Last week a flurry of speculation erupted across the Internet about the placement of the "Star Wars" franchise within the Disney theme parks, citing recent Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments about waiting for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" to be finalized before progressing on theme park plans. This, of course, meant countless pieces about how the "Star Wars" theme park additions would be based on the new movies and not the classic films, even though anyone, with a passing understanding of the nuances of human language, could have told you that the theme park stuff will be based on both. Meaning that you will be able to drink blue milk at the Mos Eisley Cantina and interact with BB-88, the cute soccer ball droid from the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer. But wait! There's more! A classic Disney ride might get a "Force Awakens" redo as well...
According to The Star Wars Underground, the first bit of new "Star Wars" material in the theme parks will be a redo of Star Tours, the "Star Wars"-based motion simulator that recently got an overhaul to include new effects, 3D digital projection, and a "branching" storyline that allows visitors to go to new planets (in a seemingly endless series of combinations). "Before you see all of these new rides, the first sequel-era thing you will see at the Disney parks is an update to Star Tours. They're going to be adding at least one new mission to Star Tours that ties in directly to 'Episode VII.' We don't know when they're going to be adding this..." the site says.
Now, for big Star Tours nerds out there (myself included), this is kind of interesting because the new Star Tours is actually a "prequel" to the original ride, taking place in between the events of the prequels and the original trilogy (hence the fact that you go to Endor and pod race), so adding in things that take place 30 years after "Return of the Jedi" could certainly mess with the timeline... Oh who cares?! This is impossibly cool news, and if you know anything about the way that Disney distributes money, the theme parks (California's Disneyland and the soon-to-be-renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida) can actually get a certain amount of money from the Disney Studios to pay for in-park attractions, like character meet-and-greets... or a slight redo to a preexisting ride.
Look for more announcements about all things "Star Wars"-in-the-parks in the next few months, considering the annual Star Wars Celebration will be held in Anaheim this spring, followed by San Diego Comic Con in July and, of course, the Disney fan event D23 later that same summer. Whew. Get ready Jedis!