Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance immerses adventurers in the Star Wars galaxy so completely and believably that you really do feel like you’re in the middle of your own Star Wars story. This is achieved through insane levels of detail starting from the moment you transition into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge through to the encounters with cast members each of whom has their own role to play as members of the Resistance, citizens of Black Spire Outpost, or members of the first order.
I have been able to get a few rides in thanks to the media preview day. Thanks to Disney’s on-ride camera equipment, I have exclusive footage of my 4th ride. The ride included a unscheduled pause, so please excuse my somewhat disinterested gaze during portions of this video. I promise I wasn’t bored, I was just really focused on picking up little details I may have missed on previous rides.
For those worried about spoilers, there are a few light spoilers, but Disney’s editting of the video keeps most of the big reveals either off-screen or not in the video at all.
As you can see, Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm have built in nearly all the learning of the last 65 years of theme park storytelling into the attraction. The result is an attraction that combines of stage craft, modern movie making techniques, and some of the most advanced theme park attraction technology ever used.
To be clear Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (ROTR) is a leap-forward in technology and storytelling. It is also closely tied to the tradition of classic Disney attractions.
Unlike Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, where guests are given limited agency to affect the success or failure of their own Star Wars adventure, in Rise of the Resistance you are more of an observer in a larger story. In this way ROTR comes closer to a modern day Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion, where you are sent through a series of scenes, instead of the rest of the land which puts you in the center of your own Star Wars story, not just along for the ride.
This is not a criticism, just an observation. For me, it did make ROTR feel outside the storytelling of the rest of Galaxy’s Edge which is all about having the agency to have your own Star Wars adventure. It is still an amazing attraction and by far the most ‘Star Wars’ of any experience you can currently have at Walt Disney World.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is open now at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and will open on January 17, 2020 at Disneyland.
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