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Star Tours 2.0? Meh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's been over a month since the announcement at the D23 Expo that Star Tours 2.0 will be coming to both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in 2011, and I'm still mulling it over. Will I love this like the new Haunted Mansion, or are we headed for another Journey into Imagination without the freakin' Dreamfinder?

Die-hard Star Tours fans still have plenty of time to get in one last run on their beloved Starspeeder, since Star Tours doesn't close until October of 2010. I have to confess, though, that as nostalgic as I know I'll be once it's gone, I might not ride it again before then anyway, other than perhaps the Fill a Starspeeder 3000 Meet at the WDW Today Reunion in December. I love Paul Reubens, and the guy hiding behind the counter in the final frames still kinda cracks me up, but I've grown weary of the bad edit as you head into the comet field. And, well, there's really only so much Dramamine can do for me. Strangely enough, I think I'm more attached to the ewok village, the queue and the pre-show than I am to the ride itself.

Early rumors are not all bad. I hope it's true that there will be more than one ride movie, and that you won't know which one you're getting until your ride begins. At the very least, it seems certain at this point that there will be multiple locations with quick jumps among them, so at least it's not just the originally-rumored podracing sequence. And I'm of two minds on the 3D aspect, since I know full well that 3D can make a good thing better, but it can also make a bad thing worse.

Unsettling to me, though, is the fact that every source I've read suggests that the new ride film(s) will focus on the three prequels. Surely this must be more cost-effective, given that much of the prequels is already CGI, so they won't need to invent too much from scratch, simply re-animate and re-render for the new context. And it's probably a savvy marketing move, given that the younger crowd may well be more in-tune with the more-recent films. (Younger crowd, I'm completely wiling to be proven wrong here, or at least argued with!)

For the time being, the original Star Tours will remain at both Disneyland Tokyo and Disneyland Paris, which should be some consolation to those who enjoy hearing the narration in Japanese and French and don't mind ponying up some serious change for airfare. I'm assuming, though, that in the longer haul these attractions will also be updated, provided that Star Tours 2.0 receives at least moderate acceptance from Guests. My son, a hardcore Star Wars and Star Tours fan, has already decided that he won't ride Star Tours again until after the upgrade, so that his final original Starspeeder trip will have been in French. (Let's see how well that decision holds up when we're at Walt Disney World next summer, shall we?)

And yes, even after all this mulling I'm still undecided. Which makes sense, really, given that the attraction's nowhere near opening, and all I've got to go on are rumors and innuendo. I'm gonna have to wait and see.