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Fun Find Friday

June 7, 2013

Location: Backlot, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Over three years ago I wrote my first book, From Screen to Theme. It summarized where you could find all the Disney animated film references throughout Walt Disney World. As time has gone by I've had more and more requests about other film references. While there are other books in the works, today, in honor of the final weekend of Star Wars Weekends, I decided we should take a look at where you can find some of your favorite characters from the Star Wars Saga while on Star Tours!

First off, it should be noted that Star Tours takes place between Episodes III and IV. So Luke is still dusting crops, old Ben Kenobi is in hiding, and the majority of the characters from the prequels have passed away. So where does this leave us? Let's start off with our opening.

While on Star Tours guests are given the gift of two possible opening sequences. They are either pursued by Darth Vadar (our obvious character reference here) or escape the clutches of the Empire by following the Millenium Falcon. While all die hard Star Wars fans know who the owner of the Falcon is, Han Solo, most people miss out on his cameo during the attraction. Just as you are being approached by the droid who is looking for the Rebel Spy, take a look at the bottom of the ramp where the Falcon sits. Here you can find none other than Han Solo himself!

After blasting into hyperspace you can come across one of three planets: Kashyyyk, Hoth, or Tatooine. While on Kashyyyk, aka, the Wookie Planet, you will chase some Stormtroopers on Speederbikes. After one of them shoots a Wookie speeder, a Wookie ends up plastered against your screen much like a bug. This is none other than Chewbacca himself! If you end up on Tatooine, you'll find yourself in the middle of a Podrace. During the Podrace you will be passed up by the infamous Sebulba who almost defeated young Anakin in Episode I and who would also go on to make an appearance in Episode III!

After visiting the first planet, guests are greeted by a holographic image of one of three characters: Yoda, Princess Leia, or Admiral Ackbar. While Admiral Ackbar is an obvious choice due to his fight against the Empire, the other two's appearances are somewhat questionable. Leia is most likely already fighting for the cause which would naturally have her asking Star Tours for help, but the question is how far before the events in Episode IV are we? Yoda on the other hand went into hiding at the end of Episode III which would mean  his appearance on the attraction very questionable. Unless he stopped to help the Rebel Alliance before permanently going into hiding on Dagobah, where Luke would eventually find him, his appearance is questionable.

Finally, after exiting Hyperspace after our holographic companions join us you can go to one of three planets: Coruscant, Geonosis, or Naboo. While Coruscant doesn't give us any character sightings, guests can find Boba Fett on the side screen while his ship, Slave I, appears on the main screen. Finally after entering the underwater world of Naboo, C-3PO gets worried that you may hit a poor gungan which is none other than Jar Jar Binks!

To take a look at all these references take a look at the picture below, along with some thoughts to think about next time you go on the ride:

Star Tours Characters from the movies

My big question is, where on earth is Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi? When you look at the list of characters here you will notice that the majority of the main characters from the original Star Wars Trilogy (Episode IV-VI) are here: Leia, Chewbacca, Han, Yoda, Darth Vadar, Boba Fett. I have had a long standing theory that Luke and Obi-Wan may be somewhere off to the side watching the podrace. Due to the fact that Luke had never left Tatooine before Episode IV it would be the only logical place to place him. In addition to that, Obi-Wan was on the planet looking over Luke from afar so it'd make sense he would be there too.

Until next time, May the Force be with you!

 

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