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Ride / Star Tours

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Now boarding all flights to Endor...

R2, lightspeed to Endor!
Captain Rex

In 1987, Star Tours opened in Disneyland, California, replacing Adventures Through Inner Space in Tomorrowland (Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida later got their own version of the ride upon the opening of the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (now Disney's Hollywood Studios). It is the first-ever Star Wars theme park attraction and was the first major creative partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm, serving as as one of many steps toward The Walt Disney Company eventually acquiring Lucasfilm.

The premise for the ride is fairly simple: set shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, the travel company known as Star Tours presented an opportunity to take guests across the galaxy far, far away. Passengers climbed aboard a Starspeeder 3000 piloted by rookie droid Captain RX-24 "Rex" (voiced by Paul Reubens), as a seemingly peaceful flight to Endor leads to a galactic misadventure that takes guests into the interior of the Star Tours, past Endor and into the depth of an ice comet, and right in the middle of a tense battle between the Rebel Alliance and the remnants of the Galactic Empire during a battle to destroy the Death Star III. Instead of being a conventional roller coaster, Star Tours made use of hydraulic flight simulators to create the experience of being in a real starship. This ride ran from 1987 to 2016 across various Disney parks, including Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney World (in Disney's Hollywood Studios), and Disneyland Paris.

Starting in 2011, Disney phased out the original Star Tours with its sequel Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, a new attraction making using much of the same technology and taking advantage of decades of improvement to it, including integrating 3D visuals. It features a similar premise of an interstellar tour flight gone wrong, but the story now takes place between the prequel and original trilogy films, or during the events of the sequel trilogy films, depending on which era your tour winds up in. A much more competent pilot, AC-38, is set to take guests on their journey with R2-D2, but C-3PO is hired to inspect the cockpit of the Starspeeder 1000. Thanks to a strange turn of events, C-3PO and R2-D2 are forced to take over the flight, where they quickly learn that a Rebel/Resistance spy is on their flight, and that they must transport them to safety. After a run-in with the Empire/First Order, the droids take their chances by blasting off to different planets as guests experience an adventure out of this world. While Captain Rex was removed from the pilot's seat in this version, he hasn't been forgotten, and he has instead been incorporated him into the queue of the ride, along with later being given something of a larger role at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

The Adventures Continue is unique in that it has a branching storyline, with a total of 96 different combinations of ride sequences, allowing for a different experience almost every time. Riders will travel through some combination of two worlds: Tatooine, Kashyyyk, Hoth, Jakku, or Kef Bir for the first visit, and Naboo, Geonosis (plus the Death Star), Coruscant, Crait, or Exegol for the second visit. Between 2015 and 2019, Disney added four new worlds tied to the sequel trilogy films. Disney Imagineers later hinted that more worlds could be added to the experience over time, before outright confirming that new locations would be brought into the attraction starting in 2024, starting with Peridea.

Tropes relating to the original Star Tours include:

  • Actor Allusion: The RX-24 model was developed by Reubens Robotics Systems. This is a reference to Captain Rex's voice actor, Paul Reubens. Additionally, after the harrowing departure from the spaceport through the maintenance bay, Rex declares, "I meant to do that — a little shortcut!", possibly referencing Pee-wee's Big Adventure, where Pee-wee engages in some silly stunts on his bike, but has an accident on it, but gets up, unscathed, and says the aformentioned line to some kids watching him.
  • Badass Adorable: Captain Rex. He takes down the Death Star, and it's his first flight.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Starspeeder's front view port is nowhere near as slanted as it looks from the outside.
  • The Cameo: The safety video had several alien characters from the franchise, among them Chewie and Teek from Star Wars: Ewok Adventures.
  • Canon Discontinuity: When Lucasfilm de-canonized the original Expanded Universe and sequestered it into a separate "Legends" continuity, this ride was among the things rendered non-canon.note  However, elements of the ride have found their way into the main continuity. As early as the 1990s, a Starspeeder 3000 appeared in the George Lucas Altered Version of The Empire Strikes Back; another one appears in The Force Awakens. The Star Tours travel agency is fully canon due to its appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Captain Rex would actually return to canon in Star Wars Rebels, with Reubens reprising the role. Rex was also incorporated into Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, being namechecked as a former Star Tours pilot.
  • Comet of Doom: In more physical sense than usual. After missing Endor's moon, the Starspeeder is intercepted by comets and struggles to dodge them. At one point it even goes inside a particularly large one, smashing its way out.
  • Continuity Snarl: Why or how there is a third Death Star mere months after the Battle of Endor makes little sense, yet it cannot be either of the previous two Death Stars because R2-D2's location is accounted for in both battles. Nor why it still has the old design flaw from the first Death Star, since it was amended with the second. Some of this got hand waved with the explanation that the third Death Star was was a hastily repurposed habitation sphere/worldship from Coruscant's orbit, used by the Imperial Remnant as a means of distracting the Rebel Fleet while enacting other plans.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Captain Rex ends up flying through the maintenance area on accident and almost crashes multiple times.
  • End of an Age: On a meta level for the Star Wars franchise. In the four years between Return of the Jedi and Star Tours, there were two Ewok Adventures films as well as the Ewoks and Droids cartoon shows. After Star Tours, there would not be any new filmed Star Wars media for a decade, all the way up until the new material created for the 1997 special editions. This even applies to the original Expanded Universe to a lesser extent. As of 1987, the most recent Star Wars novels were The Lando Calrissian Adventures from '83, and the Marvel comic series had ended its run in '86. After Star Tours, there would not be any notable EU works until Heir to the Empire in 1991. So in many ways, Star Tours marked the end of the original wave of Star Wars media. It was the last significant Star Wars production of the 1980s, the last time that Industrial Light & Magic made a Star Wars space battle without the use of any CGI, and perhaps the last non-Retraux use of the Original Trilogy aesthetic.
  • From Bad to Worse: It starts with many near-crashes in the spaceport, leading to a deadly encounter with comets, followed by the Imperial fleet and the Death Star...
  • I Meant to Do That: In a possible Shout-Out to Pee-wee's Big Adventure, after your ship has left the spaceport via a crazy dodge-and-weave through the maintenance bay, Rex says, "I meant to do that — a little shortcut! Ha-ha!"
  • Mythology Gag: One of the hazards that Rex and his passengers face is a swarm of comets, ending up going inside one before bursting out the other side to "safety". The building that Star Tours is housed in was previously used for Adventure Thru Inner Space, with one of the more famous parts of that ride being that the riders are shown a snowflake from a microscopic perspective—what's a comet but a colossal snowflake flying through space? (The snowflake part of Adventure Thru Inner Space was also alluded when the ride was revamped, being visually referred to in the queue area.)
  • Running Gag: Rex states "I have a bad feeling about this!" when entering the enormous comet.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: There's a queue announcement for one Egroeg Sacul.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the announcements in the queue is for an illegally parked speeder, license THX1138.
    • A droid in the queue tells visitors to "Take a picture! It'll last longer!". Particularly apropos, given the voice actor behind RX-24...
    • The Mighty Microscope from the preceding attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space is seen on the hangar on the bottom left just before you head out into space.
  • Talking Lightbulb: Captain Rex.

Tropes relating to the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue include:

  • The Ace: Subverted with Captain Ace. Despite being more experienced and professional-sounding than Rex, he completely forgets about his own flight and doesn't return to the Starspeeder before it's scheduled for takeoff.
  • Accidental Hero: C-3PO wasn't meant to pilot Starspeeder flight 1401, he was just in the cockpit to perform repairs, only for the autopilot to engage with him still stuck inside it.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: While the ride is ostensibly set between the prequel and original trilogies, the Naboo and Coruscant options completely ignore the backdrop of the Empire's reign and instead place guests in a timeframe closer in nature to The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith respectively, given that the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems are active here. But nobody cares, because one, this ride isn't canon, and two, the scenarios depicted in these scenes wouldn't be anywhere near as entertaining otherwise.
  • Adaptational Badass: R2-D2 has always been a tough little droid, but depending on the randomly-generated scenario seen here, Artoo can potentially win a podrace on Tatooine, survive a massive space battle over Coruscant, evade an AT-AT on Hoth, defeat Boba Fett, shoot down a Star Destroyer at Exegol, and open fire on Darth Vader or Kylo Ren.
  • Alternate Timeline: Nominally, the ride is set between Episode III and Episode IV, but in practice, the ride sequence is randomized, so it could theoretically take place anywhere in the series' continuity. During a ride, you will experience four out of twenty-one different segments, with some segments offering slight variants. This makes the ride highly repeatable and constantly surprising. Even though guests can experience dozens of 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 twenty-one random segments of the film (four openingsnote , five primary destinationsnote , ten hologram messagesnote , and six ending destinationsnote ), for over 384 different possible itineraries. Some of the sequences are locked by time period; i.e. planets and characters seen in the Original and Prequel Trilogies will not appear with planets and characters seen in the Sequel Trilogy.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Crait sequence ends on this note as the Starspeeder lands at Batuu. Lampshaded by C-3PO, who says that he feels their adventure is just beginning.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first Star Tours, C-3PO just appeared in the queue to the flight and in the opening and closing safety videos. In this iteration, he's the pilot of your vessel, though not by choice.
  • Ascended Meme: The 2017 update added an alternative version of the "meeting with Darth Vader and the Empire" opening that has him replaced by Kylo Ren and the First Order. Ren is flanked by stormtroopers wielding Z6 riot control batons, much like FN-2199's famous scene in Episode VII, and one of them even performs some sick spins.
  • Audience Participation: A random audience member seated in the cabin will be selected as a "Rebel spy" that the Empire is chasing the Starspeeder for, with their photo appearing onscreen.How it works
  • Big Good: One of the Rebel Alliance's leadership appears in a transmission to the Starspeeder, telling them where to deliver the Rebel spy. Depending on the flight it can either be Yoda, Princess Leia, or Admiral Ackbar. As of 2015, this can also be BB-8 acting on behalf of the Resistance (presumably), and the conversation mostly consists of him and R2-D2 beeping and chirping at each other, with C-3PO translating. Updates for The Last Jedi added Poe Dameron and Maz Kanata as Resistance contacts, and The Rise of Skywalker added Lando Calrissian.
  • Black Comedy: The in-universe promos call Alderaan "safest planet in the galaxy." Yeah...
  • Blue/Orange Contrast: In a meta sense. The Starspeeder 3000 has blue stripes, but the previous 1000 model was given orange stripes, to make the two visually distinct. The cast members also wear blue and orange uniforms.
  • Bookends: In The Rise of Skywalker sequence, closing The Skywalker Saga and releasing eight years after this ride opened, Flight 1401 finally lands back at the Star Tours spaceport, and Ace returns to indignantly inquire about his missing ship.
  • The Cameo: As of 2015, the ride includes a comm-screen cameo from Finn. 2017 added similar cameos for General Hux and Poe Dameron. 2019 has Lando Calrissian also appear as part of a Holograph Transmission, similar to Poe.
  • Call-Back: In the queue, a number of RX-24 droids (the pilot from the original ride) can been seen in crates. They're all marked as defective.
  • Call-Forward:
    • On occasion C-3PO says a few lines from the original ride. If you get the Tatooine pod racing scene, he'll say, "I've always wanted to do this!", if you get the Naboo scene he'll yell, "Brakes! Where are the brakes?!", and if you get the Kef Bir scene he'll say, "We just passed the Endor moon." The Hoth section will also have a Rebel pilot ask "Star Tours, what are you doing here? This is a restricted area!" — which was also asked of Rex when his flight stumbled upon the Death Star.
    • The Death Star in the Geonosis sequence is the first one seen in A New Hope, but its unfinished appearance is identical to the look of the second in Return of the Jedi.
  • Captain Obvious: C-3PO has a tendency towards this. Justified as some audiences may not have seen all of the films, meaning that his commentary is necessary for them to understand what's going on.
  • Continuity Nod: Captain Rex cameos in the queue line, labeled "defective" and offline. Occasionally, he'll briefly boot up and say one of his lines from the original ride. He eventually found a proper home in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, but he still maintains his tendency to malfunction and recite his old lines.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The Naboo and Coruscant sections borrow from Episode I and Episode III respectively, meaning Separatist ships are attacking the planets long after the CIS was supposedly dissolved. Presumably they're hold outs, though it doesn't explain why the Empire is using outdated ships (complete with Republic symbols painted on the hulls). The dialogue also implies the Rebels have taken some older ships as well and set up bases on the planets. Though this isn't explained either.
    • Then there's the battle on Hoth when the ride takes place before Episode V. Apparently the people making the ride originally wanted a sequence with wampas and tauntauns so as to not cause continuity problems, but George Lucas insisted they add Imperial walkers. He suggested that the Rebels and Empire skirmished on the planet before the Rebels returned, thinking the Empire wouldn't look there twice. Of course this runs into the "When was Hoth discovered?" issue that's turned up in a number of works, but that's a Continuity Snarl in its own right.
    • With the inclusion of characters, events, technology and locations from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, the original update of the ride has seemingly abandoned the initial premise of being a prequel set just before A New Hope and can now take place at any point from A New Hope to The Rise of Skywalker.
    • Yoda's transmission is this, as he instructs Star Tours to deliver a rebel spy. Both openings depict either Vader or the Millennium Falcon, though at this point Yoda would actually be in hiding.
  • Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel:
    • The Star Tours facility, ships, and droids are all much shinier than than in the previous version. The original walk to your flight involved passing through a grungy droid workshop; less than a decade earlier it's a pre-flight security catwalk much like at an airport. Captain Rex has a radial-symmetrical body; his predecessor Captain Ace has a humanoid design with more plating. In addition, the Starspeeder of this version features built-in weapons, while the future Starspeeder model appears to lack them. The Starspeeder also appears to be quite functional in the Sequel Trilogy era, despite the technology being comparatively obsolete despite taking place past when the original Star Tours would have happened.
    • However, the actual flight itself zigzags this trope. Original series vehicles like X-wings, AT-ATs, and TIE fighters are featured, as are prequel series vehicles like droid starfighters, ARC-170s, and Venator-Star Destroyers. Some of them are meant to be holdouts from the Clone Wars, but apparently their tech hasn't been updated in the past twenty years.
  • Dodge by Braking: Used in the Kashyyyk sequence.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Last Jedi sequence features the Starspeeder landing at Batuu, the setting of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and was released two years before the land was scheduled to open.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When the Starspeeder arrives at the Geonosis asteroid belt, the Death Star can be seen in the upper right of the viewport, a minute before Threepio and R2 realize it's there, but it's easy to miss in the midst of all the other moving space rocks and Boba's attack.
  • Funny Background Event: In the Millennium Falcon opening, a stormtrooper points their gun at a luggage transport driver, who raises their hands in surrender, causing the transport to swerve and drop a bunch of its cargo on the stormtrooper. In addition, either Han Solo, Rey, or Ahsoka Tano (depending on the era) can be seen trying to talk their way out of an inspection before pulling their blaster and running into the Falcon (Jedi shuttle for Ahsoka) to take off.
  • Hidden Weapons: The Starspeeder 1000's twin laser cannons are not normally visible, but flip out from the bottom of the vehicle.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the Geonosis / Death Star portion, Boba Fett corners the Starspeeder and deploys a seismic charge. C-3PO panics, but R2 just fires it right back at Fett, blasting the Slave I out with its own bomb.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: C-3PO is in the captain's chair, but R2-D2 appears to actually do most of the flying, as well as being in control of the weapons and navigation systems.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The Starspeeder 1000 can function both as a starship and a submarine, as shown after it arrives on Naboo. This is justified, as the ship is meant to be able to survive and travel through most conditions to ensure the safety of its guests.
  • Inherently Funny Words: G2-4T likes saying "churro" because he thinks it's funny.
  • It Has Been an Honor: During the Exegol sequence, C-3PO tells the passengers that they've been wonderful, in case they don't survive the battle.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The ride ends with the passengers landing at the Rebel coordinates on another planet, but exiting the ride has them back at the Star Tours spaceport. C-3PO points this out as the ride concludes, wondering how they're supposed to get back to Star Tours.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: G2-4T (one of the droids talking in the queue) may mention that he once short circuited, causing him to repeat himself every 20 minutes.
  • Medals for Everyone: The Geonosis / Death Star ending concludes with the Starspeeder arriving at the Rebel Alliance's fleet, landing aboard a cruiser. A small crowd of Rebels applauds you as you land, and Admiral Ackbar declares "You are all heroes of the Rebellion!"
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Kef Bir sequence begins with C-3PO noting that R2-D2 has overshot his coordinates to Endor — just like Captain Rex did in the original Star Tours before flying into an ice comet. It helps that Kef Bir is another moon in the same star system.
    • The Kashyyyk sequence features Imperial scout troopers on speeder bikes and music from the Battle of Endor. One of the original concepts for Return of the Jedi was to have the battle take place on the Wookiee planet before it became Endor.
    • In the Coruscant ending, the speeder lands on a platform and nearly hits a fuel tank, which also occurred in the original ride.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: During a battle with the Final Order over Exegol, R2 and Threepio notice an X-Wing being tailed by two TIE fighters. R2 tries to take them both down at once.
    C-3PO: R2, the odds of successfully taking out two TIE fighters with one shot is approximately- (R2 shoots them both down) ...greater than I thought!
  • Oh, Crap!: C-3PO's reaction to running into Darth Vader or Kylo Ren.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: During the podracing part, C-3PO exclaims "I've always wanted to do this!". It's a neat homage to the first ride, but it's also at odds with Threepio's usual adventure-fearing characterization, particularly his oft-mentioned hate of flying... though it works when you realize that he was created by Anakin, an avid podracer.
  • Rattling Off Legal: One of the queue promos ends with Aly San San rapidly listing all the potential accidents Star Tours is not liable for, for over 10 seconds.
    Aly: Star Tours is-not-responsible-for-lost-or-destroyed-luggage-flights-disrupted-or-disturbed-by-Imperial-entanglements-meteor-showers-asteroid-belts-or-black-holes. Places-and-tours-may-vary; hyperspace-travel-and-cam-droids-not-available-on-all-flights. Routes-are-subject-to-change-without-notice. Have a nice flight!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the real world, cast members began advising travelers on "galactic regulations" requiring face masks on Star Tours flights, warning them that stormtroopers may intervene if said regulations are not met.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: If Poe Dameron is the one to contact Star Tours via hologram, he'll ask "Star Tours, what are you doing here?" C-3PO is about to explain, when Poe cuts him off with "Rhetorical question!"
  • Running Gag: After escaping from the space port, C-3PO cries "I have a very bad feeling about this!"
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the pre-flight film, a trio of pit droids try to clean the Starspeeder's windshield, failing unsuccessfully with a ladder and getting into fights. A passing crew member then demonstrates he can just wirelessly activate the windshield wipers. The furious pit droids promptly berate each other and storm off in a huff.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stock Footage: Most of the promos in the queue advertising planets to be visited use footage from the movies with the main characters edited out.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: If you get the Vader opening and the Geonosis/Death Star ending, Darth Vader and Boba Fett confront you at both the beginning and towards the end of the ride, which means they personally took off after the Starspeeder in their own starfighters to pursue the Rebel spy across the galaxy.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: If you get contacted by Poe Dameron as your mid-flight contact, this may be his response to Threepio asking if this secret mission is sanctioned by Resistance command.
  • Tempting Fate: During the pre-flight film, as the Starspeeder 1000 is lifted to the takeoff pad, a mouse droid falls into the chasm below. Its astromech droid friend gazes down to see if it survived. Fortunately, he doesn't fall in too.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Before it opened, Disney released a teaser promising three new destinations: Bespin, Moon of Endor, and Alderaan. The footage was existing footage from the films overlaid with a Starspeeder. None of the destinations ended up in the ride.
  • Updated Re-release: What this is to the original version of the ride. Additionally, in 2015, new content from The Force Awakens was added onto the ride (in addition to a handful of tweaks to the existing footage), making Jakku one of the possible destinations and making BB-8 one of the possible messengers. A 2017 update for the ride introduces a Crait sequence in order to promote The Last Jedi; this sequence ends on Batuu, the setting for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, which opened in 2019. Lastly, the update tying in with The Rise of Skywalker added Lando as a Resistance contact and sequences on Kef Bir's Death Star wreckage and the final battle at Exegol.


Video Example(s):


Star Tours Boarding Video

The safety video for the original "Star Tours" ride is done as an in-universe flight safety video, with cameos from different aliens in the Star Wars universe.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / NoTalkingOrPhonesWarning

Media sources: