, or last in line, each guest will get an ample amount of time with the training remote as you rotate throughout the experience.
The Lightsaber Training exercise, and it is a workout at times, will begin with the basics, such as your stance and “ready position”. Then, the Saja will hand out lightsabers to the first guests in line and have them square off against the training remotes. The conceit here is that the beam of light isn’t the “thing” you’re hitting with the lightsaber, but rather a visual aid to assist you in blocking blaster fire. We found the beam to be wonderfully bright and easy to “find” throughout the training session and the room never filled with smoke. While this isn’t going to be an exact match of Luke Skywalker training with a floating orb in “A New Hope”, this is about as close to recreating that scene as an experience like this can be. We think that Star Wars fans will really enjoy this experience, and the playability of Lightsaber Training means that even non-fans will have a good time.
The experience builds in three stages, each progressing in difficulty but never becoming over complicated. Essentially, this experience, broken down to its most basic, asks guests to place the Lightsaber in the path of the beams of light. The beams of light will progressively get more difficult to hit as the speed between beam transitions quickens, and the window to “hit” the beam narrows.
At a certain point, guests who are standing in the rotation line behind the passenger wielding the lightsaber will be asked to pick up shields from a far wall to “block” the blaster fire from the training remote should it get past the first guest. This is a wonderful way to get more people involved instead of just waiting for it to be your turn again.
As we make our way to the final training session, we will let you know now, that we will be revealing a spoiler. Should you not want to know what happens, please enjoy this photo of lightsaber training, and we’ll see you later.
Before you begin your final section of the training session, Master Yoda speaks to the class in the form of a voiceover that plays while green sparkles of light move around the room. The moment is reminiscent of what you would experience during the build-a-lightsaber experience in Galaxy’s Edge. Yoda talks about The Force and suggests that passengers train without the tracer beam to assist them. Instead, Yoda wants us to use The Force to guide us on where to place our lightsabers. Functionally, that means that sparkles of light will appear on the wall behind the training remote that will suggest where you place your lightsaber.
What makes this experience special is the Saja that guides you through the experience. The technology behind Lightsaber Training isn’t overly complex or even groundbreaking, but being in the room does feel special thanks to the show writing and energy of the Saja. That same energy was missed when Disney put out a first look preview of the experience back in November. We found that to be a recurring theme around the Galactic Starcruiser marketing – a lack of heart in the sneak peeks that made the experiences aboard the ship appear to be basic or underwhelming. To the contrary, the Galactic Starcruiser has a lot of heart and the Lightsaber Training experience is a wonderful example of that.
Overall, we think that the Lightsaber Training experience hit the mark. The tech worked well (not perfectly), but getting to hold a lightsaber and face off against a training remote is a dream for many that has been decades in the making. Disney clearly learned what worked well at Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge and extended the experience at the Galactic Starcruiser.