It’s been just about a year since one of Disneyland’s premier attractions was rocking Tomorrowland. You know I’m talking about…Star Tours. If you are one of the few that has been living in Yoda’s cave and don’t know nor never ridden the original Star Tours, I’ll give you the low-down.
Star Tours was a collaboration between Disney and George Lucas that was opened in 1987. Like riding a flight simulator, you entered a Starspeeder piloted by RX24 (or REX) who was voiced by Mr Pee-Wee Herman himself, Paul Ruebens. A film was shown on screen while the Starspeeder was moved accordingly giving the feeling that you were rocketing through space. From dodging comets and taking part of a dogfight with Tie-fighters to getting a chance to take down a Death Star, Star Tours took you on a journey through the Star Wars galaxy.
While still a fun ride after nearly a quarter century of operation, Star Tours was starting to show it’s age. Especially with The Simpson’s ride at Universal Studios upping the ante for this type of ride.
Kicking things up a notch is the Star Tours was rebooted becoming what would be eventually known as Star Tours: The Adventure Continues. Shown in 3D, ST:TAC keeps true to the spirit of the original but the needed facelift.
Because I’m a Disneyland annual passholder (that’s how I roll) I was selected to ride Star Tours: The Adventure Continues before it opens to the general public on June 3rd.
The queue is pretty much the same as before. The video shown on the main screen is updated. So that last flight to Endor looks even more enticing. R2D2 and C3PO are still there testing out the Starspeeder, robots are working throughout the line, there is a new addition with one robot scanning those in line with a “heat sensor” visual on a screen behind him.
There is a new pre-show on the monitors as you wait to board. After getting into the Starspeeder The first time surprise I got is…gone is Captain Rex and in his place piloting the Starspeeder is C3-PO! That was kind of a cool change.
There are 54 variations of the ride you may experience, but that is a little misleading. The ride is a combination of three parts; Beginning, Middle and End. Beginning has two different variations, Middle and End have three different. A varying combination of the parts is selected for each ride. So there are 54 possible combinations you may encounter.
Here is my experience.
Ride 1.) Darth Vader tries to stop the Starspeeder because a rebel spy is aboard. After TIE fighters give chase we end up on Tattoine and take part in a podrace like in Phantom Menace. After that we hop over to Naboo and go under water where giant fish try to eat you up.
Ride 2.) I was lucky enough to get the Millennium Falcon beginning where the Imperial Fleet try to capture us. Then we hopped over to Hoth to take part of a battle like the one in Empire. For our finale we ended up going to Coruscant and raced thorough the city.
The first ride combination was more fun than the second. I really liked the Darth Vader bit and the podrace. On the second ride the Hoth part was very exciting.
The video and 3D looked amazing. The 3D wasn’t overly gimmicky (meaning characters weren’t throwing things at your face for no particular reason other than to justify 3D) but there were a few cool bips and bops to make you jump. The Hi-Def 3D gave a nice sense of depth, giving a rich look at the different locations.
While some of the combination of scenarios play out better than others, overall Star Tours: The Adventure Continues provides the thrills. It lives up to expectations and delivers an updated version of the classic. I only wish more of the original trilogy was incorporated into the ride. And yes, Jar-Jar does make a cameo.
Tanya Tate is a world famous and award winning adult film star, and a giant geek. She is a cosplayer, horror aficionado, and a big fan of comics. More of her completely safe for work geeky side can be seen at her blog Just a Lot of Tanya.