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During pre-production, one of the locations that Imagineers wanted guests to visit was the ice planet of Hoth while it was under siege by Imperial walkers. However, the idea was quickly scrapped because it would interfere with the attraction's placement in the Star Wars timeline. According to Imagineer Jason Surrell, after the Hoth battle idea was replaced with an encounter with the planet's native fauna (e.g. tauntauns and wampas), the concept was presented to George Lucas. Lucas, although liking the idea, requested that the battle scene be used instead, even if it meant disrupting the series' canon. Lucas offered the possibility that there was perhaps an earlier scuffle between Rebel and Imperial forces on the planet before the events in Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back unfolded and that they "later decided to build a base there figuring the Empire wouldn't think the rebels would return to that same location." The Kashyyyk sequence was suggested by John Lasseter.Industrial Light & Magic was responsible for the extensive computer-generated imagery seen throughout the attraction.
In May 2010, Disney announced exact dates for the closure of Star Tours at both parks, both earlier than the originally announced October 2010 date. Star Tours closed on July 27 at Disneyland and on September 7 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
On June 11, 2010, at the "What's Next?" presentation, Disney announced that the re-imagined attraction would take place between episodes III and IV of the Star Wars film series and would be named Star Tours - The Adventures Continue. They also premiered an image showcasing the StarSpeeder 1000 flying through Coruscant.
By September 24, two new characters were revealed for Star Tours - The Adventures Continue. The first one was Ace, the new pilot, and the second one was the Aly San San spokesdroid, voiced by Allison Janney. During D23's "Destination D" event, Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis stated that the new ride would feature 54 possible different experiences.
On October 26, Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP and Senior Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, stated that while "Ace" was supposed to be the pilot of the Starspeeder 1000s, by the time riders actually take off, the pilot would be C-3PO. Fitzgerald also mentioned that Captain Rex, the former Star Tours pilot (but within the series' timeline, the future pilot), would also make an appearance somewhere on the new version of the attraction.Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in all the Star Wars films, returned to portray the character in three mediums; live-action suit, motion capture and Audio-animatronic voice.
The attraction in Florida began soft openings on May 14, with the official opening at midnight on May 20, 2011. The attraction in Anaheim began soft openings on May 20, with the official opening in the morning of June 3, 2011.Tokyo Disneyland's Star Tours attraction closed on April 2, 2012, and reopened as the revamped attraction on May 7, 2013.Disneyland Paris' Star Tours attraction was the final incarnation to change; it closed on March 16, 2016, and reopened as The Adventures Continue on March 26, 2017.
The exteriors of all four Star Tours attractions are different in their respective parks. The attraction in Florida is inspired by an Ewok village on the forest moon of Endor, whereas the California, Japan, and France versions are modeled after a Tomorrowland-esque space port.
According to the opening crawl that preceded the attraction's inaugural opening; after the Dark Times began feature high speed drops, Captain Antilles had dispatched C-3PO and R2-D2, the series' protagonist droids who were placed in the custody of Antilles by order of Bail Organa near the end of Revenge of the Sith, to assist in the inauguration of the spaceline. The seemingly close relationship between the Rebel Alliance and the Star Tours agency, caused the Galactic Empire to believe that both entities were in a partnership, and thus has monitored the agency's actions over the years.
Similar to the functionality of the previous Star Tours attraction, The Adventures Continue places guests in the role of space tourists en route to a predetermined destination. The queue is designed to resemble a spaceport terminal: posters advertise voyages to different planets, and a large LCD screen informs riders of flight statuses, planetary weather forecasts, and advertisements promoting the benefits of booking flights with Star Tours. The screen displays information in spoken basic language and Aurebesh. The queue is populated with Audio-Animatronic characters, including C-3PO, R2-D2, and two Mon Calamari officers, that interact with one another and to guests. Entering the cargo bay, Captain Rex from the original attraction can be found, who in accordance with the timeline has not been used yet, and is therefore being sent back to a factory as defective. He occasionally has a power surge and delivers a line from the original attraction. Two G2 droids interact with guests as they conduct their tasks. The more outspoken droid processing the passengers' luggage on a scanning system reveals the luggages' contents to the guests waiting in the queue. Many references, gags, and in-jokes relating to Star Wars, Disney and Pixar films are made via the contents of this luggage. Guests then retrieve their 3-D "flight glasses" and are directed by a flight agent to one of several concourses where they wait to board.
Television monitors show C-3PO, who has been assigned to maintenance on the StarSpeeder that guests are about to board, is inadvertently trapped in the cockpit. Following this, Aly San San presents an instruction video (reminiscent of the original) to the guests on how to fasten their seat belts and where to place their belongings followed by the Disney Parks daily safety spiel in English and Spanish. The announcement is made in Japanese and English with Chinese subtitles in Tokyo Disneyland, and in English and French in Disneyland Paris. Once the doors to the Starspeeder 1000 open, guests enter one of several ride simulators. After the doors close, C-3PO complains to R2-D2 about the misunderstanding, but is ignored when the StarSpeeder begins to take flight with C-3PO in it.
Attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Attraction at Disneyland
The ride sequence is randomized; guests riding Star Tours will experience four out of the eighteen different segments during each journey. This gives Star Tours the advantage of being both highly repeatable and constantly surprising. Even though guests can experience different journeys, the main priority is always delivering a Rebel spy to safety. The Rebel spy is chosen from among the guests onboard and their photo is displayed to the riders.
There are eighteen random segments of the film (four opening segments, five primary destination segments, seven hologram message segments, and five ending destination segments). When combined, they allow 384 different possible ride experiences.
The Starspeeder 1000 takes off, although C-3PO protests he is not the captain. As the Starspeeder 1000 is about to leave the Star Tours terminal:
Darth Vader, ImperialStormtroopers, and Jumptroopers (this segment offers a random variant in which Boba Fett is among the group) arrive to arrest the Rebel spy aboard the Starspeeder 1000. Vader uses a Force-grip to keep the Starspeeder 1000 from escaping. The Starspeeder 1000 fires its lasers at the Sith Lord, who deflects them with his lightsaber, allowing the shuttle to make a rapid exit backwards out of the hangar, with the Imperial TIE fighters chasing after it. The Starspeeder then makes the jump to lightspeed.
An Imperial probe droid attaches to the windshield and detects the presence of the Rebel spy on board the Starspeeder 1000. At the same moment, Han Solo, facing detention by the Empire, opens fire on a platoon of Stormtroopers and races up the boarding ramp of the Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon takes off and launches out of the hangar with the Starspeeder 1000 in hot pursuit. After a few maneuvers, the Millennium Falcon jumps away, and the Starspeeder 1000 shoots down a couple of TIE fighters, takes a few shots at a Star Destroyer, causing severe damage to the bridge, then jumps to lightspeed, despite C-3PO's protests.
Segment 2 is repeated with a First Order probe droid and Rey in Han Solo's place against the First Order.
After jumping to lightspeed, the Starspeeder arrives at its primary destination:
The Starspeeder 1000 almost crash lands on Hoth amid a battle between the Rebels' snowspeeders and Imperial AT-ATs. After entering the combat zone against orders, an AT-AT fires at the Starspeeder, and the ship crashes in the snow, teetering on the edge of a cliff. The ship falls over the side and rides through the canyon like a luge, launching off another cliff and free-falling into a deep canyon. At the last second, R2-D2 re-engages the engines and the Starspeeder rockets back into space.
The Starspeeder 1000 reaches Tatooine and takes part in the Boonta Eve ClassicPodrace, along with Sebulba and other Podracer pilots Teemto Pagalies, Ratts Tyerell, Gasgano, Ebe Endocott and Mars Guo. Ratts Tyerell crashes into the canyonwall, causing the Starspeeder 1000 to collide with Teemto Pagalies's Podracer, which gives the Starspeeder 1000 twice the power. Sebulba throws a tool at the Starspeeder 1000's windshield and the race concludes with the enhanced Starspeeder 1000 overtaking Sebulba for 1st place, crossing the finish line and jettisoning the Podracer before flying back into space, narrowly missing the crowd.
The Starspeeder 1000 lands on Kashyyyk, as Scout Troopers riding on speeder bikes chase Chewbacca and a Wookiee warrior on an ornithopter through the lush forest and the Scout Trooper is getting hit by a tree branch and the Wilhelm scream can be heard. At one point, Chewbacca falls off from the back of his vehicle and hits the Starspeeder's windshield. The Starspeeder 1000 flies through the Wookiee villages on top of the lush forest trees and passes the flying Kashyyyk blue bird creature. A Wookiee warrior swings on the vines while doing the Tarzan yell through the villages. The Starspeeder 1000 passes through the forest tree branches before sliding off into space.
The Starspeeder 1000 arrives on Jakku, where it follows the Millennium Falcon (piloted by Finn) as it is pursued by First Order TIE fighters over the desert landscape. The Millennium Falcon shoots the Starspeeder 1000 with its turret, causing the Starspeeder to crash-land in the remains of a destroyed Star Destroyer, where scavengers pry the Star Tours logo off the Starspeeder. The Starspeeder finds a way out and takes off into space.
The Starspeeder 1000 arrives in the Endor system and incurs a water landing on Kef Bir, riding the turbulent surf into the wreckage of the second Death Star. After a brief entanglement with a Dianoga, the Starspeeder manages to escape into space.
Despite C-3PO's protests, R2-D2 takes the speeder to the location's coordinates:
The Starspeeder 1000 arrives in the upper atmosphere during the battle of Coruscant, where the last forces of the CIS are piloting droid tri-fighters while vulture droids battle the Republic Army's Clone troopersARC-170 starfighters. Buzz droids from the vulture droid's missile are projected at the Starspeeder 1000, which attach themselves to the windshield. R2-D2 uses an electric shock to blast them off, but some of the buzz droids have already caused severe damage to the stabilizers. The powerless Starspeeder 1000 then plummets through the planet's atmosphere and into the bustling sky traffic of the city planet. After several near misses, the Starspeeder 1000 careens to a halt on a landing platform, nearly hitting a fuel tanker before crashing into a traffic control droid.
The Starspeeder 1000 arrives during battle of Naboo. Naboo is under attack by the last Trade Federation control ship armies. Three N-1 Naboo starfighters are ordered to lead the Starspeeder 1000 into a hangar bay, but are shot down by vulture droids. Another vulture droid shoots down the Starspeeder 1000, causing it to plummet into the ocean. The Starspeeder then arrives near Otoh Gunga, sideswiping or smashing into Jar Jar Binks. After the Gungans order the Starspeeder 1000 to follow the Gungan Bongo that will lead it through the planet's core, an opee sea killer attacks the guide, but not before being eaten by a sando aqua monster. A colo claw fish then tries to eat the Starspeeder 1000, but R2-D2 blasts it with an electric shock. The Starspeeder 1000 then surfaces, skipping off the water and into a hangar filled with Starfighter debris. The Starspeeder 1000 smashes into the tail of a Naboo starfighter, either shattering the windshield and angering the pit droid that falls into the cockpit, or merely breaking the tail of the starfighter, angering the pit droid, who then throws gold paint at the Starspeeder 1000 and storms off.
The Starspeeder 1000 discovers the still-uncompleted Death Star orbiting Geonosis. Ambushed in the asteroid field by Boba Fett aboard Slave I, the Starspeeder 1000 dodges laser fire and exploding asteroids before venturing into the Death Star. Escaping through a hangar bay, the Starspeeder 1000 is confronted again by the bounty hunter. Fett launches a sonic bomb, which is deflected back by a laser blast from the Starspeeder 1000. The explosion cripples the bounty hunter, allowing the Starspeeder 1000 to jump to lightspeed. It reaches the Rebel fleet, and lands aboard a Mon Calamari cruiser, where Rebel Alliance leaders await to offer congratulations.
The Starspeeder 1000 arrives on Crait and gets chased by First Order TIE fighters before descending into the planet's crystal mines. Escaping the mines from the First Order TIE fighters, the Starspeeder flies over the salt flats, joining Resistance forces in an attack on the First Order. The Starspeeder 1000 is instructed by Poe Dameron to assist the Resistance in their siege against the First Order, led by General Hux's forces. A speeder passes in front of the Starspeeder 1000 which causes the windshield to be covered in red salt before R2-D2 wipes it clean. General Hux questions Star Tours' presence and instructs his fleet to destroy the ship. The Starspeeder 1000 proceeds to destroy a First Order AT-AT before escaping into space. The Starspeeder makes the jump to lightspeed and arrives on Batuu, touching down safely on the remote planet.
With Lando's recruitment, the Starspeeder 1000 arrives on Exegol to assist the Resistance in confronting Palpatine's Final Order armada. Led by General Dameron, the Starspeeder engages in battle, successfully assisting in defeating the enemy forces. The Starspeeder makes the jump to lightspeed, returning safely to the Star Tours terminal.
C-3PO thanks the guests for choosing Star Tours as their space-line of choice and are then given disembarking instructions by Aly San San.
John Williams, who composed the music for all the main Star Wars saga films, approached Walt Disney Imagineering about writing the music for the attraction. After evaluating the storyboards the ride sequences, Williams determined that a newly written musical score was unnecessary. Instead, Williams suggested that the on-ride music should be the original cues from the films, along with unused passages from the film scores that he and his music editor found.Michael Giacchino provided additional arrangements of various Star Wars themes for use in the commercials and pre-show videos in the attraction. Also, the signature Star Tours logo chimes, composed by Richard Bellis, remained in the attraction.