In 1987, the original version of Star Tours opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The motion simulator ride based on the Star Wars franchise featured Captain Rex, a droid that attempted to fly guests to the planet Endor.
In 2011, Disney debuted an updated version of this ride: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. The new ride uses advanced 3D technology, randomly chosen alternate scenes, and frequent updates with new characters and locations as new Star Wars films come out.
- A video screen displays advertisements from across the galaxy in the first queue room. One of these ads is for ILM: Interstellar Lightspeed Manufacturing. ILM is a nod to Industrial Light and Magic, a company formed by George Lucas to create the unique special effects for Star Wars. ILM has gone on to become a leader in the industry and is now owned by Disney. This hidden detail is exclusive to Star Tours Tokyo.
- Captain Rex can still be found in the new version, this time labeled as HHG-RX. The droid is in the queue hitchhiking with two other droids, a tribute to the infamous Hitchhiking ghosts of the Haunted Mansion.
- The droid found during the boarding pre-show is Aly San San. She is inspired by Attack of the Clones‘ waitress droid, WA-7. In the US versions of the ride, this character is voiced by actress Allison Janney which has a “glitch” to provide safety information in Spanish. In this version of the ride, the droid is voiced by a Japanese actress with her “glitch” being part of Janney’s English spiel. You may recognize Janney as the voice of Peach in Pixar’s Finding Nemo (2003) as well as Doofenshmirtz’s ex-wife Charlene in Disney’s Phineas and Ferb.
- The ride doesn’t have an original score, but rather a compilation of music from the Star Wars films by John Williams. Composer Richard Bellis was in charge of arranging and orchestrating the melody including some original elements such as the infamous chime. Bellis played a similar role in Disneyland’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of The Forbidden Eye as well as a number of original projects for Disney including The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and Dinosaur.
- One of the sequences takes riders to Crait, the mineral planet seen during Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017). Crait was inspired by and filmed on Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flat. The portions used during the ride are likely to be completely CGI.
- Another sequence takes riders to Hoth, the ice planet seen during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Hoth’s battle scenes were filmed on and near Norway’s Hardangerjøkulen (Hardanger Glacier), although the ride footage appears to all be CGI.
Be sure to take a look at the other versions of Star Tours on our site:
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Disneyland Park)
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Disneyland Paris)
Official Information: TokyoDisneyland.jp