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Live Active Cultures

Out of the way! Seth Kubersky has a Starspeeder to catch

Photo: , License: N/A, Created: 2011:05:20 01:55:11


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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