Celebration V: Last Tour to Endor

Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios created a fantastic evening with their Last Tour to Endor party, commemorating the last day of the Star Tours attraction. Fans were treated to their final rides on the Starspeeder 3000 before it closed for a revamp as well as some unique other experiences.

The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular hosted a one-night-only special mashup show called “Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom” where two fan film makers combine Indiana Jones and Star Wars in making the ultimate fan film. Special cameo performances were made in the three shows by such stars as Seth Green, Mark Hamill, Warwick Davis, Anthony Daniels, Jaime King, and Jeremy Bulloch. George Lucas attended the second show, where Seth Green announced that Anthony Daniels would be voice acting in the third Robot Chicken Star Wars special.

Also brought out was some shows from Star Wars weekends: the Jedi Academy training and the Star Wars dance contest. The evening was capped off by a supremely awesome fireworks show set to Star Wars music. “Duel of the Fates” and the assault on the Death Star were my favorites.

Today in Celebration V: Ralph revealed, Last Tour detailed

The ‘lost’ Star Wars artwork of Ralph McQuarrie will be on display at Celebration. The pieces – discovered due to a furnace repair too late to make The Art of Ralph McQuarrie – include “design work on characters, creatures, spacecraft, weapons and worlds.”

New Star Tours to feature 3-D and podracing in 2011

So I guess the only question I have is… Why didn’t they do this back in 2001?!? (Waiting on better 3-D? Possible competition from Universal’s upcoming Harry Potter project?)

The DisneylandNews Twitter says: “Disney Parks is going to do things with “Star Tours” that have never been done before in theme park attractions.” I’m also hearing on Twitter that it won’t JUST be pod racing, but not from any of the official sources yet. The OC Register blog is now reporting:

In a press conference after the presentation, Rasulo said new destinations, like the one shown, would be part of the new Star Tours. Rasulo said the ride would undergo physical changes, but the simulator carriages would remain. Riders will don 3D glasses for the new experience.

ETA: More on StarWars.com and video of the presentation.

A Star Tours 2.0 announcement in September?

That’s what TFN is speculating, based on word that costumed Star Wars fans and “Imperial dignitaries” will be in attendance at Disney’s D23 Expo next month. (Disney World Star Tours photo by Michael Sauers.)

And while I’m not sure I want to face the possibility, we have heard Orlando (aka ground zero for Disney World) brought up in the list of sites that were being considered for C5. Not that I’m encouraging anyone to get their hopes up (again,) but you never know… (SERIOUSLY: Do not count on it. I’m just grasping at straws here.)

ETA: Evidence!

Lucasfilm shooting new Star Tours footage

Star Tours at night by Loren Javier @ FlickrSo sayeth /Film, anyway. We’ve heard a rumor or two hinting at that in the past year or so, and it could certainly use the refresher. Some details:

Our source reveals that the revamp will incorporate prequel characters (like Naboo citizens and Geonosians) along with many aliens from the original trilogy (Aqualish. Bith, Rodians, etc). In the action sequence, the Star Tours vehicle is now going to be chased by Boba Fett. C3PO and R2-D2 are still the hosts, and Anthony Daniels will be recording his parts this week. Admiral Ackbar holographically communicates with the Star Tours vehicle. Right now they’re shooting mostly green screen footage, as it is the middle part of the production timeline.

..Yay? (Star Tours at night photo by Loren Javier @ Flickr.)

Rumor: Disney testing new Star Tours?

Star ToursThe Disney-watchers at Mice Age have gathered up some of the more recent rumors:

Anthony Daniels made unofficial mention in an interview of doing work for this attraction, to open in 2009, so it seems all but certain. Certain members of ILM have also mentioned their participation. Polarized glasses will be used for a 3-D effect, and some rumors call for three Audio-Animatronics figures. Apparently, the closed Body Wars attraction, where the simulators are identical, has been used for some time to create, test, and adjust the synchronized movement of the cabin to the movie.