It will be a day long remembered. Two Jedi fought their way through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, battling laser-blasting Stormtroopers, and ultimately confronting Darth Vader on stage to help open the updated version of Disney’s Star Tours ride. Those two Jedi were revealed to be none other than Star Wars creator George Lucas and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, who joined other celebrities and plenty of characters in welcoming fans to the new version of the popular attraction.
Watch the full grand opening dedication ceremony for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue:
The grand opening of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue began like any Star Wars film with John Williams’ rousing anthem backing a new scroll calling the new story Episode III.V of the Saga.
A character processional then kicked off the festivities, packed with Star Wars favorites including Boba Fett, Ewoks, Chewbacca, and many more. After gathering on stage to commemorate the launch of Star Tours (the new ride’s story is a prequel to the original), the story began as Lord Vader emerged to put a stop to it all, deciding that touring travelers through his Imperial-policed galaxies was a bad idea.
Vader placed a force field around the Star Tours entrance, preventing anyone from entering. But it was Jedi Lucas and Jedi Iger who ultimately commanded R2-D2 to blast that force field away, utilizing a giant cannon on stage.
It was a highlight of the event as moments after the initial shots rang out an explosion was seen and most certainly heard from the Star Tours area halfway across the park.
In the end, Darth Vader learned that Disneyland plans to open their new version of Star Tours in California on June 3, 2011, to which he swore that his fight was not over. It sounds like we’ll see part two of this story unfold at the second Star Tours grand opening in two weeks.
It was an exciting dedication ceremony for an equally exciting upgrade to Star Tours, which has run in the same form since the late ’80s. Now guests will fly to
Immediately following the opening ceremony, George Lucas and Bob Iger led a processional of Star Wars characters and celebrities through Disney’s Hollywood Studios, waving to excited and screaming fans along the way. And despite the menacing rows of Stormtroopers, we secured a perfect spot to see it happen.
Watch the Star Tours processional from its grand opening:
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is now officially open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, taking passengers on a journey to destinations in the Star Wars universe never before reached. Each ride aboard the attraction is different. With 11 different possible scenes resulting in 54 combinations, it’s likely that no ride will ever be quite the same. And… now it’s in crisp and clear 3D.
For more about the experience of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, read our spoiler-free review. Or if you want to see even more from the attraction, watch our full video tour of the queue and on the ride and read our spoiler-filled review.
More photos from the Star Tours 2 grand opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: