The next incarnation of the “Star Tours” attraction at Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studio theme park in Florida will not only include a jaunt to Tatooine, as previously announced, but will also take galactic travelers to the political center of the galaxy: Coruscant.
The official Star Wars website confirmed the new destination this week. Last fall Disney announced – after years of rumors — its plans for updating the 23-year-old spaceflight simulator, closing it this summer for a grand re-opening in 2011. A teaser video featured a breakneck podrace through the canyons of Tatooine, right out of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. 3-D glasses will be added, and the attraction’s motion controls will be vastly modernized.
Coruscant was conceived long ago for the original “Star Wars” trilogy by creator George Lucas, but never made it past the early scripts. It first appeared on screen in the prequels, but made its official debut and was named in a trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn that helped build excitement for the prequels in the early 1990s: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.
The original “Star Tours” ride involves a trip to Endor that gets derailed by a disastrous droid pilot who flies right into a battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. The iconic g olden protocol droid C-3PO appears both as an animatronic figure in the attraction’s line and in videotaped messages to “passengers,” and will do so again, as actor Anthony Daniels confirmed to me last year.