In a 1992 commercial, Disneyland Paris was introduced as “the real land of make believe,” with the promise that from one moment to the next you could either find yourself in a fairytale land or in a galaxy far, far away…
According to George Lucas, Star Wars was imagined as a Disney film from the very start. Therefore, it came as no surprise when he decided to partner with the studio that had sparked his imagination as a child, to bring the Skywalker saga to life at Disney Parks.
“Go strap yourselves in! I’m gonna make the jump to light speed!”
Star Tours was the very first attraction created in partnership with George Lucas. The original idea was to bring guests on an epic journey to the Forest Moon of Endor. The current version – Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (2017) – pushes the storyline even further with a number of destinations inspired by the saga, from Tatooine to Exegol, Naboo, Hoth or Crait.
As the story goes, the Star Tours travel agency was created during the Clone Wars and while the Empire reinforced its domination across the galaxy, a starport was built close to Earth – accessible from Discoveryland. Disneyland Paris guests can travel to each destination in no time, and in the best conditions possible aboard the StarSpeeder 1000 (even if the journey, in such times of interplanetary conflicts, may hold many unforeseen surprises…).
The attraction is filled with references to the movies, especially in the queue line. Passenger Egroeg Sacul, called on the microphone by the hostess, subtly hints at the saga creator’s name spelled backwards. The starport code – THX 1138 – refers to George Lucas’ debut film released in 1971.
Many other references are hidden in the sequence where G2-4T, a distracted repair droid, operates the luggage X-ray security checkpoint, revealing the outfit worn by Sorcerer Mickey in Fantasia (1940), Indiana Jones’ famous hat and whip, the Genie’s lamp from Aladdin(1993), the iconic ball from Luxo Jr. (1986) a variety of toys featured in Toy Story (1995), a suit from The Incredibles (2004), the character WALL-E (2008), and even robots from the 3D film Captain EO which used to be shown at Discoveryland Theater and was produced by none other than….George Lucas! Talk about going full circle!
“He’s got to follow his own path. No one can choose it for him.”
Disneyland Paris offers an immersive Star Wars experience allowing guests to take part in the endless battle between the light side and the dark side of the Force.
Aboard Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, guests are spies from the Rebel Alliance, while on Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain they can choose to answer Admiral Ackbar’s call to join the ranks of the New Republic during the battle of Jakku. As for young Padawans, they followed the teachings of Jedi Masters as part of the Jedi Training Academy, hosted at Videopolis Theater from 2015 to 2017, before being confronted by Darth Vader, who would urge them to surrender to the dark side of the Force.
Guests also have the opportunity to meet the Sith Lord at Starport. During the seasonal Legends of the Force: A Celebration of Star Wars, guests can attempt to become Stormtroopers as Darth Vader, Captain Phasma or Supreme Leader Kylo Ren inspect the troops at Walt Disney Studios Park.
But, don’t worry – even Anakin Skywalker and Kylo Ren eventually made it back from the dark side. As illustrated in Legends of a Galaxy Far, Far Away and Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration – two shows paying homage to the Skywalker saga during Legends of the Force—A Celebration of Star Wars, the light side of the Force shall always prevail!