When Disney announced they would be expanding the Star Wars imprint in their parks with the opening of themed lands that would come to be known as Galaxy’s Edge, one of my first thoughts was about Star Tours. The Disney Parks attraction was nearly the company’s first theme park collaboration with George Lucas (the first being Captain EO in 1986), and selfishly, Star Tours was my first exposure to Star Wars.
The ride first opened in Disneyland in 1987 and was updated with a new story after a few decades in operation and became Star Tours – The Adventures Continue in 2011. The makeover updated the single narrative of the motion simulator ride and added in an array of destinations with different introductions, mid-flight messages, and endings for hundreds of possible combinations–including relatively new destinations including The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and even Galaxy’s Edge. And happily, Star Tours won’t be going anywhere or changing when the new Star Wars land opens. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and both destinations have Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. The attraction jumps around places like Hoth, Naboo, and Tatooine (the destinations are variable) in a Starspeeder 1000 piloted by C-3PO with support from R2-D2. With Galaxy’s Edge being a completely immersive, in-universe experience, I wasn’t sure if Star Tours would exist outside it. But Disney Parks publicists confirmed Star Tours is not closing or changing–at least not for now. The Batuu variable ending that takes place after going to The Last Jedi’s Crait will remain in the rotation of destinations, but no other additions will be made. We don’t know yet how the stories of Star Tours and Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost will connect.
Of course, there is one connection already between Star Tours and Galaxy’s Edge. RX-24, the droid who piloted Star Tours before C-3PO took over, has found a new line of work; he’ll be spinning the Star Wars version of pop music as DJ R-3X at Oga’s Cantina in Black Spire Outpost.
Images: Disney Parks, Lucasfilm
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.