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.