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Starwars

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

This article is about the real world attraction. You may be looking for the fictional company Star Tours, or the Star Wars Insider article.
Star Tours
Director(s)

Dennis Muren

Producer(s)

George Lucas
Tom Fitzgerald

Writer(s)

Tom Fitzgerald
George Lucas (uncredited)

Starring

Anthony Daniels
Ira Keeler
Paul Reubens

Music by

Richard Bellis, based on John Williams

Distributor

Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Walt Disney Company

Released

January 9, 1987

Runtime

4 min. 30 sec.

Timeline

4.3 ABY[1]

Era

New Republic era

Followed by

Star Tours II

" Star Tours is one of the best spin-offs or spins-off to come from the world of Lucas."
Anthony Daniels

Star Tours is a Disney simulator ride theme park attraction located at each of Disney's resorts except Hong Kong Disneyland. The ride is based on the successful Star Wars movie franchise created by George Lucas. This made it the park's first attraction that did not use Disney-designed imagery.

Groups of visitors, or "passengers", are taken on by the fictional travel agency known as Star Tours, via a space tour bus called the StarSpeeder 3000 and set in the Star Wars universe. Thanks to an inexperienced and thoroughly incompetent robot pilot named RX-24, what is billed as a leisurely tour to the Endor moon becomes a wild ride as the tour gets caught up in a battle between the Empire and the Rebels.

Although it has been in existence since 1987, it is considered by many aficionados to be the epitome of the ride form, melding a full sensory experience with the familiarity of a proven entertainment franchise. The first incarnation of the ride appeared in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in 1987, replacing the previous attraction, Adventure Thru Inner Space.

Star Tours will be closing as of October 2010 to allow for the updated and renovated ride, Star Tours II, which will re-open sometime in 2011.

Contents

Synopsis

Advertised as "The Ultimate Star Wars Adventure!," Star Tours puts the guest in the role of a space tourist en route to the Forest Moon of Endor via the "Star Tours" travel agency. Much is made of this throughout the ride queue, and the design and theme of the inside holding area is convincingly modeled to look like a spaceship boarding terminal. This area is stocked with Audio-Animatronic characters that seem to interact with the ride patrons including Mon Calamari technicians and versions of C-3PO and R2-D2, as well as a life-size mock-up of the StarSpeeder 3000, the "starship" that guests embark on. The figures of C-3PO and R2-D2 in the Disneyland park are actual props from the original film, modified to operate via Audio-Animatronics.[2]

RX-24, pilot of the StarSpeeder 3000.

Once guests reach the head of the line, the ride operators escort them into one of several ride theaters. As the doors close, the ship's bumbling RX-24 pilot droid, aka "Rex" (voiced by Paul Reubens), chats up the guests about the trip as he sets up. All goes well until a slight mistake on Rex's part sends the ship down the wrong tunnel and plummeting into a maintenance yard, just managing to escape into open space before a giant mechanical appendage nearly crushes the ship. That same scene features a tribute to Disneyland's old Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction: The "Mighty Microscope" is clearly visible to the right of the screen after the appendage sweeps by.

Once in space, the ship enters hyperspace, but Rex disengages its hyperdrives too late to stop at the ship's intended destination—and instead gets caught inside a comet field. The ship becomes trapped inside one of the larger comets and has to navigate its way out through a maze of passages and chambers. Just when all the trouble seems to be over, the ship encounters a Star Destroyer and finds itself caught in its tractor beam. However, a timely attack (providing assistance by destroying the tractor beam generator) by a Rebel X-wing fighter allows them to escape. Soon the ship and its tourists find themselves accompanying the Rebellion on a massive assault on the Death Star (although it is unspecified which Death Star it is). Rex uses the StarSpeeder's lasers to eliminate TIE fighters while a Rebel destroys the Death Star in the same manner as Luke Skywalker does in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. A final light speed jump sends the StarSpeeder back to where it started, but not before a near-collision with a fuel truck in the spaceport.

Memorable quotes

"I know it's probably your first flight, and it's... mine, too. Heh heh. Looks like we'll have a smooth flight to Endor, so I'll go ahead and open the cockpit shield. Hi there! I see they're loading our navigator, Artoo-Deetoo, and then we'll be on our way... so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight."
―RX-24 (Captain Rex)
"Stars Tours! What are you doing here? This is a combat zone, it's restricted... ease off on your main thruster."
―Red Leader
"Red 24, Red 30, follow me."
"Okay! I've always wanted to do this!"
―Red Leader and RX-24 starting their trench run
"All ships jump to lightspeed."
"Hang on back there! Lightspeed!"
―Red Leader and RX-24 escaping the Death Star explosion
"I do wish I could go with you to Endor. (sizzle) On second thought, I just remembered how much I hate space travel."
―C-3PO fixing the Starspeeder in the queue
"'Proof of ownership?' We droids are made to suffer such indignities"
―C-3PO in the queuing area

Credits

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Cast

  • Paul Reubens .... Captain RX-24, aka REX (voice) (uncredited)
  • Anthony Daniels .... C-3PO (Onboard video segment; voice only in queue area), Alien announcer (uncredited). Daniels was involved in motion capture, English and French voiceovers, and some of the public address announcements in Ewokese.[3]
  • Steve Gawley .... Red Leader (onboard video) (uncredited)
  • Dennis Muren .... One of three ILMers visible in a Maintenance Bay window during the rear-projected simulator film, ducking as Rex almost careens into their building (uncredited)
  • Ira Keeler .... Supervisor who ducks under desk at the end of the ride-- mistaken by many to be George Lucas himself (uncredited)
  • Brian Cummings .... Vid-Screen Announcer (planetary destinations) (voice) (uncredited)
  • Tom Fitzergald .... G2-4T (voice) (uncredited)
  • Mike West .... G2-9T (voice) (uncredited)

Crew

Muren, Gawley, and Keeler are all Industrial Light & Magic special effects wizards who worked on the attraction for Lucasfilm.

Appearances

By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters


  • 3T-RNE (First appearance)
  • C-3PO
  • Dan Android (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • DL-X2 (First appearance)
  • F-22 (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • F-23 (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • F-24 (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • Frank (First appearance)
  • G2-3B (First appearance)
  • G2-4T (First appearance)
  • G2-9T (First appearance)
  • G3-5LE (First appearance)
  • Unidentified GNK power droid (Star Tours)
  • I-D-A (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • Lady Droid (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • LGB (First appearance)
  • max-w-100 (Tokyo only) (First appearance)
  • Tom Morrow (Mentioned only)
  • MSE-1T unit (First appearance)
  • P-6 (Tokyo only) (First appearance)

Locations

Star Tours in Disneyland includes an "Arrivals/Departures" that lists destinations other than Endor.

  • Naboo (advertised destination only)
  • Hoth (advertised destination only)
  • Panna (advertised destination only)
  • Polis Massa (advertised destination only)
  • Tatooine (advertised destination only)
  • Yavin 4 (advertised destination only)

Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Miscellanea

Songs

Behind the scenes

Development

The ride that became Star Tours first saw light as a proposal for an attraction based on the 1979 Disney live-action flop The Black Hole. It was planned as an interactive ride simulator attraction, where guests would have had the ability to choose the ride car's route. After preliminary planning, the Black Hole attraction was shelved due to its enormous cost (approximately $50 million US) as well as the unpopularity of the film itself. Instead of completely dismissing the idea of a simulator, the company decided to make use of a partnership between Disney and George Lucas that began in 1986 with the opening of Captain Eo (a 3D musical film starring Michael Jackson) at the California park. Disneyland then approached Lucas with the idea for the Star Tours amusement ride.

With his approval, Disney Imagineers purchased four large military flight simulators at a cost of $500,000 each and designed the ride structure. Meanwhile, Lucas and his team of special effects technicians at Industrial Light & Magic worked on the first-person perspective film that would be projected inside the simulators. When both simulator and film were completed, a programmer then sat inside and, with the aid of a joystick, manually synchronized the movement of the simulator with the apparent movement on the film. On January 9, 1987, at a final cost of $32 million (almost twice the cost of building the entire park in 1955), the ride finally opened to throngs of patrons, many of whom dressed up as Star Wars characters for the occasion. In celebration, Disneyland remained open for a special 60 hour marathon from 10:00am on January 9, 1987 to 10:00pm on January 11, 1987.

Ride system

Star Tours utilizes a Thomson hydraulic motion base cabin featuring 3 degrees of freedom.

The film is front projected onto the screen from a 70mm film projector located beneath the cockpit barrier. George Lucas has mentioned that the next generation of the attraction will feature digital high definition video and motion bases capable of up to 6 degrees of freedom.

Attraction facts

The Star Tours logo.

Marketing

When the ride opened, Star Tours press kits were released to the press. They each contained interviews with George Lucas, Disney's Michael Eisner, and C-3PO. The video portion of the kit lasts about an hour, with a large part of it devoted to the ride's opening ceremony, and a play with actors dressed as Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader—dancing around and acting out several scenes from the Star Wars films.

There was also a TV special that aired around the time of the opening of the ride. The program—entitled A Vacation In Space and designed to promote the ride—aired in late 1986, and was hosted by Gil Gerard and Ernie Reyes Jr.. The show looks at how Star Tours was made, as well as the history of space travel and space-related films. Some highlights of the program include a segment at the beginning, where C-3PO and R2-D2 make an appearance and perform a rap song, as well as a segment at the end, where Reyes boards the StarSpeeder 3000—giving away some teasers of the ride itself.

As part of the Star Tours experience, upon exiting the StarSpeeder 3000, passengers are led to a store which sells merchandise based on Star Wars and the ride itself. This includes action figures, clothing, etc. At Disneyland the store is The Star Trader. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, the store was originally called Endor Vendors, and had a theme based on Endor with a facade modeled after the backdoor of the Endor shield generator bunker. Around the release of Episode I, that store was replaced by Tatooine Traders, themed to resemble the buildings of Mos Eisley and Mos Espa. Both stores include some exclusive merchandise sold only at Disney theme parks.

Canonicity

Technical specifications for the StarSpeeder 3000 (from the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of the ride)

The canonicity of the events depicted in Star Tours has been disputed for many reasons, the most obvious being the inclusion of the Death Star. Since R2-D2's presence onboard the Starspeeder precludes the events taking place during the Battle of Yavin or the Battle of Endor, the Death Star seen in the ride video has been considered by some to be the Death Star prototype, as seen in Jedi Search and Champions of the Force and its destruction to be a depiction of the prototype's destruction at The Maw. However, it does not match that prototype's skeletal construction and R2-D2 is accounted for during that event, as well. Also, the Star Tours Death Star is very close to Endor, far from the Maw's location. This may indicate it is a so far unrevealed Death Star, or that the ride's events are simply not canonical. Others have suggested that the Death Star is a modification of one of the habitation spheres seen under construction over Coruscant.

The events of Star Tours must take place after Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back since after the destination of Hoth is advertised on the large video screen in the queue area, C-3PO makes a mention of the events of the film.

It is not mentioned where the Star Tours spaceport is located. However, when the PeopleMover ride in Disneyland's Tomorrowland ran through that park's version of the attraction (until 1995), the voice of C-3PO welcomed riders to the "Star Tours Tomorrowland Spaceport".

Expanded Universe references

While the events of the ride themselves may be questionably canonical, the Expanded Universe has made a number of references to the fictional travel agency and its ships:

  • The StarSpeeder 3000 has been referenced in the computer game Star Wars: TIE Fighter, as well as in the novel Specter of the Past.
  • The article Endor and the Moddell Sector in Star Wars Gamer 9 explains that a short-lived travel agency offered trips to Endor before accidents and mismanagement drove them out of business. It also suggests that those trips happened in the New Republic era. The article includes an illustration of a StarSpeeder 3000 at a landing site on Endor.
  • In the Star Wars: Galaxies game, players encounter the crash site of the Star Tours ship Tzarina on Dathomir. The crash is blamed on an incompetent droid captain who got too close to what sounds like the Battle of Yavin.
  • The ride's G2 repair droids are featured in The New Essential Guide to Droids.
  • "Lightsaber Lost", an episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, includes an holographic advertisement from Star Tours promoting travel to Glee Anselm.

Cultural references

  • In the Futurama episode "That's Lobstertainment!", some of the main characters are riding a tour bus in Hollywood with the name "Star Tours." Under the bus' logo, a disclaimer reads "Note: Bus Does Not Leave Earth."
  • In the 1997 film Starship Troopers, a ship resembles the StarSpeeder 3000, and the scene it appears in is similar to the Star Tours ride video.

Trivia

Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Disneyland Star Tours entrance in 1996 before Tomorrowland makeover.
Disneyland Star Tours entrance in 1998 after makeover.
Kermit The Frog Droid.
  • An Audio-Animatronic medical droid used to be in one of the rooms in the ride queue but was later removed.
  • At Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Star Tours replaced an attraction known as Adventure Thru Inner Space, in which guests were notionally shrunk to microscopic size. Exiting the first scene during the Star Tours film, the Mighty Microscope from the old ride can be seen.
  • A number of inside jokes can be heard over the public address system in the ride's queue:
    • The announcer calls out for an illegally parked speeder license number "THX-1138", which is the name of the first studio film made by George Lucas.

The announcer who appears before passengers enter the ship has a comical hairstyle, which is a reference to Leia Organa and many others characters who have been joked about due to their improbable hairstyle.

    • A "Mr. Egroeg Sacul" is paged by the announcer. The name is "George Lucas" spelled backwards.
    • A voice says there is a message for "Mr. Tom Morrow," who was a character in Disneyland's now-defunct Flight to the Moon attraction and later became a separate character for Innoventions at Epcot in 1998.
  • On Captain Rex, a bright red tag can be seen attached to his torso. The tag says "Warning! Remove before Flight". This tag is a reference to similar labels placed on some aircraft parts.
  • The G2 repair droids in the queue line are actually the skeletons of Audio-Animatronic geese from an old Disneyland show, America Sings. They were removed from the show during the last 2 years of its run. The droids can be heard singing "I've been working on the same droid, all the livelong day," a reference to the geese singing that song during the show. The New Essential Guide to Droids nicknamed the G2s "Goose droids" as a nod to this show.
  • Rex "has a very bad feeling about this" when the ship flies into one of the comets. This is a running gag in the Star Wars films.
  • At least two revisions have been made to the ride's script since its inception. After the StarSpeeder passes the moon of Endor, The original version had Rex asking R2-D2 "Now what's the matter? Oh no! Comets!". The current line is, "Now what's the matter? Comets? Comets!" and adds "I have a very bad feeling about this."
  • The fuel tanker that the StarSpeeder 3000 almost runs into has a registration number on its side. The number is Lucasfilm's old office phone number.
  • Rex's voice belongs to Paul Reubens, best known for playing the character Pee-wee Herman. Despite rumors that Reubens' voice was replaced following the scandals of his 1991 or 2002 arrests, no such replacement occurred.
    • One of the droids in the queue says "You got a camera. Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer!", which is a Paul Reubens quote.
  • The baskets of parts in the Droidnostics Center in the ride queue at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios have hidden initials and birth dates of Walt Disney Imagineering and ILM team members who worked on the attraction.
  • On the pre-boarding video, many passengers are Imagineers and their families.
  • The work crews shown in the docking bays and control rooms of the film are members of the ILM model shop staff. Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren and his crew can be seen diving out of the way when Rex accidentally steers the ship toward the control room on the right.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the horrified man in the landing bay who ducks in terror as the ship nearly crashes into him at the end of the flight is not George Lucas, but an ILM modelmaker named Ira Keeler.
  • During the ride, Rex says "I've always wanted to do this!" In Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, one of the short stories states that there was a droid audible during the Battle of Endor announcing it had "always wanted to do this."
  • Several aliens from the Star Wars theatrical films and offshoot productions make appearances in the opening safety video: Some Mon Calamari, a Gran, a Wookiee (a Chewbacca costume), and Teek from Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.
  • Action figures of the various droids seen in the ride and queue have been released as Disney park exclusive action figures.
  • The StarSpeeder 3000 has several blast marks, one of which appears to resemble a Hidden Mickey.
  • When Energizer sponsored the Disney's Hollywood Studios version, the Energizer Bunny made a cameo appearance in the shop on a video screen.
  • In the queue, you can see a model of Kermit the Frog made out of spare parts when you get to the overhead conveyer belt.

Sequel

In April 2005, at the Star Wars Celebration III, Star Wars creator George Lucas confirmed that a Star Tours II is in production. This new ride will reportedly be prequel-oriented. In a concept release, the sequel is described as being based on the Pod Racer sequence in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The new ride system will consist of a glasses-free 3-D High-definition screen and an improved motion simulator.

The flight information board utilized in the ride queue promises forthcoming adventures to Hoth, Tatooine, and Dagobah and displays the text "Soon Endor Won't Be The End-All". These details, especially the clever tagline, are often mistaken as recent additions, used to support rumors of impending changes to the attraction, but have actually been in place since Star Tours opened.

Notes and references

  1.  "Death Star timeline" - "Keeper of the Holocron's Blog", Leland Chee's StarWars.com Blog
  2. Disneyland Detective by Kendra Trahan
  3. http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=133031&start=45

Sources

See also

External links

Official links:

  • Disneyland: Star Tours
  • Walt Disney World's Disney Hollywood Studios: Star Tours
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkThe Star Tours Experience on Hyperspace - Selected audio from the ride from starwars.com.
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Comes To Disneyland - Bantha Tracks #34 on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks #35 on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks Online 12-6-05 issue: Legendary Star Wars Posters: Part Two on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Tours: The Ultimate Adventure on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Tours: A Grand Opening on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Insider 85 online supplement: Star Wars Ticket Collecting on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkA Look Back at Star Tours on Hyperspace - The article covers all major aspects of the ride's development, story, and popularity.
  • StarWars.com Disney Parks Star Tours Figures on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  • StarWars.com Star Tours Toys Debut on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  • StarWars.com Star Tours Collection III on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  • Cargo Bay entries for Star Tours products

Fan sites:

  • EndorExpress.net - A fansite dedicated to the ride, including a highly accurate transcript of the dialogue. (Originally named SWStarTours.net)
  • LucasFan.com - Another fansite
  • VisionsFantastic, a fansite containing video clips from the ride.
  • Link to a fan's complete flash-recreation of the ride.

Other links:

The Star Wars Saga
Episodes:
I: The Phantom Menace · II: Attack of the Clones · III: Revenge of the Sith
IV: A New Hope · V: The Empire Strikes Back · VI: Return of the Jedi
Spin-off films:
The Holiday Special . Caravan of Courage · The Battle for Endor
The Great Heep · The Haunted Village · The Pirates and the Prince
Tales from the Endor Woods · Treasure of the Hidden Planet · The Clone Wars
Television series:
Star Wars: Droids · Star Wars: Ewoks · Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars · Star Wars animated TV series
Star Wars live-action TV series
Other media:
Audio dramas · Books · Comics · Games · Star Tours · Fan films
Shadows of the Empire · Clone Wars · The Force Unleashed

This article uses material from the "Star Tours (real-world)" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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