Okay, so being a fan of both the Star Wars franchise and Disneyland, it was really only a matter of time before I made a little write-up about the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland (and Walt Disney World).
Apart from griping about the fact that some permutations of the ride experience involve elements from the godforsaken prequel films, Star Tours is just as campy and silly as the original ride. Disney Imagineers did a fantastic job of updating the entire experience for a new generation of fans. The queueing area feels more like a “legitimate” spaceport and less like some Quonset hut in a backwater rim world–this I’m not sure how I feel about. The original Star Tours had the same kind of feel as the original trilogy films: low-tech, analog, hastily constructed, and ad hoc. Now, the whole scene seems more elegant: Solari boards are replaced with high-resolution LCD displays, maintenance droids are replaced with security officer droids (albeit with similar whimsical attitudes about their jobs), and there’s no more People Mover running through the station.
Whether or not I appreciate the “upgrades,” I love the attention to detail and subtle nods to the original attraction. Oh, and the fact that Patrick Warburton voices one of the afore-mentioned security droids. In all, it’s definitely worth the trip to the park if you haven’t ridden it yet.
After a little searching, I happened to find a copy of the original video feed from the ride. Rex (the original pilot droid, voiced by the incomparable Paul Rubens) does not appear in the footage as it is the actual screen projection (probably recorded on VHS considering the tracking issue), but all the music, sound effects, and voices remain. The part that I enjoy the most is fact that it was filmed completely with models–not the CGI bullshitery that permeates Hollywood now (and ST:TAC is unfortunately no exception to this rule)–something about it just makes it look that much more real.
I know every Star Wars and music geek out there has probably seen this (and memorised it), but I thought it might be fun to include a little bonus for those of you who read Zen And The Art. Okay, so this a capella “Star Wars” track gained notoriety when Corey Vidal uploaded his split-screen lip-synch video to YouTube. Yeah, it’s a lip-synch. The actual recording is a vocal group out of Provo, Utah called moosebutter [sic], and they’re pretty spectacular. I mean, they’re not Rockapella, but they are pretty fantastic. So go, watch the video, check out the moosebutter website, and oh, what’s this…?
I grew up watching the old Star Trek with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and the rest, so I will always have a love for the series. Some episodes were great, others were mediocre, but everything was a lot of fun! Spin-off series were watchable, but didn’t have the chemistry that TOS did. The movies 2-4 were brilliant, and a couple of the TNG movies were great (Insurrection, First Contact). So, yes, I do like Star Trek, but I’m far from calling myself a “Trekkie.”
Star Wars (4-6, mind you. 1-3, in my opinion, do not exist) was simply magical. It’s not science fiction, it’s a western set in outer space. It’s the hero’s journey, a classic morality epic, and one of the best set of films ever made. Han Solo is brilliant, Leia is hot, and Darth Vader is the embodiment of evil!
That being said, they both have their merits, but they are apples and oranges. I love both, but it just depends on which flavour I’m more in the mood for at the time.