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
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:
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!