Years before The Walt Disney Company officially purchased Lucasfilm, Ltd. from George Lucas in 2012, the Star Wars franchise had a presence at Disney Parks.
As the Disneyland website notes:
On January 9, 1987, George Lucas and Walt Disney Imagineering brought the Star Wars galaxy to life at Disneyland Park. The original Star Tours attraction blasted off to Endor. Other destinations—plus digital 3D technology—were added in 2011.
The experience has been updated with new worlds and characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The attraction now features state-of-the-art technology—including a flight simulator, digital 3D video, Audio-Animatronics characters and “in-cockpit” special effects and music.
Walt Disney World Resort also welcomed Star Tours – The Adventures Continue on May 20, 2011 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park.
While most Star Wars fans who enjoy visiting Disney theme parks have ridden Star Tours at least once, what many Disney Parks Guests don’t know is that George Lucas himself actually influenced one of the ride’s most memorable moments!
The new Disney+ Original series Behind the Attraction shared new details about Star Tours, noting that the idea of “casting” a Guest as a “Rebel Spy” as part of the attraction’s introduction was actually George Lucas’s idea!
“George wanted us to have a spy in the audience,” Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald said.
He continued, “What if, actually, we could take a picture of someone in the cabin and put it up on screen and really let a Guest see themselves as a rebel spy?”
The concept behind this particular attraction is that Imperial forces stop the transport vehicle Guests are riding on during the Empire’s search for a Rebel spy. When the Galactic Empire shows up, they point a scanning device at the crowd, then project an image of one Guest on a screen.
Next time you ride Star Tours, remember that the Star Wars creator himself played a major role in making the ride what it is today.
The Behind the Attraction series, hosted by Dwayne Johnson/The Rock (Jungle Cruise, Moana), on Disney+ takes Disney Parks fans behind the scenes of many popular rides and attractions, including the Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Space Mountain, the Hall of Presidents, and both castles — Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort and Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
Discover more about all of your favorite rides when you watch Behind the Attraction streaming on Disney+ now.
More on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The Disney World website officially describes Star Tours as:
Explore a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Board your Starspeeder 1000 and prepare for take off! When a series of mishaps unwittingly causes your starship to launch too soon, protocol droid C-3PO takes the controls.
Suddenly, the ship is intercepted by Imperial—or First Order—forces searching for a Rebel spy. To avoid capture, you’ll embark on a thrilling, unpredictable flight that rockets you to the farthest reaches of the galaxy.
Featuring a flight simulator, digital 3D video, Audio-Animatronics characters and “in-cockpit” special effects and music, this attraction immerses you in the Star Wars mythology for an unforgettable intergalactic adventure.
Will your starspeeder elude capture and make it back to the base? May the Force be with you—always.
Featuring Favorite Star Wars Characters
Your adventure may take you face-to-face with First Order villain Kylo Ren, menacing bounty hunter Boba Fett, ace pilot Poe Dameron, Princess Leia or Jedi Master Yoda—plus many more.
Always a New Adventure
Find yourself in a unique story again and again—including one inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Anytime you ride, you might fly into the middle of a furious battle on Crait, dodge blaster fire from TIE fighters on Jakku, swoop into the dreaded Death Star or dive deep under the oceans of Naboo.
Plus, to celebrate Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Tours now features an all-new destination from the movie—the ocean moon of Kef Bir.”
Because the many story twists are random, you never know where you’ll go or who you may encounter along the way!
Did you know George Lucas helped Imagineers with Star Tours?