Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (also known as Star Tours 3-D) is a 3D motion simulator attraction located at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Set in the fictional Star Wars universe Star Tours – The Adventures Continue takes guests on a turbulent excursion trip across the galaxy, as droids C-3PO and R2-D2 attempt to safely return a rebel spy to the Rebel Alliance.
The Adventures Continue features locations and characters from Episode I – The Phantom Menace through Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, unlike its predecessor, which mostly took place after the events of the original trilogy (Episodes IV–VI). The attraction opened on May 20, 2011 at Disney's Hollywood Studios, on June 3, 2011 at Disneyland, on May 7, 2013 at Tokyo Disneyland, and on March 26, 2017 at Disneyland Paris.
In April 2005, at Star Wars Celebration III, creator George Lucas confirmed that a Star Tours II was in production. In May 2009, /Film reported that filming for the new version of Star Tours was underway in West Hollywood, California.
During pre-production, one of the locations that Imagineers wanted guests to visit was the ice planet of Hoth while it was under siege by Imperial walkers. However, the idea was quickly scrapped because it would interfere with the attraction's placement in the Star Wars timeline. According to Imagineer Jason Surrell, after the Hoth battle idea was replaced with an encounter with the planet's native fauna (e.g. tauntauns and wampas), the concept was presented to George Lucas. Lucas, although liking the idea, requested that the battle scene be used instead, even if it meant disrupting the series' canon. Lucas offered the possibility that there was perhaps an earlier scuffle between Rebel and Imperial forces on the planet before the events in Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back unfolded and that they "later decided to build a base there figuring the Empire wouldn’t think the rebels would return to that same location." The Kashyyyk sequence was suggested by John Lasseter. Industrial Light & Magic was responsible for the extensive computer-generated imagery seen throughout the attraction.
At the 2009 D23 Expo in Anaheim, Walt Disney Imagineering announced that Star Tours at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios would be closed in October 2010 for total renovation and would reopen in May and June 2011 as Star Tours II. The updated ride system would consist of high-definition video, a Dolby 3D high-definition screen, an improved motion simulator, as well as several other newly added special effects. A short teaser trailer was shown at the expo featuring a podracing scene similar to that from Episode I – The Phantom Menace. An accompanying teaser picture depicted a red-colored "StarSpeeder 1000" spacecraft.
In May 2010, Disney announced exact dates for the closure of Star Tours at both parks, both earlier than the originally announced October 2010 date. Star Tours closed on July 27 at Disneyland and on September 7 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
On June 11, 2010, at the "What's Next?" presentation, Disney announced that the re-imagined attraction would take place between episodes III and IV of the Star Wars film series and would be named Star Tours–The Adventures Continue. They also premiered an image showcasing the StarSpeeder 1000 flying through Coruscant.
On August 12, during Celebration V, Disney showed a preview 'commercial' of what guests may expect to see, including visits to Endor, Bespin, and Alderaan.
By September 24, two new characters were revealed for Star Tours–The Adventures Continue. The first one was Ace, the new pilot, and the second one was the Aly San San spokesdroid, voiced by Allison Janney. During D23's "Destination D" event, Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis stated that the new ride would feature 54 possible different experiences.
On October 26, Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP and Senior Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, stated that while "Ace" was supposed to be the pilot of the Starspeeder 1000's, by the time riders actually take off, the pilot would be C-3PO. Fitzgerald also mentioned that Captain Rex, the former Star Tours pilot (but within the series' timeline, the future pilot), would also make an appearance somewhere on the new version of the attraction. Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in all the Star Wars films, returned to portray the character in three mediums; live-action suit, motion capture and Audio-animatronic voice.
Fitzgerald revealed on February 11, 2011, that more characters would be encountered on the ride, including Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Imperial Stormtroopers, "Skytroopers", Admiral Ackbar, Yoda, Princess Leia and Chewbacca. He confirmed on April 1, locations that guests could visit on the new attraction. Destinations include Tatooine, Coruscant, Hoth, Naboo, Kashyyyk, and the Death Star as it orbits Geonosis.
The attraction in Florida began soft openings on May 14, with the official opening at midnight on May 20, 2011. The attraction in Anaheim began soft openings on May 20, with the official opening in the morning of June 3, 2011. Tokyo Disneyland's Star Tours attraction closed on April 2, 2012, and reopened as the revamped attraction on May 7, 2013. Disneyland Paris' Star Tours attarction was the final incarnation to change; it closed on March 16, 2016 and reopened as The Adventures Continue on March 26, 2017.
In 2012, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue was awarded as the most "Outstanding Attraction Refresh" by the Themed Entertainment Association.
At the 2015 D23 Expo, it was announced that an adventure themed to The Force Awakens would be added to the attraction. The new adventure became available beginning November 16, 2015. A new adventure themed to Crait from The Last Jedi will be added to the adventure matrix. The Crait and Batuu sequences was added on November 17, 2017.
Exterior Endor forest village set in Florida
Tatooine Traders gift shop in Florida
The exteriors of all four Star Tours attractions are different in their respective parks. The attraction in Florida is inspired by an Ewok village on the forest moon of Endor, whereas the California, Japan, and France versions are modeled after a Tomorrowland-esque space port.
According to the opening crawl that preceded the attraction's inaugural opening; after the Dark Times began, Captain Antilles had dispatched C-3PO and R2-D2, the series' protagonist droids who were placed in the custody of Antilles by order of Bail Organa near the end of Revenge of the Sith, to assist in the inauguration of the spaceline. The seemingly close relationship between the Rebel Alliance and the Star Tours agency, caused the Galactic Empire to believe that both entities were in a partnership, and thus has monitored the agency's actions over the years.
Similar to the functionality of the previous Star Tours attraction, The Adventures Continue places guests in the role of space tourists en route to a predetermined destination. The queue is designed to resemble a spaceport terminal: posters advertise voyages to different planets, and a large LCD screen informs riders of flight statuses, planetary weather forecasts, and advertisements promoting the benefits of booking flights with Star Tours. The screen displays information in spoken basic language and Aurebesh. The queue is populated with Audio-Animatronic characters, including C-3PO, R2-D2, and two Mon Calamari officers, that interact with one another and to guests. Entering the cargo bay, Captain Rex from the original attraction can be found, who in accordance with the timeline has not been used yet, and is therefore being sent back to a factory as defective. He occasionally has a power surge and delivers a line from the original attraction. Two G2 droids interact with guests as they conduct their tasks. The more outspoken droid processing the passengers' luggage on a scanning system reveals the luggages' contents to the guests waiting in the queue. Many references, gags, and in-jokes relating to Star Wars, Disney and Pixar films are made via the contents of this luggage. Guests then retrieve their 3-D "flight glasses" and are directed by a flight agent to one of several concourses where they wait to board.
Television monitors show C-3PO, who has been assigned to maintenance on the StarSpeeder that guests are about to board, is inadvertently trapped in the cockpit. Following this, Aly San San presents an instruction video (reminiscent of the original) to the guests on how to fasten their seat belts and where to place their belongings followed by the Disney Parks daily safety spiel in English and Spanish (Japanese and English with Chinese subtitles in Tokyo Disneyland). Once the doors to the Starspeeder 1000 open, guests enter one of several ride simulators. After the doors close, C-3PO complains to R2-D2 about the misunderstanding, but is ignored when the StarSpeeder begins to take flight with C-3PO in it.
Attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The ride sequence is randomized; guests riding Star Tours will experience four out of the thirteen different segments — with some segments offering slight variants — during each journey. This gives Star Tours the advantage of being both highly repeatable and constantly surprising. Even though guests can experience 96 different journeys, the main priority (delivering the Rebel spy to safety) is accomplished no matter what the sequence is. The Rebel spy's identity is chosen by the cast member operating the ride vehicle from among the guests on the attraction, and their picture is presented during the ride. Sometimes, no guest is chosen as the Rebel spy, and a generic photo is used.
There are seventeen random segments of the film (three opening segments, four primary destination segments, six hologram message segments, and four ending destination segments). When combined, they allow 288 different possible ride experiences.
- The Starspeeder 1000 takes off, although C-3PO protests he is not the captain. As the ship is about to leave the Star Tours terminal:
- Darth Vader, Imperial Stormtroopers, and Skytroopers (this segment offers a random variant in which Boba Fett is among the group) arrive to arrest the Rebel spy aboard the speeder. Vader uses a Force-grip to keep the speeder from escaping. The Starspeeder fires its lasers at the Sith Lord, who deflects them with his lightsaber, allowing the shuttle to make a rapid exit backwards out of the hangar, with TIE fighters chasing after it. The Starspeeder then makes the jump to lightspeed.
- An Imperial probe droid attaches to the windshield and detects the presence of the Rebel spy on board the Starspeeder. At the same moment, Han Solo, facing detention by the Empire, opens fire on a platoon of Stormtroopers and races up the boarding ramp of the Millennium Falcon. The Falcon lifts off and launches out of the hangar with the Starspeeder in hot pursuit. After a few maneuvers, the Falcon jumps away, and the Starspeeder shoots down a couple of TIE Fighters, takes a few shots at a Star Destroyer, causing severe damage to the bridge, then jumps to lightspeed, despite C-3PO's protests.
- Kylo Ren confronts guests as they attempt to escape the hangar. The Starspeeder then makes the jump to lightspeed.
- After jumping to lightspeed, the Starspeeder arrives at its primary destination:
- The Starspeeder almost crashes on Hoth amid a battle between Rebels and Imperial AT-ATs. After entering the combat zone against orders, an AT-AT fires at the Starspeeder, and the ship crashes in the snow, teetering on the edge of a cliff. The ship falls over the side and rides through the canyon like a luge, launching off another cliff and free-falling into a deep canyon. At the last second, R2-D2 re-engages the engines and the Starspeeder rockets back into space.
- The Starspeeder reaches Tatooine and takes part in the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace, along with the duplicitous Sebulba. The Starspeeder collides with a podracer and the two become stuck together. The race concludes with the enhanced Starspeeder overtaking Sebulba, then jettisoning the podracer and flying back into space, narrowly missing the filled grandstand.
- The Starspeeder lands on Kashyyyk, as Imperial jet speeders pursue Chewbacca and another Wookiee on a ornithopter vehicle through the lush forest. At one point, Chewbacca falls off from the back of his vehicle and hits the Starspeeder's windshield, before sliding off.
- The Starspeeder arrives on Jakku, where it follows the Millennium Falcon (with Finn aboard) as it is pursued by TIE fighters over the desert landscape. The Starspeeder crash-lands within the remains of a Star Destroyer, where scavengers pry the Star Tours logo off the Starspeeder.
- After the Starspeeder returns to space, a hologram transmission of either Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Yoda, Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata, or BB-8 confirms that there is a rebel spy on board, and says that coordinates have been sent to R2-D2.
- Despite C-3PO's protests, R2-D2 takes the speeder to the location's coordinates:
- The Starspeeder arrives in the upper atmosphere of a besieged Coruscant, where the last forces of the CIS battle the Army of the Republic's Clone troopers. Buzz droids are projected at the Starspeeder, which attach themselves to the windshield, but R2 uses an electric shock to blast them off, after the buzz droids have caused severe damage to the stabilizers. The powerless Starspeeder then plummets through the planet's atmosphere and into the bustling sky traffic of the city planet. After several near misses, the Starspeeder careens to a halt on a landing platform, nearly hitting a fuel tanker before crashing into a traffic control droid.
- The Starspeeder makes it to Naboo, which is under attack by the last Trade Federation armies. Three N-1 starfighters are ordered to lead the Starspeeder into a hangar bay, but are shot down by vulture droids. Another vulture droid shoots down the Starspeeder, and it plummets into the ocean of the planet and arrives near Otoh Gunga, sideswiping or smashing into Jar Jar Binks. After the Gungans order the Starspeeder to follow a ship that will lead it through the planet's core a giant carnivorous fish attacks the guide, but not before being eaten by a bigger sea creature. An even bigger sea creature then tries to eat the Starspeeder, but R2-D2 blasts it with an electric shock. The Starspeeder then surfaces, skipping off the water and into a repair hangar filled with Starfighter debris. The Starspeeder smashes into the tail of a Naboo starfighter, either shattering the windshield and angering the pit droid that falls into the cockpit, or merely breaking the tail of the starfighter, angering the pit droid, which throws gold paint at the Starspeeder and storms off.
- The Starspeeder discovers the still-uncompleted Death Star orbiting Geonosis. Ambushed in the asteroid field by Boba Fett aboard the Slave I, the Starspeeder dodges laser fire and exploding asteroids before venturing into the Death Star. Escaping through a hangar bay, the Starspeeder is confronted again by the bounty hunter. Fett launches a sonic bomb, which is deflected back by a laser blast from the Starspeeder. The explosion cripples the bounty hunter, allowing the Starspeeder to jump to lightspeed. It reaches the Rebel fleet, and lands aboard a Mon Calamari cruiser, where Rebel Alliance leaders await to offer congratulations.
- The Starspeeder arrives in Crait and descends into the planet's cavernous red crystal mines. Escaping the mines, the Starspeeder flies over the salt flats, being instructed by Poe Dameron to assist the Resistance in their siege against the First Order led by General Hux's forces. Providing a successful offensive in favor of the Resistance, the Starspeeder lightspeeds to Batuu and touches down safely.
- C-3PO thanks the guests for choosing Star Tours as their space-line of choice and are then given disembarking instructions by Aly San San.
John Williams, who composed the music for all the main Star Wars saga films, was interested in writing the music for the attraction, but after evaluating the ride's sequences, decided that a newly-written musical score was unnecessary. Instead, Williams suggested that the on-ride music should be the original score from the films, along with unused passages from the film scores that he and his music editor found. Michael Giacchino provided additional arrangements of various Star Wars themes for use in the commercials and pre-show videos in the attraction. Also, the signature Star Tours logo chimes, composed by Richard Bellis, remained in the attraction.
The attraction combines high-definition video, a Dolby 3D high-definition screen, an improved motion simulator and several newly added special effects and Audio-animatronics.
Similar to its predecessor, Star Tours–The Adventures Continue utilizes the same hydraulic motion base cabin, patented as Advanced Technology Leisure Application Simulator (ATLAS), which features several degrees of freedom, including the ability to move 35 degrees in the X-Y-Z plane. In the original version, passengers rode in a vehicle named the "Starspeeder 3000". Since the new attraction is set before the original film, the new ride vehicle is referred to as a "Starspeeder 1000". The motion simulator itself was originally manufactured by Rediffusion Simulation.
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