Posts Tagged ‘Star Tours’

I just got back from my more-or-less annual visit to Disneyland. This year one of my stated purposes was to check out the redone Star Tours ride. I heard the new ride featured some large number of possible combinations (I heard the number fifty-four being bandied around), but the details I garnered were somewhat fuzzy. Obviously the thing to do was to go check it out in person and see for myself.

With much glee my friends and I proceeded to ride Star Tours many times (I think my personal total was around seven) and break down its intricacies. Following is a detailed report on the new ride, so if you want to be surprised, read no further.

Star Tours has always been a movie experience attached to a “theater” styled as a space vehicle that moves in conjunction with the movie. The newest iteration adds 3D to the mix. I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of 3D in general, and noticed the 3D effects in the new ride only rarely. Unfortunately, the addition was enough to make my husband ill, though, so if you have troubles with 3D movies or 3D video games, be warned that you’ll probably have trouble on this ride as well.

The other big change to the ride is its variability. Before, the ride consisted of a single adventure that was always exactly the same every time you rode. Personally I didn’t mind this because the adventure included a Death Star trench run, so you know, I kind of wanted it to be the same every time because for me, trench run equals awesome sauce. But I can see that other visitors might have found the same old, same old to be ho-hum.

The new ride’s experience is divided into four distinct sections:

SECTION 1: Beginning
A. The ship begins in a dockyard area that includes many stormtroopers. In the background, Hans Solo is visible in front of the Millennium Falcon, arguing with more stormtroopers. A robot attaches to the front windshield of the ship and determines that a rebel spy is aboard (a photo of one of the audience members is shown at this time). Both your ship and the Millennium Falcon shoot their way out and make the jump to light speed.
B. The ship begins in a dockyard area and is then approached by Darth Vader. He makes demands for the rebel spy on the ship to be delivered to him (again, a photo shown of one audience member). He uses the force to control the ship, but then the ship shoots at him and escapes. BONUS: Darth Vader uses his light saber to deflect the ship’s shots.

SECTION 2: First location
A. Hoth: Your ship visits the ice planet of Hoth. It gets involved in a battle not unlike the Hoth battle at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back.
B. Kashyyyk: Your ships visits the forest Wookie planet of Kashyyyk. It gets mixed up with some speeders not unlike those from the Endor parts of Return of the Jedi.
C. Tatooine: Your ship visits the desert planet of Tatooine and participates in a pod race not unlike the pod race in that new Star Wars movie whose name I have blocked from my mind.

SECTION 3: Holographic transmission
All three of these are essentially the same message, saying that the ship must deliver the rebel spy safely to coordinates that are being transmitted to R2-D2. The Princess Leia message has the additional bonus of quoting passages from her famous message from A New Hope.
A. Yoda
B. Princess Leia
C. Admiral Ackbar

SECTION 4: Second location
A. The bounty hunter sequence: Bobo Fett is trying to blow up your ship. There might be some asteroids involved. There is definitely a Death Star involved, I think probably Return of the Jedi era.
B. Coruscant: The ship emerges from light speed into a gigantic space battle and eventually plummets down into Coruscant below, where it must contend with crazy big city traffic, in a scene reminiscent of one of those pesky movies whose names I do not know and they all blur together anyway.
C. Naboo: The ship is escorted from space down into Naboo and ends up plummeting underwater to see the underwater city, followed by a journey to the core of the planet. Jar-Jar Binks makes a cameo here.

I have mixed feelings about this remake of the ride, honestly. I love that the ride has so much variety, and I really like getting to visit different areas of the Star Wars universe. However, the transitions between the sections are often a bit shaky at best. And, perhaps more importantly, there is no trench run. Other fans will share the understanding of how tragic that statement truly is.

However, I was selected during one ride to be the rebel spy, and Darth Vader himself demanded that I be handed over immediately. Was this moment of equal coolness to the trench run? No, probably not, but it was pretty good all the same.

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