Star Tours 2 Coming Soon?

This has been a persistent rumor for a number of years. ILM and Disney Imagineers were collaborating on a new version of Star Tours. In fact back when Star Wars Episode 1 came out the rumors even went so far as to outline leaks of the plot involving pod racers from the Lucasfilm/ILM camp. Now C-3PO, or rather Anthony Daniels the actor who voiced and played C-3PO, has added fuel to the fire claiming that he has already taped new voice tracks for a revamped attraction. The details have been reported to Screamscape by attendees of the recent Star Wars Con in Los Angeles. (Note: Wikipedia reports to have confirmation of this rumor from as far back as 2005)

Excited? I was at first too. But then I remembered that C-3PO is only involved in the queue area of the attraction. So there is a good chance that Daniels was just recording new voice parts for that audio-animatronic.  They may not be redoing the film portion of the attraction.

Star Tours was designed with the idea that the attraction could change over time. Just switch out the film and reprogram the mechanics and voila, a new destination. Alas, the reality that this is 1989 era technology (with one or two upgrades to the computer system (aside: when I toured the backstage area in the mid 90s the safety system was still running on an 8086)). So just switching in a new film is not practical at this point.

Star Tours 2.0 will likely involve the addition of a digital projector instead of the film projector and loop they use now (unless that changed in the last few years). That will result in a much smoother projection and some weight savings. They could possibly use a giant HD screen too, I suppose. The mechanics and programming would have to be upgraded as well. The actually cabins could be reused if they pass stress tests for the new mechanical systems. But that might be too much trouble, so it is possible we’ll get whole new cabins as well. At that point they might just redo the whole loading zone, capacity, and even the theme.

If the rumors I’m hearing are true, look for this all to be announced in the next few months when Disney-MGM Studios starts its shift to Disney-Pixar Studios. Another attraction based on a successful film series that is in the process of adding a new film is also in the mix. Sounds like Bob Iger might have patched things up with George Lucas. Anyone out there able to ask him about the possible shift in the weather?

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10 Responses to Star Tours 2 Coming Soon?

  1. Josh says:

    I wonder how much kids today really like the Star Wars series. We loved it growing up because it was fresh, different, and had a compelling plot. The prequel trilogy didn’t captivate the youth like the original did us. I think imagineering would be smart to come up with something more popular or more original. My 2 cents.

    • Mike D says:

      believe it or not, i was born quite some time after the original trilogy had been out, but i have to admit, nothing comes close to the original. not for me, youd be suprised how many younger people still stick to the older ones. their still out there

    • Brennan says:

      Imagineers would be smart to re-theme it as a WALL•E ride. Instead of that old robot driving the ship, it would be AUTO hanging from the ceiling.

  2. Matt says:

    Think they patch up the relationship while ILM was working on the Pirates movies, maybe?

  3. Biblioadonis says:

    I grew up in the Star Wars era. Of course, both of my boys (8 and 3) love it.

    I manage a public library and we always have younglings (of all ages) coming in to get Star Wars books and check out the films on DVD. When I go to the book store, I am amazed at the number of young Star Wars books–there are several series.

    Star Wars has such a hold on a lot of people–updating it is sorely needed.

  4. Bob says:

    Went to MGM last year (2006) for first time since Star Tours opened back in the 90′s. Although it’s great to have a SW themed ride, it is grossly outdated, embarrassing when you compare it to the Spider-Man ride at Universal. Really hope the rummors are true and they will update Star Tours. They need to update the Indiana Jones attraction as well, maybe bring the IJ ride from California to Florida.

  5. Ezra says:

    Well I think it seems quite exciting!! :)

  6. Pingback: Star Tours 2.0 confirmed (again) | The Disney Blog

  7. Beth says:

    I think that a new Star Tours would be great. As far as the comments about popularity and outdaedness, I think that it’s rediculous to think that today’s youth would not like Star Wars. I mean with the PreQuels out and the fact that people are still buying the toys and the collectibles. I mean go into the toy section of any WalMart or Target and there’s the tale. I think as far as the outdated technology, I think Disney just figured that we yearly visitors were few and far between, and that it would be better to have the ride, then close it. With the addition of the Jedi Academy, and the rumors about the newer version, I think that we will see a great new ride that can hopefully be upkept better. However I will miss Rex…

  8. William L says:

    I’m a yearly visitor to WDW and a HUGE Star Wars fan…I was 28 the first time to WDW and I was thrilled to finally be going on Star Tours after so many years of just reading about it.

    My second year I was noticing the flaws in the film loops and then a few years ago it appeared that Disney upgraded the film prints and delivery system, seemed more crisp and vibrant.

    However, after the advent of CGI and more particularly the Special Editions of SW and the prequels, I could not help of wish that the existing similators could be reprogrammed and refurbished with newer adventures, maybe even RANDOM ones mixed in with a CGI revamp of the original.

    I would LOVE to see this a reality. I hate to disagree with Josh, but having watched two presentations of the Jedi Training Academy now presenting daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on my 2008 visit (September) and all the beaming eyes of the younglings picked to go up on stage to learn and challenge a surprise visitor (Vader) I can attest to the popularity of the Star Wars Franchise amongst the younger generations.

    I also saw several youngsters at the two screenings of The Clone Wars who exhibited all the the excitement before and after the film that I had back in 1977 (running up and down the theatre isles with an invisible lightsaber or blaster in their hands.

    I think a revamped Star Tours ride would please both old fans and new alike…depending upon the quality of the refurbishment it could become the next must see at WDW (see the lineup wait times at Toy Story Mania – 60 min minimums almost all day)

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