Millennium Falcon at Galaxy's Edge

What Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Taught Me About the Details

Today is the day Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Walt Disney World. I was lucky enough to preview it 2 weeks ago and experience most of the attractions and workshops there. On top of being completely enamored by Batuu (I mean, I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan), there was a lot to take away from the experience – stuff that we can apply to our own work.

The Level of Detail is Incredible

You’ll probably hear this claim a lot. “It’s so detailed!” From the costumes (of which there are over 20 possible combinations including headwear) to the food, everything is designed to be a completely immersive experience. I barely even noticed the name tags on the cast members.

A Galaxy's Edge cast member.

Speaking of the cast members, they are completely in character. The Storm Troopers hassle you, the citizens greet you with the traditional Batuu greeting (Bright Sun or Rising Moon depending on the time of day) and everything is in Aurebesh – a common language in Star Wars.

Each area is meticulously design down to the last detail to make it completely feel like you’re on another planet.

Walking In

As a matter of fact, when you first walk in, you’re taken into a tunnel where you cannot see the rest of Hollywood Studios. You then emerge on the other side, on a new world. The entire land is surrounded by long entrances and trees:

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Map

I Forgot I was in Disney World

My wife doesn’t believe me when I make this claim, but there were several moments where I was so immersed in the land that I totally forgot I was in Disney World.

Trinkets at a work station in Batuu

That’s not to say that I actually thought I was on another planet. But for a time I was so taken by the world that all I thought about was Star Wars.

But enough gushing. What does this have to do with how we work?

Disney Knows “The Difference is in the Difference”

My friend Brian Richards said this to me just yesterday: the difference is in the difference.

Put another way, the thing that sets you apart is a better experience. And when you pay so much attention to the details, that makes for a better experience.

Walt knew this when he first opened Disneyland. He wanted a clean, immersive experience for his guests. So much so that when he wasn’t happy with how it was working out in Disneyland, he started Disney World. There, you’re completely surrounded by Disney-owned property. Cast members in Magic Kingdom aren’t even allow to wear their costumes outside of the lands where the costumes belong (IE you can’t wear a Fantasyland costume in Tomorrowland).

Bring the Difference to Your Work

It’s really easy to crank widgets. Pump out a quick video that’s good enough. Make a website that, “isn’t perfect, but will do.” Design a product with some flaws but overall gets the job done.

Lots of people can get the job done. Very few people pay attention to details to design a perfect experience. But that’s what makes great companies great.

It’s why Disney does so well – why Disney Parks attracted millions of people each year. And why the MCU movies crush it at the box office.

It’s what makes Apple products so great. And when they falter, customers notice.

You Don’t Need to be Disney or Apple to get the Details Right

But you don’t need to be a huge company to get the details right. Look at people like Jeff Sheldon from Ugmonk or the fellas at Nock Co (both of whom I interviewed for my podcast).

They both talk about how insanely important the small details are to them.

My friend Shawn Hesketh of WP101 knows too. That’s why when we make videos together, the process is more than just cranking out a screencast. Everything is scripted, blocked, and rehearsed. That takes longer than many other videos. But it’s also what sets our videos apart– and people who watch the videos notice how much better they are.

Pay Attention to the Details on Your Next Project

This is Hondo.
This is Hondo. He’s a ridiculously realistic audio animatronic.

For the next project you work on – either for you, a client, or your boss – pay attention to the details. How can you improve the process? What about that UI can you fix and make a little better? The next time you record a podcast, how can you take it to the next level with little details?

When you launch it, let me know! I’d love to see it.

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