Today was the grand opening of the newly revamped Star Tours 3D ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was also the first day of Star Wars Weekends, an annual four week event held at the park. I attended the event and there were several nice Expanded Universe tidbits revealed.
The ride itself delves into the EU, including planets shown in the films but first expanded upon in the EU, such as Kashyyyk (one of the planets I visited on my ride). The ride’s story line surrounds the Star Tours touring company, a venture dedicated to expanding freedom throughout the galaxy. Once in the ride, it is revealed that your Starspeeder 1000 vehicle is actually harboring a secret Rebel spy, and it is your job to return that spy back to the Alliance. Fan favorites R2-D2 and C-3PO are your guides on the mission, and I have to say that the effect of jumping into hyperspace is more than worth the price of admission.
I also attended the “Behind the Force” show, hosted by The Clone Wars actress Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) and featuring guest Dave Filoni, supervising director of The Clone Wars. As per usual at large events and conventions, several young fans asked Dave questions that he was unable to answer, though he did reveal some information about Season 4 that he admitted he probably shouldn’t have. Spoilers ahead for those wishing to stay in the dark!
- On the return of Savage Oppress and Asajj Ventress in Season 4: it is safe to say that they will return.
- On the appearance of Darth Maul in future episodes: Dave could not confirm, and commented upon Maul’s rather obvious death in The Phantom Menace, but warned that our heroes would be in for big trouble in the future.
Dave also showed a trailer that included previously unseen and exclusive footage from Season 4 (no filming the screens, so unfortunately I don’t have video of that). Included in the trailer was expanded footage of the Mon Calamari battle scenes. After my friend and I made fools of ourselves squealing in the front row, Dave commented that it was great to see such enthusiasm and that we must be Ackbar fans. If I’m correct, that would be the first official confirmation from Dave that the next Original Trilogy character to make a debut in The Clone Wars will be, as previously speculated, a young Admiral Ackbar.
All in all, it was a great event, made even better by the appearance of The Maker himself, George Lucas, at the opening ceremonies.
I will be attending future Star Wars Weekends and will report on any additional The Clone Wars tidbits that are revealed.