POSSIBLE SPOILERS: This article reveals details about the latest adventure on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. It also names equipment and locations appearing in the upcoming Star Wars movie. Proceed accordingly.
Anything that happens to you now that you have been appropriately warned is therefore your own fault.
Star Tours has added two new destinations. With the anticipation leading up to Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi reaching a fevered pitch, visitors to Disney parks get a little sneak peak at one of the planets from the film. They also get a look at the planet Batuu, the location of the trading post setting of the parks’ new land, Galaxy’s Edge.
Beginning on November 17 – nearly a month before the film’s December 15 release date – the Star Tours ride featured a new flight. This was originally announced on October 18, by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort. However, the announcement only revealed the addition of Crait. The ride’s final destination of Batuu was announced on the day the new adventure launched.
The Adventure Continues
Once again, C3-P0 is unwillingly in the pilot seat on this misadventure. The First Order is looking for an Alliance spy – who just happens to be on board the flight. There are two versions of this opening scene, but in both the Star Speeder blasts its way past the First Order forces, following the Millennium Falcon. The Star Speeder exits hyperspace at Jakku and is pursued – along with the Falcon – through the Star Destroyer wreckage. After dispatching the pursuing TIE fighters, the Alliance urges 3P0 to deliver the spy to their new secret base. Once again, R2-D2 eagerly accepts the new mission, jumping the ship to Crait in spite of his friend’s protests.
Once again, the Star Speeder is pursued by First Order forces. The first part of the chase winds through caves filled with red crystals. This scene is very reminiscent of the ride’s original trip through a comet before its 2011 relaunch. Upon bursting through the surface, the passengers find themselves in attack formation alongside a number of V-4X-D Ski Speeders as they fly over the mineral desert.
This is another angle of the scene shown in the recent trailers with the speeders kicking up red clouds dust from the surface. The First Order forces get more screen time than seen before. It is also shown that the new AT-M6 walkers are nearly twice as big as the older AT-AT machines.
It seems that Star Speeders carry much more firepower than a Hoth Snowspeeder. Perhaps the Alliance should order a few of those?
There is a quick appearance by General Hux. Poe Dameron waives off the overeager R2 and the Star Speeder jumps into hyperspace one last time – just before the First Order closes its blockade.
It arrives at its final destination, a seedy trading post on a backwater planet. C3-P0 identifies it as Batuu. This planet is the setting for the new 14-acre expansion at Disneyland in California. The Florida incarnation, located in Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios, replaces the backlot tour portion of that park. It will be adjacent to the existing Star Tours ride and Tatooine Trading Post. In Anaheim, Star Tours will remain in its current Tomorrowland location, on the other side of the park. At least for now.
Disney has slowly released details of its new attractions – which are scheduled to open in 2019. Two rides have been announced. The first is another flight simulator that puts guests on board the Millennium Falcon. This ride will reportedly have an interactive element where riders can affect the outcome.
The second ride is in a massive building still under construction. Although not officially named, it is described as “First Order Escape Ride.” Already, two AT-AT (or similar) Walkers have been constructed inside. This will be on the east side – the First Order side – of the land. It will take guests through a major space battle with 18 scenes in an eight-person ride vehicle piloted by an astromech droid.
Based on Star Tours’ previous inclusion of scenes based on The Force Awakens, the new scenes will become part of the regular mix of destinations served by multiple flights daily.