BY DANIELLE COLE
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I’m a fandom improv performer. Before I started adventuring through space, time, and magical realms with The Dandies though, I used to LARP at least once a week. When Galaxy’s Edge was first announced, it sounded like another theme park – complete with rides, food, and a ton of souvenirs. But as more details came out, Galaxy’s Edge sounded more and more like a LARP with some fandom improv thrown into the mix.
Just a few of the ways LARPing and fandom improv are incorporated into Galaxy’s Edge
1. The lingo
In a LARP, the reality of the story is maintained unless someone intentionally breaks character for something like an injury or emergency. The same seems to be true in Galaxy’s Edge. Employees all have backstories and use in character greetings. They won’t even tell you where the lightsabers are sold as they have been made illegal by the First Order. Instead, you have to ask for “scrap metal”, which you pay for with galactic credits.
2. Roaming shows
Large-scale LARPs may have scenes or other performances built in, but these will almost never happen onstage. Similarly, when doing fandom improv, you deal with the realities around you. Often performers will incorporate everything from audience members to things that accidentally happen into the show. The same is true of the Galaxy’s Edge shows. Since they are in amongst guests, performers don’t have the protection of a one-on-one character meet-and-greet or a scripted Disney show. Instead, they have to deal with whatever happens – and they do.
3. What you do matters
In a LARP, every choice you make shifts the story you experience. You open up various plots and interactions that you wouldn’t have ever encountered if you made another decision. A similar situation happens in Galaxy’s Edge. Everything you do from choosing whether to help the Rebellion or the First Order alters your experience.
4. Levels of storytelling
Another hallmark of LARPs is various layers of story. You can experience a personal story, a sub-group story, and be a part of the overall narrative. Galaxy’s Edge has this too. You can get interactions geared toward your journey in the story while, at the same time, being part of the overall narrative.
How LARPing and fandom improv can help you have a great time at Galaxy’s Edge
If the idea of Galaxy’s Edge is a low-key LARP with some fandom improv elements is accepted, then looking at these mediums can help you have the best possible time in at the theme park.
Both LARPing and fandom improv encourage you to throw yourself into them. If you don’t commit, you can end up feeling silly. When you commit fully though, you give yourself permission to buy into the immersive experience and have fun with it. That then frees you up to connect with your family and friends – old and new!
Want to learn more about all things fandom improv? Check out The Dandies’ blogs covering all things fandom improv, geek comedy, and more!