A SINGLE bead of sweat snakes over my furrowed brow as I hack an antenna array on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost.

In my fog of intense concentration, carefully aligning audio signals and decrypting secret communications between members of the Resistance, I fail to register the approach of two heavily armed Stormtroopers.

“The First Order is watching,” taunts one foot soldier.

A persistent thrum from the antenna bristles my nerves as I recall master Yoda’s sage counsel – fear is the path to the dark side – and awkwardly stand my ground. My personal odyssey on planet Batuu has begun.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the largest and most technologically advanced single expansion of a Disney park – an immersive 14-acre wonderland which invites visitors to interact with the epic sci-fi saga created by George Lucas.

I experience a rush of midi-chlorian rich blood standing in the shadow of a full-size Millennium Falcon and momentarily tremble as Supreme Leader Kylo Ren strides purposefully down the exit ramp of his First Order TIE echelon ship. Attention to detail is jaw-dropping.

Knutsford Guardian:

Crumbling walls are pocked with blaster fire, metal fixtures are caked with rust and the droid tracks embedded in concrete pathways are cast from rubbings of the original R2-D2’s tyres.

Dozens of cast members roleplay Batuuan locals in an open-ended storyline set in the aftermath of the eighth film, The Last Jedi. These characters share back stories, seek help with tasks and trade pleasantries while an insanely huggable Chewbacca greets fresh-faced recruits in a rebel encampment just beyond a full-size X-Wing starfighter.

It’s a rich and involving galaxy far, far away from adjoining ‘Frontierland’ and ‘Fantasyland’, augmented with a soundscape of distant animal calls, beeping droids and a new orchestral suite composed by John Williams. Entry to Black Spire Outpost is by reservation until June 23 when Disneyland introduces a virtual queuing system to manage the inevitable overcrowding.

The land’s centrepiece is a state-of-the-art simulator ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, which allows six people to take control of ‘the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy’.

On my maiden flight, I’m ill-prepared and glance an asteroid, permanently losing starboard power. I don’t stand a hope in Hoth of making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

On subsequent night-time flights as gunner and engineer, the ride lands beneath a canopy of twinkling stars, emboldening the illusion that I’m the hero of a personalised, organically evolving narrative. A barnstorming second ride, Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance, will open by the end of the year in both California and Florida, where a virtually identical Galaxy’s Edge welcomes its first earthly visitors on August 29.

Meanwhile, experiential shopping scales dizzy heights on Batuu. In Savi’s Workshop, up to 14 aspiring Jedis and Siths can each build a customised lightsaber for £170. It’s a highly theatrical tutorial that demands a family-size suitcase if you want to get the finished weapon home safely without risking the wrath of phantom menaces at airport security.

Over at the Droid Depot, customise a BB or R unit from a steady stream of parts on a conveyor belt. Prices start at £84 for a remote-controlled sidekick, which stands approximately 18 inches tall, but you can enhance your mechanised marvel with accessories and personality chips.

A full-size replica R2-D2 in the adjoining shop will set you back an eye-watering £21,270.

Unique merchandise also abounds beneath the criss-crossing power lines of a bustling marketplace, which evokes the heady eastern promise of souks and bazaars in Morocco and Turkey. Black Spire Outfitters sell authentic Batuuan attire including robes, tunics and belts and the Creature Stall is festooned with cuddly critters.

Knutsford Guardian:

Oga’s Cantina is the heartbeat of Black Spire Outpost, which takes its name from a petrified tree trunk at the centre of the encampment.

The circular bar’s secluded booths provide an ideal location to exchange intelligence in hushed tones under the cover of a rollicking musical soundtrack mixed by droid DJ R-3X. He can be hacked with hilarious consequences.

The cantina is the first outlet on the Disney estate to serve alcohol, so if you intend to down a ‘Bloody Rancor’ or another pungent concoction, you’ll require proper intergalactic clearance – a passport should suffice – to prove you’re 21 earth years or older.

Equally appealing are servings of blue and green milk – a frozen dairy-free blend of coconut and rice milks with fruity accents and tangy floral notes.

I eagerly ask one Batuuan if he knows how to express milk from a bantha.

The perplexed smile he flashes me in return suggests I might be taking this roleplay malarkey too far...

Virgin Holidays (virginholidays.com, 0344 557 3859) offers seven nights in Los Angeles, including flights from London Heathrow and accommodation from £620 per person. Price includes a three-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket and car hire.