Live Active Cultures
Out of the way! Seth Kubersky has a Starspeeder to catch
Published: June 2, 2011
Finally it was time for our intergalactic flight. Winding past the arboreal Endor village into the queue, you'll find the attraction interior much the same, but since this is a "prequel" to the original experience, set shortly before Episode IV: A New Hope, the animatronic C-3P0 and R2-D2 droids look spiffed up instead of battle-scarred. After passing through a TSA-skewering security checkpoint (check out the baggage scanner for hidden in-jokes), you'll grab a pair of 3-D "flight glasses" and board your simulator. Unfortunately, you probably won't witness a standoff between Boba Fett and Greedo in the boarding area, nor ride sitting with the Rodian bounty hunter, like we did.
I don't want to spoil all the surprises, but suffice it to say that the rehab has returned the aging Star Tours to must-see status.Your four-and-a-half-minute voyage features rapid-fire cameos from many favorite Star Wars heroes and villains depicted in the sharpest 3-D I've ever experienced. Thanks to randomized programming, there are 54 possible adventures (generated from 11 unique ride elements) to experience: In one trip you might encounter Darth Vader and Princess Leia while exploring Hoth and Naboo; the next time you could see Han Solo and Admiral Ackbar on a flight to Tatooine and Coruscant. Best of all, the new ride is far less jerky and nauseating than before - sit in the center of row 3 for the smoothest ride, or in the back corner if you like it rough.
As for Chewie, we finally found him at about 2 a.m. Even though his photo-op wrangler was calling it quits, when the Wookiee spotted my wife in her vintage Chewbacca T-shirt, he made a break for her, delivering a sweat-soaked bear hug. Maybe we didn't bump into George Lucas that night - he was there for the next morning's media event - but meeting that famous fuzzball made me a hero of the rebellion in my wife's eyes. May the Force be with you, too.
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