Disney's new Rise of the Resistance tops all theme park rides

December 4, 2019, 8:16 AM · This is the Star Wars ride you've been looking for.

You don't need Obi Wan Kenobi to play a Jedi mind trick for you to believe that Disney's new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance lives up to the hype. Just go ride it.

With four ride systems, enough projections and Pepper's Ghosts to fill the Haunted Mansion, and a 20-minute overall experience time, Rise is as stuffed as Jabba the Hutt. Walt Disney Imagineering attempted to create the most technological advanced attraction in theme park history here, and not only did they succeed, they created a visually stunning experience that will overwhelm every casual Star Wars fans.

But for devoted fans, Rise of the Resistance is nirvana — the ultimate first-person Star Wars experience. If stepping aboard the Millennium Falcon gave you a taste of experiencing the familiar Star Wars universe, Rise of the Resistance delivers a multi-course meal. When the harshest thing you can say about an attraction is "there's too much to see in one ride," you know that the attraction has delivered.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance delivers.

Photo courtesy Disney

Earlier this week, I asked what it would take for this new heavily-hyped attraction to be considered a success. I gave you five options to choose from, including one I thought a ridiculous standard by which to judge any new attraction — to be the world's best theme park ride.

Disney provided a seven-minute extended attraction highlight video for release this morning:

And here is my full queue walk-through:

And my on-ride experience:

You've basically got four pre-show experiences here, including one that could be considered a ride in itself: A briefing by BB8 and Rey, an interstellar transport ship, a fan service wish fulfillment moment in a Star Destroyer docking bay, and finally an interrogation by General Hux and Kylo Ren. Deft use of next-generation animatronics and projections convince you that you're just steps away from these Star Wars characters.

But those are just the appetizers. With Finn and Company coming to our rescue, it's time to board our escape vehicles for a wild ride through the Star Destroyer.

In one sense, Rise of the Resistance is the true successor of The Great Movie Ride as it becomes Disney's most cast-driven ride attraction. On my second ride, the Resistance cast member at load really sold this pivotal moment in the ride narrative. And playing a First Order officer here must be a weary cast member's dream, as you need to be as nasty and curt with guests as you'd always dreamed of being while smiling at an unruly and unresponsive crowd elsewhere in the resort. Spirited cast members here will elevate Rise of Resistance from a great ride to great performance.

But don't allow me to undersell that ride. Finally, American audiences get a world-class trackless ride experience. This is an epic battle that evokes, then surpasses, the experiences theme park fans have had on rides such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Transformers The Ride. There's even an elevator moment here, but one that's not disguised, making it a thrilling highlight of the ride.

Using the Force, Kylo Ren seems to know our every move before we make it, but that does not prevent us from making our way to the escape pods. After what seems like an endless series of highlights, here we get the best ones, with an exhilarating series of thrills bringing us to the finale.

With each set piece, I kept telling myself, "surely they can't top that one," and then they did.

Disney did it. It met the ridiculous standard. Welcome Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance... the world's best theme park ride.

Update: After my rides, I spoke with Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director John Larena about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and its development.

Planning a Disney visit Planning a visit? Start by visiting our Orlando vacation package and discount attraction tickets pages.

Replies (101)

December 4, 2019 at 6:05 AM

There was an earlier TPI blogflume/thread regarding Disney's momentum. So the timeline reads:

December 5th - DHS - Rise of the Resistance
December 10th - Riviera Resort
December 20th - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
March 4th - DHS - Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
April-ish - DSTP - Cirque du Soleil
May-ish - Ratatouille

Holy guacamole!That's gonna be quite a six months for Disney. Especially considering the initial boost that came from Disney+ and 'Frozen 2'.

December 4, 2019 at 6:33 AM

This may have been talked about earlier, but is there a single rider line for RotR ... ?

December 4, 2019 at 6:53 AM

The reviews are glowing, as you’d expect, but the video backs it up. Absolutely buzzing with excitement!

Makorider, my semi-informed guess is no single rider, because you’d have to skip the pre-show ride vehicle which is integral to the experience, unlike Falcon where the pre-show has no bearing on the story or location.

December 4, 2019 at 8:32 AM

Finally, we hear the words, “May the Force be with you/us” spoken by Rey in the first preshow. Simple things like this complete a Star Wars land, and it should be said more. Hallelujah!
Also, loving the musical score throughout this attraction, it should be used more throughout the land.
Great footage, Robert, THANK YOU!

December 4, 2019 at 8:10 AM

@evanweston - It's possible that there may be a single rider line when you reach the interrogation room on the Star Destroyer. That's the point where First Order officers start grouping guests for the dark ride part of the experience. I would agree that having a single rider line prior to that point would be pretty useless, but it's possible that they could have a system like TestTrack or Indy where single riders go through the pre-show experiences separately and load a queue near the boarding area for the dark ride portion (send a group of 15-20 single riders through on their own transport so they don't mix with groups then pull from that line until it's down to 5-8, then send another batch of single riders through). This is just me brainstorming how it could be done given that even single riders wouldn't want to miss the moments prior to the actual dark ride. I'm sure if there is actually a single rider line, it will be reported pretty quickly. However, I wouldn't be surprised if even if there is a single rider line that Disney may not use it initially because it may complicate operations on a ride that already sounds like a beast to manage.

December 4, 2019 at 8:25 AM

Oh my god, Rob, the review. I have work to do today and tomorrow! I need to be able to focus! Come on, man! :)

December 4, 2019 at 8:35 AM

Official word from the ops team: No single rider. There is a FastPass queue (I went through it in the video), but the ride will not open with FastPass. The height restriction is 40 inches, and standard wheelchairs go through the queue to transfer to the ride vehicle.

December 4, 2019 at 8:38 AM

For MFSR there are 3 distinct lines: Standby and FP+ are side by side with single rider off to the left. You miss all the pre-show with the single rider, but for the FP+ line it looks as if you get dumped in the queue at the point where you go in for the the Hondo 'chat'

This could effectively be used for RotR as well. I'm kicking myself for not thinking about that on Sunday, and having a closer look at the entryway.

Russell brings up Test track as a good example. The SRL misses out the opportunity to build your own car, and for a lot of people that's OK, so I think if there's one for RotR, once people have been thru the pre-show they won't think twice about skipping all of that and just getting to the ride portion.

Oh, how I wish I could miss out on the FofP pre-show with people wriggling around to make sure they are connected to an Avatar ... :) But hey, they're on vacation and may not have ridden it as much as I have.

The video is compelling viewing, and the amount of detail built into the ride looks truly amazing. Looking forward to giving it a try, and if I do go tomorrow and there is a SRL, I'll most probably take that option as I can go back and see the pre-show anytime. I would also hope that the SRL wouldn't be as bad a bottleneck as it is for Test Track, MFSR and also Hagrid's.

Update .... OK, thanks Robert, no SRL .... :( bummer

December 4, 2019 at 8:54 AM

And... here's the bad news. Less than two hours into operation, the ride went down. People on board reported that it took 45 minutes to be evac'd from the escape pods. The hourly capacity here is immense (I am guessing 2000+), but all those vehicles and different systems mean that downtimes are going to be a bear, especially if they require evacuations, as this one did.

December 4, 2019 at 9:11 AM

May 2020, baby!!!! I cannot wait. Thank you for the review, Robert, and for making it easy to skip over any spoilers. Much appreciated.

December 4, 2019 at 9:17 AM

Oh this looks super fun! Well done Disney!

December 4, 2019 at 9:19 AM

My favorite thing about these additions is that they didn't just add the rides (which are all pretty damn good), make the $$, and call it a day. WDW spent billions on fixing the infrastructure around the park as well with the massive new bus loop, skyliner, re-building the security, re-locating the toll booths and building new roads all around the park. Finally 30 years later the park no longer has to worry about coming up with workarounds from all the cost cutting that took place when the park was designed/built.

December 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Also i'm going to use this opportunity to puff out my state pride chest and say that once again Florida got what looks to be the best new dark ride and best new coaster of the year. Now if someone could figure out how to turn humidity into energy we'd be unstoppable!

December 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Looks great. I am pretty indifferent to Star Wars so I don't recognize all the characters, but you can tell the quality is high. I'll check it out when it comes out to the west coast.

December 4, 2019 at 10:11 AM

@Court E, I'm with you. I'm not a Star Wars fan and don't really know any of the newer characters (though I am loving the Mandalorean), but I've been following this since day 1. Appreciation of a technical marvel will happen whether I know what I'm looking at or not. Yet I do miss the days where the "attraction" introduces me to the story and characters (looking at you JII and Cranium Command)! Regardless of my nostalgia, THIS is the future and I honestly can't wait to experience it for myself.

December 4, 2019 at 10:45 AM

Looks amazing and terrific and out of the park.

I now await the reactions from "how much is Disney paying you for this review?" to "they have one delay, it's a complete disaster and must be torn down" to the usual "it should have been themed to original trilogy" talk.

Me, I figured better to wait until they get the bugs out and appreciate a true feat of Imagineering.

December 4, 2019 at 1:25 PM

Haha well of course its Rey. God forbid Luke, Han or Leia do anything relevant in Disneys Star Wars.

December 4, 2019 at 12:14 PM

Ok, this looks awesome, it looks like the former Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas on steroids. I have to admit that the lack of Original Trilogy characters is less of an issue here, because the emphasis is on the environment, which can easily be an OT Star Destroyer. Even the AT-ATs are OT, not the hunking versions in the new movies (as far as I can tell in the video). And Kylo Ren is menacing a la Darth Vader, not the simpering Adam Driver character. And there is a positive payoff at the end, unlike the Millennium Falcon ride, where you're mostly failing at the mission.

A couple of other notes, General Hux is reported to betray the First Order in the last movie, he is still with them here, and the Mon Calamari pilot is Beck, because Disney killed off Admiral Ackbar, but I guess an Admiral wouldn't be piloting a small transport anyway... But can they come up with an even less bland name than Beck? How about Beckbar? No, I take that back.

I still maintain that the rest of the land should be converted back to OT, we shall see how much love the sequel trilogy gets when the Rise of Skywalker movie comes out.

This could easily be converted to OT with Darth Vader and other characters, if CGI technology gets to the point where it can convincingly recreate the young original characters. But for now it looks awesome, it may even make up for the rest of the bland land.

This ride itself may finally be the best ride ever and a Harry Potter killer, but the rest of the land still is not. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are both infinitely more charming and relatable due to familiarity with the original movies.

December 4, 2019 at 11:38 AM

One more thought: This ride has infinitely more re-rideability than Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run, despite not being interactive.

On the Falcon, interactivity on one third of the seats involves mindlessly pressing a button. Another third involves little more than mashing buttons as they light up. In all of those seats, you get - at best - a limited view of the Falcon's relatively small cockpit window. Only as a pilot to do you really get to play on that ride, and as you control only half of the pilot's functions, a couple of trips is typically all it takes a video game fan to master the task.

But on Rise, Imagineering has taken the old school approach of making an attraction re-rideable by stuffing it with so much detail that you can't possibly see it all in one, two, three, or even four rides. I rarely seek out multiple rides on media days - I have work to do, after all - but I've been running back to the front after exiting all afternoon on Rise.

December 4, 2019 at 11:38 AM

@Daniel Galvan
You are aware that Mark Hamill is in his 70s, and Carrie Fisher has past, right. You can't live in the past - and you definitely can't debut this ride in 1985.

December 4, 2019 at 11:57 AM

Robert, did the ride come back up after going down this morning? Extremely nervous that it won’t be able to handle the crush tomorrow.

December 4, 2019 at 11:58 AM

From what I can tell from the videos, they have done an excellent job with the ride. It looks immersive and well paced. They did an excellent job of combining screens, practical environment, and animatronics in a seamless fashion.

Like other posters, I would like to see this in OT format as well, but the environment is familiar enough that it works well and appeals to fans of both generations.

It looks "fun" but not particularly "thrilling" except for the very end. That's fine with me, but I wouldn't label it a thrill ride so much as an epic dark ride.

I'm looking forward to trying it out soon, but it also speaks volumes to the future of theme park entertainment, and I look forward to that as well!

December 4, 2019 at 12:11 PM

Robert, you make a good point about interactivity, this ride does not make you work. While you are playing a part as a prisoner, you are mostly a passive participant. When you are riding in the prisoner vehicle, it is similar to riding any dark ride vehicle. If they made you work, like pushing buttons, IMO it would not add to the experience, but add a level of frustration. I can see the need to be interactive on MFSR, but as you said, it looks like RotR will have much more re-rideability, much like Pirates.

December 4, 2019 at 12:33 PM

I just knew a major reaction was going to be how the ride hasn't even been open 24 hours and already the talk of "how soon can they change it to the OT, it's obvious this is not working." Sure enough, it's happening.

I made this point in a post yesterday but bears repeating how, more than any other fandom, Star Wars fans have a hard time grasping there can be "casual" fans. To many of them, anyone who sees a movie must also follow all the expanded media, know the names of characters from video games and cartoons and thus consider the OT the "only real Star Wars." As comments here show, folks have just a passing interest so they can love this ride for what it is and not harp on "not Star Wars enough" or take this "franchise is ruined" idea which has hurt the entire fandom.

@RobertNiles: Good point on the re-ride appeal, that always hit me as the major fault of Smuggler's Run. Myself, never a fan of the "shoot-em-up" type rides like Toy Story Mania so this looks much better for the long run like a classic Disney ride should.

December 4, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Interesting thoughts on the re-rideability, but the whole point about RotR being passive compared to the interactivity of MFSR still makes me wonder how re-rideable it really is. It's not in my DNA that's for sure, but then again I'll sit on a coaster over and over again, whereas others have no inclination to do that, even though they like riding them.

We've seen all this hype before .... I remember a few on here claiming Steel Vengeance to be the best coaster on the planet, but that soon became a myth. Horses for courses, but I will admit I'm looking forward to trying out RotR when I do eventually get the chance.

December 4, 2019 at 12:35 PM

@makorider: Another great point too many miss on this blog, folks really have different tastes in theme park rides. Heck, it's like the Star Wars/Harry Potter debate itslef, some love certain parts and hate others. We see that talk a lot yet it's easy to forget not all theme park fans are cut from the same cloth.

December 4, 2019 at 12:57 PM

As I plan to be riding this by the end of January I'm going to avoid watching any footage, but based on Robert's review and others popping up this morning, it sounds like Disney has exceeded all expectations. It won't be everyone's favorite ride as that is an impossible feat, but even those with no love for Star Wars (or at least the sequel trilogy) should be able to acknowledge it as one of the most impressive attractions built.

December 4, 2019 at 1:01 PM

Looks awesome. But forget changing the ride to incorporate the original trilogy. How can they work Baby Yoda and Mando into it?

December 4, 2019 at 1:12 PM

@NCPete: If anything is going to silence GE critics, a Baby Yoda meet and greet would be it.

December 4, 2019 at 1:22 PM

At this point, the only thing that could undermine the attraction's seismic impact on themed entertainment or the Orlando market, would be ongoing technical difficulties leading to shut downs.

Short of that, this looks like a big win for Disney.

December 4, 2019 at 1:29 PM

@B Goodwin

You are aware that none of those factors impare those chacters from being used given all of the modern technology available right? As far as I understand the late Carrie Fisher will even be in Episode 9.

December 4, 2019 at 1:37 PM

@ Daniel Galvin

And you, presumably, are aware that the vast majority of 'ordinary' guests experiencing RotR couldn't give a fig whether it's original casting, new casting or casting they've never heard of. All they want is to be wowed by the attraction. The casting Really. Doesn't. Matter.

December 4, 2019 at 1:52 PM

@David Brown: Once more, my point how so many hardcore SW fans honestly can't grasp some folks have only a passing interest in the movies. This whole "OT vs Sequels" fight has been going on since before GE was announced and I expect it'll still be raging when the next SW trilogy has hit theaters.

December 4, 2019 at 1:55 PM

@ David, I agree.

@ MikeW - I agree.

@ Daniel....Regardless of how people feel about it, Luke, Han & Leia aren't the primary characters in this new trilogy (the same was they weren't in the prequels).

I understand many OT fans may be disappointed & I'm not saying anyone is wrong for feeling they way they do, but as David mentioned, in the larger context of the attraction.....guest & riders are there to experience what seems to be a thrilling cutting edge attraction.

It is what it is at this point....but based on the reviews & footage, they've hit it out of the park! A majority of guest won't care at that point who the characters are if the ride experience is fun & exciting.

December 4, 2019 at 1:56 PM

@David - IDK, I make sure to ride Dinosaur every time I'm in DAK specifically for Phylicia Rashad. ;)

This OT stuff is utter nonsense. There's absolutely no way Disney is going to load Galaxy's Edge with OT characters as it would undermine the most basic conceit of the land. Batuu exists in a specific point in time within the Star Wars Universe, and to juxtapose long dead OT characters into it would destroy the reality of it all. Now, I could see Disney shifting the "stardate" of Galaxy's Edge as more movies come out to stay current with the series, but RotR is going to present a massive barrier to go beyond the construct of Resistance versus First Order set forth on Batuu.

You can hem and haw all you want about OT characters not being present on Batuu (though Yoda, Chewie, R2D2, Nien Nunb, and the Falcon are there as well as plenty of other nods to the OT if you care to look), but tossing them into the Galaxy's Edge pot is only going to create even more anger and frustration from the various fanbases. Disney has made a decision, and you are free to criticize it, but at this point, you either accept that Darth Vader, Luke Skywaler, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo are all DEAD, or go back and memorialize them by watching the movies on your Betamax.

BTW, is it just me, or does it sound like Kylo Ren is NOT being voiced by Adam Driver on the attraction? Since we never see Ben Solo, Disney could have easily switched voice talent here, but it would seem a bit miserly to undercut a principal actor from the ride where every other major player is utilized. Perhaps Robert could find out for us if Driver actually lends his voice to this attraction (he's been conspicuously absent from many of the cast photos on a recent tour of Galaxy's Edge).

December 4, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Robert, you experienced Shanghai Pirates, and ROTR tops that one?

Sounds like ROTR is alone worth a trip to Orlando.

December 4, 2019 at 1:59 PM

Thing is that even a great ride won't solve the many issues that still mar Galaxy's Edge. The land can be fixed but Disney needs to admit the errors and bring on some better edits. The ending of the ride looks a bit underwhelming with a reliance on a simulator again(!) for Star Wars. I was hoping for a more spectacular physical set ending, but maybe I need to experience it in person.

And what's up with Disney and all the fences in Galaxy's Edge? The queue area walking past the stormtroopers has an intrusively high fence separating guests from the rest of the scene. That fence dissipates the sense of menace and appears ridiculously out-of-place.

And characters certainly do matter in storytelling, especially familiar and beloved ones for emotional resonance. I am happy though that the Disney SW characters are not overly obtrusive to the guest experience in the attraction. I'll just do a mind trick and edit Kylo Ren out for Vader in my imagination.

December 4, 2019 at 2:18 PM

Once more I find myself amused by the reaction if in 2009 you told someone that within a decade, there would be brand new Star Wars movies not made about George Lucas and an entire Star Wars theme park land...and yet many fans would suddenly be "these are worse than the prequels and Lucas should have been allowed to continue."

December 4, 2019 at 2:31 PM

MikeW and Russell, I don't think berating other people's opinions is the way to go here. You can express your own opinion without bemoaning the fact that other people have differing opinions.

That said, I acknowledge there are casual fans who don't necessarily care that OT characters be included, but the general reception to the land itself up til now hasn't been great to put it mildly.

You can spin it all you want, but the reaction to Disney Star Wars has gone down, compared to the Original Trilogy. Yes, the OT characters are all dead, but can you seriously say that fans care more about the new characters?

I agree the ride looks awesome and will probably be a hit just the way it is, but no matter how you spin it, people just don't care about the new characters, even people I talked to who are just casual Star Wars fans. And people just aren't attracted to a place they never heard of or seen before, the way they would be a to more familiar place.

While I'm at it, I want to express my thoughts on different types of fans, both Star Wars and Disney. There are fans which seem to think that everything Disney does is wonderful and seem to be offended when someone criticizes something that they love. Then there is another type of fan that thinks Disney should be held to the highest standard, and are put off when Disney does not reach that standard, due to misguided decisions or cost cutting. I'll just leave the explanation at that.

The franchise was not ruined by fans, it was ruined by Disney, yes this is my opinion and of a lot of people. If you like the new Star Wars, more power to you, I respect your opinion, I would appreciate that you respect mine.

December 4, 2019 at 2:40 PM

@Tony - I'd rather have that fence there so morons don't get up too close and break those amazing animatronics. People were walking off with whatever wasn't nailed down in the opening weeks of Galaxy's Edge. I mean, they were taking sporks for goodness sake, and then putting them up on eBay for tens of dollars (not to mention completely blank plastic cups claiming to be from the Milk Stand that had absolutely no provenance). Could you imagine if those fences weren't there on the Falcon, X-wing/A-wing and other set pieces and folks managed to figure out how to pry pieces off of them? Just admit that we can't have nice things unless they're put behind fences/cages. That's just the way it is sadly, and if it really bothers you, don't blame Disney for protecting their investment, blame society, which glorifies and rewards miscreants that deface and profit from other people's stuff.

December 4, 2019 at 3:48 PM

@disfan: I would argue this franchise was saved by Disney. In 2012, there was little major buzz on Star Wars anymore, it seemed stagnat with the Expanded Universe novels just retreading old territory and too much focus on prequel-era games/animated series and such. I vividly remember the talk on "they need to get this away from Lucas" all over the place.

Now we have multiple movies, Rogue One was damn good, plans for more films to come, an acclaimed TV series, new games, an entire theme park land and it feels far more fresh than it has in two decades. Yet somehow this idea is that it would be better SW stayed how it was rather than adapt and at least attempt to grow. Maybe you talk to the wrong fans as I've known many who are more invested than ever, who love Rey and eager to see what the future holds.

It's one thing to disagree on how the films are, I'm used to that. What I dislike is this hypocrisy that the exact same fans who spent years talking of the franchise treading water are now bitterly complaining about the attempts to bring it into a new future.

But as Russell so accurately summed up on a thread a bit ago "what is true Star Wars to one fan is not to another" which is one of the most perfect encapsulations of the fandom I've ever heard.

December 4, 2019 at 3:02 PM

Russell - OBI WAN KENOBI IS DEAD?! Spoilers! ;-)

December 4, 2019 at 4:42 PM

@ MikeW
Standing and Applauding.

I adore Phylicia Rashad.

December 4, 2019 at 3:28 PM

@Daniel Gavin
A fair argument (regarding using technology to bring back actors). However, using recent unused footage to put an actor's performance into a new movie is MUCH different than brining Luke, Han and Leia back from their prime, for the duration of a ride.

I only need cite the six seconds of "young Princess Leia" from Rogue One (shudder). The Peter Cushing footage was better, but still isn't quite there. And certainly not at the point where you would want to have them escort you through a 20 minute live action experience.

December 4, 2019 at 3:45 PM

Oof... Y'all are so salty about your early Xmas present. Not sure why people are knocking a brand new ride that pushes boundaries on themed entertainment.

December 4, 2019 at 3:47 PM

@B Goodwin: Even the de-aging tech is still iffy. See how in Captain Marvel, it's very clear that's a 70-year old Samuel L. Jackson meant to look like a 40ish Nick Fury, especially when it runs. Even The Irishman looks a bit off in scenes meant to be younger DeNiro and Pacino. CGI is making strides but it's still not quite up to those standards for nitpicking and ruining the illusion which thus hurts the entire eperience.

December 4, 2019 at 5:04 PM

Mike 'The franchise was saved by Disney'. Ok, let's think about that. I wouldn't mind if Disney made new movies about new characters, but they made the old characters into total losers. Luke was a disillusioned old coot who gave up on the Jedi order. Han was a deadbeat dad who left Leia after a satisfying love story in the original movies, and returned to smuggling. Leia was an ineffectual general whose claim to fame is floating through space. The defeat of the Empire was pointless, because now we have the First Order, which we don't even know where they came from or who they are.

Disney wanted to cash in on the fact that the old actors were still around, and yes, fans also wanted to see a reunion, but the way Disney undid all of the past was what made fans angry.

Maybe it makes sense to people that Luke is an old, bitter, disillusioned hermit, because, after all, he IS old. But it goes against Luke's fundamental character to try to murder his nephew. The Emperor died a definite death in Return of the Jedi, and the fact that he returns makes Anakin's sacrifice pointless. And I guess Anakin wasn't really the chosen one, because we now have Rey to save the day.

Mike, you made a point before that evil always comes back, but they should't have tarnished the old characters, which is the trend now, expressing guilt for the sins of our ancestors. They could have made a new trilogy with a new situation, new characters, with evil coming back, I wouldn't have a problem with that.

Russell said that we should just move on because the old characters are dead, that makes me wonder if he ever really cared about the old characters. The only other way that makes sense to me is that you think that 'new' is inherently better that 'old', barring any other considerations.

December 4, 2019 at 3:50 PM

@Court E: Are you new to this site? Folks bashing and nitpicking brand new theme park rides has been a tradition before the Internet even existed.

December 4, 2019 at 4:00 PM

@Disfan: One of the things that amuses me on the backlash is how many SW fans contend "They should have followed the Expanded Universe." Well, one of the very first stories ("Dark Empire") had the Emperor returning to undo ROTJ yet somehow that wasn't hailed as some horrific move. Likewise how Luke does dark things, Han and Leia hit some skids when their son turns to the Dark Side and a huge senseless death in Chewbacca with the older character pushed aside for younger ones while we keep getting one retread of the Empire after another, complete with super-weapons that make the Death Star look weak.

And no, Luke did not "try to murder" Ben as if you watch the scene as Luke explains, it was a spur of the moment overreaction to feeling the massive Dark Side in Ben and the second he had his saber lit, he realized what he was doing and regretted it. Sadly, Ben chose just that moment to wake up, see him and get the wrong impression to join the Dark Side after all. That combination of guilt drove Luke over to his exile.

And that brief flash also fits because Anakin felt the exact same way when he lost his mother. The difference being, Anakin engaged in his hate and anger to slaughter the Raiders, his first step to becoming Vader while Luke was able to temper his. Yet unlike Anakin, he knew what he did was wrong which again drove him to think he wasn't worthy of being a Jedi or leader anymore which does fit this farm kid. As Yoda openly tells him, Luke never thinks "on where you are."

December 4, 2019 at 4:08 PM

"Are you new to this site?"


Gotta harness my inner THC... "Chuckle"

December 4, 2019 at 4:12 PM

Also, it seems the new movies indicate the First order was always simply the Empire hiding to rebuild. And on the "we know nothing about Snoke and others", keep in mind, Palpatine was never actually named in ROTJ, he was simply "The Emperor" with no talk on his origins. Heck, Boba Fett is never named on screen and some fans argue learning more about him ruined the mystique. It's one thing SW and LOTR fans have in common, the complaints on how each movie should have been six or seven hours long so they could lay out every tine backstory detail for the audience.

December 4, 2019 at 4:20 PM

@ Disfan, you've made some valid points, but the issue in regards to the new trilogy is, if we're being 100% honest, the SAME reaction many fans had to the prequels. Time has alleviated some of that....but (with the slight exception of Revenge of The Sith) The prequels were NOT held in high regards....by fans OR critics.

Then there were all the digital additions / changes Lucas made. From Han shot first, to Vadars "Nooo" to Jabba inserts & Hayden Christian being added to Return of the Jedi.

How many "George Lucas ruined the franchise" attitudes were out there?? PLENTY....The original reaction to the prequels from Jar Jar Binks to some of the performance & overbalance on CGI didn't destroy or ruin SW & neither has the new trilogy.

Everyone has an opinion & if one doesn't like the new trilogy, that's 100% fine. But there's this odd perception that it was somewhow "perfect" before & that's just incorrect. The reaction to the prequels is enough to reveal that none of this is new.

If one doesn't like the new trilogy, that's perfectly fine, but I don't think it's also fair to assume that it's ruined SW. There's a generation of audiences who connect with the prequels, just like there will be a generation who have connected with this series. I'm a casual fan & I've seen every movie multiple times.....and I'm fine with all of them...It doesn't have to be an "Us vs Them"....it's still Star Wars.

December 4, 2019 at 4:27 PM

Mike, I know practically nothing about the Expanded Universe, which I guess, in your estimation, makes me a 'casual fan'. A casual fan who see wrong things done in the sequels. So I never said they should have have followed the EU, if there are problems there, I would disagree with them also.

I realize that to have a story, you have to have conflict, and it's hard to continue the story when it had a happy ending. Even Lucas hinted that Luke would go to the Dark Side after Episode 6. But people don't really want to see Snow White after she married the prince, the original conflict is gone, all that would be interesting is if you insert a new villain, which they did with the direct-to-video Little Mermaid sequel, and I doubt any serious fan thinks that was a good idea. Yes, Jafar returned in the Aladdin sequel, which was middling, but no matter how you think about it, it still undermines the original story.

Even if Luke did not try to murder Ben, it still shows he was a bitter loser, you can spin it the way you want, it was a 180 turn from his character. Again it makes sense, because to some people, old people are bitter and disillusioned. Yes, Luke could have some dark things, but in general, he was made a loser.

December 4, 2019 at 4:36 PM

^^^^Luke became a hermit just like Obi Wan did....It may have been a 180 turn for his character, but that's the nature of the story....Anakin started off one way & ended up another. Han started off one way & ended up another....so goes the tale.

Ultimately, Luke, with the help of Yoda, did end up saving the resistance at the end heroically. The was a scene that didn't make the final cut of Last Jedi that has multiple characters throughout the galaxy talking about the legend of Luke Skywalker (it ended up being just the kids at the end). Who knows what the new film will reveal?

Do I think the new trilogy is perfect? Nope. Were there choices & things that I felt should've gone in a different direction? Yep. Doesn't mean it ruined the franchise because it wasn't the story I felt it should've been.

December 4, 2019 at 5:03 PM

People are now saying that the prequels look good compared to the sequels. I don't have a problem with anyone liking the sequels.

But I remember a video, I think it was called 'The People vs. George Lucas', where a dad criticized the Prequels, and his son said "You just don't like the Prequels because they are NEW characters". So yes, every generation will like the stuff that appeared in their time. But that doesn't make it good or better. I think an objective person would agree that the OT was better than the PT. But again, that's just my opinion.

Also IMO the Mandalorian looks great so far, because I believe the creators understand Star Wars better than the sequel creators.

Yes, Luke could have ended up like Obi Wan, but even Obi Wan wasn't the sad former shell of himself. It's just in general how Luke was portrayed as a sad loser.

December 4, 2019 at 4:36 PM

It always astounds me how badly people miss the point of Luke’s arc in The Last Jedi. Anything even slightly challenging or interesting enrages people. Explains the sorry state of our popular culture.

December 4, 2019 at 4:46 PM

Luke's arc? Again, you can be fine with that if you see old people as naturally bitter and disillusioned. Or maybe you care to explain how you see Luke's arc further. Despite how I sound, I respect your opinion.

The 'enraged people' as you say were NOT 'slightly challenged' by something 'interesting'. They were enraged by the fundamental undoing of the original story.

December 4, 2019 at 4:47 PM

@ Disfan....NOW people are saying the prequels are better. They certainly weren't saying that then. The actor who played Jar Jar Binks contemplated suicide.....That's how bad the reactions were.

As I said, time alleviated the reaction & gut reactions subsided over time. 10 or 15 years from now, people could easily look at episodes 7-10 the same way.

Upon it's release, Empire Strikes Back was critically panned....now it's considered the best film. RotJ was criticized for the Ewoks (one for being about trying to sell toys & for thembeing able to help take down the Empire)

My point is.....people, as we all know, are emotional. Nostalgia drives a lot of the fandom from the OT. Not saying that it wasn't the strongest set of films, but those films had their share of critics (and problems) as well.

The internet & social media now allows everyone to share their opinions, so we're able to hear people vent, imagine what the reaction would've been to the prequels at the time.

December 4, 2019 at 4:47 PM

@MikeW ... At the risk of pushing this runaway railway into the great wide open, in ROTJ doesn't Chewie howl to Han while they are on the skiff and Han yells back "Boba Fett? Boba Fett?"

December 4, 2019 at 5:02 PM

Jay, people are saying the prequels are better compared to the sequels, that's the difference, not necessarily time, although time may play a lesser part.

I don't remember negative reviews for Empire, I do remember negative reviews for the first movie, I think mainly for the acting, but critics were probably comparing it to movies like Taxi Driver. I'm not saying that the OT was perfect, RotJ was weak compared to the other two, it was a rehash of the Death Star, the Ewoks were kind of weak, although I liked the Speeder Bike chase and Jabba the Hut.

Nostalgia does play a factor, which why I believe the OT would have been a stronger choice for Galaxy's Edge. The hard core Disneyland fans keep coming back because of nostalgia, they want their kids to experience what they experienced.

I agree there are fans who are 'toxic', but it doesn't disqualify the opinions I have about the sequel trilogy, again in my opinion.

December 4, 2019 at 5:01 PM

What was undone? Luke has always been hubristic, borne out especially in his impulsive confrontation with Vader in Empire that cost h his hand. He leaves ROTJ a legend and feels a responsibility to his masters to restore the Jedi order. He fails in this because his hubris leads him, like you, to believe that he is infallible. But people don’t work like that. Luke’s massive failure causes him to retreat into the shadows because he believes he has personally undone everything he did, even though Ben deserves the real blame for being weak and corruptible. This is what upsets you, but it is not actually how the film ends! Rey, a transparent analogue to a Star Wars fan, inspires him to once again take the mantle and become Luke the Legend for a whole new generation. It’s a beautiful story, one Disney Is almost never bold enough to actually try, and it frustrates me that people miss it to fixate on small “inconsistencies” that don’t actually exist within the text.

For the record, I think Force Awakens was a typical 2010s Disney film, replete with cliches and barely-concealed retreads of old ground, and I’m expecting Rise of Skywalker to be much the same, considering the director. But The Last Jedi is a miracle considering the company behind it and the time in which it was released, and I’m looking forward to its eventual re-evaluation as a classic. People hated Empire in 1980, too!

December 4, 2019 at 5:17 PM

Evan, I never said that Luke was infallible or not impulsive. He had a relatable story arc, unlike Rey, who was instantly perfect at everything she did, being able to defeat Kylo Ren, a trained fighter, every time. Even if you want to argue that Luke was vulnerable to the Dark Side when he got older, it wasn't explained, he was just weak. And he was made weak to make Rey the hero. And what is a transparent analogue? I couldn't find any definition for it. To you making Rey the hero is a beautiful story, that's fine. But I don't think fans are upset because of 'small inconsistencies'. And I don't think other people will ever understand that.

December 4, 2019 at 5:21 PM

@ evanweston - You're correct about Empire....for all the love it gets now, it was not received well.

@Disfan - We're not going to agree & that's fine! Ultimately, the attraction Rise of The Resistance is what the focus is & I doubt that it being focused on the new trilogy will stop anyone from riding it if they are in the parks. If so, we'll they'll just miss out.

Disney made a decision to focus on the new instead of the classic, but as it's been mentioned, Chewie, R2D2 Stormtroopers, C3PO & other OT characters still exist in GE.

December 4, 2019 at 5:35 PM

I know I'm beating a dead horse, just feel a need to respond to comments. I also didn't like Empire when it first came out because it left you hanging for three long years! But that doesn't mean I thought it was a bad movie. I, like most fans, was hyped and eagerly awaiting the next movie. I don't see that with the new movie.

Yes, I believe the reception to the new ride will be good, I also agree it looks awesome, but as I've said before, the real health of the franchise will be measured by the reception of the new movie. If it satisfactorily ties up the 9 movie saga, things will be fine. If it's a bomb like Solo: A Star Wars Story, it's in trouble. But I'm sure some people will blame the overly critical fans.

December 4, 2019 at 5:43 PM

@ Disfan, At this point, the franchise "hope" doesn't quite rest entirely with the reception of Skywalker.

It's going to make money, no matter what. It's tracking with a 200+ opening weekend, and opening a week after Jumanji. It's not going to have any REAL competition. So people may end up hating it.....but you gotta show up at the theater first....which puts many in Disney's pockets.

"Baby Yoda" & the reception to the Mandalorian (1 millions streams added daily, #1 series on all streaming sites).....all this after the so called "disastrous" Last Jedi shows that this franchise can survive even if there's a dent in its armor.

ROTR is opening this month is Fl. & next month is DLR & based on reviews is a theme park game changer ......This franchise will be fine regardless of what SkyWalker does.

December 4, 2019 at 5:47 PM

The “Rey is a Mary Sue” argument has been debunked a zillion times and is steeped in misogyny, please don’t use it. She’s also only faced Kylo once (in JJ’s movie, not Johnson’s), and he came in with a blaster hole in his stomach and having been emotionally crippled by killing his father. By “transparent analogue” I mean that Rey is clearly a stand in for diehard Star Wars fans that have kept the franchise alive. Rey is basically a Star Wars fan who gets thrust right into the middle of the Skywalker saga, which I find a compelling hook for a 21st century Star Wars protagonist. She is disillusioned by discovering that Luke is not what she believed, but through her faith in him (and in turn, his in her) he is able to rediscover what he was and inspire the new rebellion.

December 4, 2019 at 5:55 PM

Last two SW films seemed to have off character moments like Back to the Future II. Also evil and unseemly character cowardice had meanness and was shallow - in an overly complex time plot.

Make the next trilogy (or hopefully #9) like BTTF III!? A bit less meanness and great things about original characters had a chance to shine again in a less confusing mess (plus cool train explosions and clocktower origin stories)

December 4, 2019 at 6:36 PM

Ya know, if Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway turns out to be a "D" or "C" ticket attraction, Disney's Hollywood Studios could be regarded as the best theme park on the planet.

December 4, 2019 at 7:50 PM

Posted this on another thread but wanted to leave it here too, in hopes of people reading it, because I appreciate what this site has been:
Loooooooong time follower (daily since 2009 or so) of this site. First and foremost- Robert, thank you for the fantastic content and the way you approach your coverage. As far as theme park blog sites/blog coverage goes, in this medium you’re second to none. From neutrality to your even keeled tone, you present things as they are and let readers form their opinion- never change that, it’s refreshing. But I’m also a first time poster, I’m posting this because I’ve notice the discourse change here over the years. I don’t mean just the main articles, but I’ve even read all the years of them park apprentice, and many other threads of the like. This is a fan site for theme parks. Not for one particular theme park or another, but an information outlet that feeds our fandom. That fandom is theme parks, period. We love advances in technologies, news rides, info leaks, and if everyone is honest, we love getting that info about any park anywhere! Not just this park or that, we loooove seeing the advances in our obsession. I feel like we’ve strayed too far. Lastly- it seems a few folks have lately decided that they’reexperts in the field rather than how they used to perceive themselves- which was only as fans. This worries me because many things are posted by these individuals that are contradictory to the business, yet end up lately, lauded by a few. I’m not asserting that some individuals don’t know more than others, but I see a divide in this community a la “Lord of the Flies” with a few emerging as “leaders” when, in fact, they’re just fans like you and I. It’s just my two cents, and again, my first time posting, but this community’s voice is Robert, and the rest of us sit back and opine. There aren’t factions, we are all united (a dramatic way of saying “here for”) our love of parks and how Robert covers them. Take care, all!

December 4, 2019 at 7:52 PM

Wait, what?

December 4, 2019 at 9:36 PM

"The “Rey is a Mary Sue” argument has been debunked a zillion times and is steeped in misogyny, please don’t use it." Respectfully, I think you're overstating your case, do you care to elaborate? If it's steeped in misogyny, why do fans like characters like Ripley in Alien, Sarah Connor in Terminator and Wonder Woman? Because they were well written characters in great movies.

Actually, Aliens is one of my favorite movies, because Ripley is so awesome, she is a woman who is not immediately apparent to be strong, but she goes toe to toe with a bunch of super masculine marines, and she draws upon her inner strength, determination to do the right thing and yes, even her motherly instinct in protecting the young girl Newt and fighting the Alien Queen. Now that's a character I can care about.

No, fans object because there no reasons for Rey's super skills, it was a mystery, which is fine, if you eventually explain it. Again, we shall see with the new movie.

This was supposed to be the Skywalker saga, not the Rey saga. It's rumored that the 'Rise of Skywalker' is explained by Rey saying at the end, "My name is Rey Skywalker". Again, we'll see if that is true and how that goes over with fans, not just diehard fans, but the general public.

Even if Rey was Luke's daughter, I would be ok with it, at least she would actually be a Skywalker, but it's rumored that she's the Emperor's granddaughter. Again, this is supposed to be the Skywalker saga that started with Anakin, continued to Luke, and now the Emperor's granddaughter? I'm sorry, but that doesn't jive with 'Skywalker Saga' for me.

I have no problem with female characters, just poorly written ones. I applaud a well written character, male or female. But I will have a problem with Rey usurping Luke's legacy with little explanation of her Force powers. If the explanation is good enough for you, then go with it.

If you want to make a Star Wars movie with a strong female character, I'm all for it. I liked Rogue One. I'm also fine with the Cara Dune character in the Mandalorian, I can accept that she can go toe to toe with the Mandalorian, because she's obviously physically strong and fits the character.

Yes, the future of Star Wars doesn't entirely depend on one movie, the Mandalorian proves that, people are excited about Star Wars again, but that should tell you something about the sequel trilogy.

December 4, 2019 at 8:07 PM

@TH- is your question directed at me? (Asking given the timeline, apologies if not)

December 4, 2019 at 9:03 PM

@Russell, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Driver indeed reprised his role. I'm guessing that most of this was recorded during breaks for Rise of Skywalker.

December 4, 2019 at 10:24 PM

@Disfan: I will agree on well-written female characters. Look at the horrible Charlie's Angels rebot to see what happens when a female writer/director goes out of her way for a "feminist" movie rather than a fun action flick.

But I disagree on Rey "badly written" as she is well-written by Abrams and Johnson and the character has been an inspiration to young women since she debuted.

And again, this whole "the franchise lives or dies by Last Skywalker" is nonsense. Back in April, there was a backlash on Marvel fans that "everyone hates Captain Marvel" (never mind it made a billion dollars) "so Endgame is going to be worse" and it breaks all records. Game of Thrones had a backlash on last season complete with the ridiculous petition to spend $150 million to reshoot it and it's getting a big new series. Disney is already prepping more movies one way or another, this idea that "Last Skywalker can end the entire thing" is ludicrious.

December 5, 2019 at 3:17 AM

What is the story?
You sneak on board, get spotted, get of the ride.
Did I miss something?

December 5, 2019 at 7:50 AM

@James - Thanks - The voice sounds decidedly different, but that could be a function of the various recordings, room acoustics, or the overall fact that his voice is distorted with the mask effect.

I'm going to generally stay out of this heated debate regarding the sequel trilogy, but will simply say that anyone saying that the prequels are better (aside from perhaps the last 60 minutes of RotS) needs to go back and watch those movies again with a modern eye. Lucas set film directing back a decade with awful, stilted dialogue, absurd, long winded explanations for constructs that people didn't care about, and an attempt to replicate the formula from the OT that was about as cut and paste as they come (and yes, I can see the argument regarding JJ's shot for shot replication of ANH in TFA, though I think the parallels are far more subtle than some would lead you to believe). He cast Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGreggor, and Jimmy Smitts (all well regarded, established, and award-winning actors) as critical characters, yet parades them around like action figures talking through the voice of a 5 year old with a gloss of racism thrown in for good measure. If anything, the sequels are light years beyond in terms of depth of story, acting quality, and audience engagement.

@Disfan - What if Kylo Ren is "the last Skywalker"? The sequel trilogy has been as much about him/Ben Solo as it has about Rey, and it parallels with the prequel trilogy that is about Anakin's journey of discovery, temptation to the dark side, and ultimate downfall that is not resolved for another 3 movies after his turn. Darth Vader is very much a 1-dimensional character unless you view his actions through the prism of the prequel trilogy culminating with his redemption as he saves Luke from the Emperor. Kylo Ren is on a similar journey through TFA and TLJ that questions his motivations and actions so much that he takes down his master with the help of an enemy that previously sought to destroy him. Assuming Rey is not a Skywalker (there are fan theories that she is instead a Kenobi, but the Palaptine line is certainly a possibility too), Ben would be the last of the Skywalker bloodline, meaning that RoS is instead about Ren's redemption. Rumors that the movie has a heavy dose of the Knights of Ren would indicate principle plot points revolve about him instead of Rey (or perhaps the 2 "teaming up" to further the Skywalker line).

December 5, 2019 at 8:12 AM

J.J. Abrams gave an interview with Rolling Stone for this month’s issue. The interviewer asked him about Rey’s apparent and oft-criticized display of Force Powers:

Rolling Stone: “One thing you hear from people is that the character of Rey feels preternaturally gifted, even for a Jedi — that she learns things faster than, say, Luke Skywalker ever did.”
J.J. Abrams: “Yeah, spooky, right? [Smiles] It’s a fair point. It’s not an accident.”

So one would have to assume that the reason for Rey’s über-deft Force Powers coming to her so easily will be explained (I have my own theory, as I’m sure you, and you and you do too). I think that the new film will validate and inform many of the character and “controversial” story decisions made in the newest films thus far. As for Luke’s arc “undoing” the OT stories, I respectfully disagree. Even though these new films aren’t being told by Lucas they are still are part of the larger nine-film saga. Nothing is being undone, just continued. We don’t yet know the full breadth of Luke’s story (and non-spoiler alert, its was announced many months ago that Mark Hamill will be returning in Episode IX, presumably as a Force Ghost), and I feel that the wisened sage we all hoped Luke to be will be revealed finally in the story’s conclusion, and it’ll be awesome. Be that as it may however, these new films are ultimately the story of Rey & Kylo, and rightfully so. Every set of films has their own group of main characters, even though as they age they may overlap into other trilogies. I believe Disney is playing the llloooooonnnnngggggg game here. They are smart to emphasize the new timeline and also create a new world because it gives them an outlet to let the newest fans (i.e. younglings ) grow and adapt with it. The original Star Tours ride even adapted and changed as the years went by to make room for new worlds glimpsed in the Prequels, and is still as popular as ever. I love the passion of everyone who has commented here. It makes for great reading and discussion.

As for the ride itself, it looks thrilling, immersive, and awe-inspiring. Kudos to the amazing Imagineers and to Disney for slow-rolling it and making sure it was ready before rushing it out. I have no doubt that it will have hiccups, but most of the great and ambitious attractions do at first. Bottom line, a badass ride is a badass ride. Period. It could be Elmo’s LSD Trip through Sesame Street and if it were on the level of this attraction people would line up to see it. Time will ultimately judge this ride and also the GE as a great success in my personal opinion. A game-changer for the industry and the next move on the great Universal v Disney chessboard (tip of the cap to Harry Potter for kickstarting the new wave of hyper immersion).

Thanks Robert for your intrepid reporting and jealousy-inducing access to this amazing attraction :)

December 5, 2019 at 10:50 AM

Getting back to the ride itself, I loved on the video comments, folks are freaking out on the bit of Kylo's lightsaber cutting through a ceiling, wondering how it's done. Turns out just a good old-fashioned disc with lights. It shows that even with all this ultra high tech holograms and screens, often, the simpliest effects remain the best.

December 5, 2019 at 3:45 PM

Following my posts earlier in the week, Robert, I can confirm, without riding it, I am a SW GE convert. This is the ride GE desperately needed.

December 5, 2019 at 4:54 PM

No way that is Adam Driver’s voice on RotR. Gotta believe the media reporting this got it wrong. Surprise, surprise.

Now, because there is obvious division in the Star Wars fandom ranks, I believe it is best that Disney keep Star Tours around for the OG trilogy and prequels (George Lucas movies) and Galaxy’s Edge for the new Disney/SW episodes. So now all the purists can have their token attraction that hasn’t changed much for almost 30 years and everyone else can have something much better. Not perfect, but better.
There, crisis averted.
Your welcome.

December 5, 2019 at 8:04 PM

From KTLA: "Actors from the most recent Star Wars movies filmed scenes for the ride. The actors include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Issac."

December 6, 2019 at 12:45 PM

Plus, Adam Driver is in full award season mode with Marriage Story (and to a lesser degree The Report), which could explain why he's been absent from the cast events & promo for RotR.

December 6, 2019 at 8:56 PM


"the vast majority of 'ordinary' guests experiencing RotR couldn't give a fig whether it's original casting, new casting or casting they've never heard of"

You might have been able to make that assertion if GE was the wild success that Disney was expecting it to be, but unfortunately was not. And frankly I find it absurd. I mean guests come to Disneyland expecting to see their favorite characters in their favorite places and to immerse themselves in those experiences do they not?

December 6, 2019 at 8:30 PM


"Darth Vader, Luke Skywaler, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo are all DEAD"

I dont know. Apparently characters can come back from the dead now. Theres some scuttlebut that the Emperor is coming back to save the Disney Trilogy since all the interesting characters are "dead". Which begs the question why come back now? Why wait 30 plus years to come back and try to retake the galaxy? I mean all the empire lost in ROTJ was a Death Star and some ships. They would still have overwhelming superiority if the rebellion stood toe to toe with them. It was the Emperors apparent death that caused the empire to crumble not the loss of ships so why wait 30 years when he could have come back immediately and simply continued the fight? Of course we know the answer: since Ryan Johnson prematurely killed Snoke in TLJ leaving the trilogy without a villain (and no Kylo I never wear my helmet Ren doesnt count) JJ Abrams was forced to bring the Emperor back. It makes no sense and it all goes back to the Last Jedi.

December 6, 2019 at 8:08 PM

@B Goodwin

As a fan I can tell you that if Leia was somehow given a prominent role in this ride it would have made me sentimental to say the least. It would have done what Disney has failed spectacularly to do in their trilogy (and what Kathleen Kennedy is on record as saying), which was to honor the original characters' legacy. It would have been a smart move by Disney instead of continuing to marginalise the OT fan base.

December 6, 2019 at 10:41 PM

@ Daniel Galvan: We'll obviously have to see the final product to be sure how Palpatine survived (again, a basis for it in the comics) and if the theory is true Snoke was always his puppet.

Also, again, I do think the tech wouldn't be quite there for Leia being part of this. Faking a younger Carrie Fisher for five seconds was already off in Rogue One. They'd have to mix footage of her saying differnt lines more with a voice actor and it might not flow as an illusion effectively. Another issue with the new film, if Leia is gone already when the story picks up (there is a time jump of at least a year since TLJ) so that might not work out either.

December 7, 2019 at 10:44 AM

@ DAniel Galvin:
"You might have been able to make that assertion if GE was the wild success that Disney was expecting it to be, but unfortunately was not. And frankly I find it absurd. I mean guests come to Disneyland expecting to see their favorite characters in their favorite places and to immerse themselves in those experiences do they not?"

It's way too early to tell if GE has been a wild success or not. It's only just opened its signature attraction (which certainly appears to be 'wildly successful') and Disneyland won't have a complete GE until mid January. We won;t know how successful the lands have been until some months after they are complete and open to the public.
As for 'favourite characters'... My generation who grew up with Darth Vader, etc., have a certain affinity to the characters of that era, but each trilogy has attracted new fans for whom their characters resonate far more than the 'old' ones even did or can. And I have to say that despite the fact I grew up with the OT characters I'm more than happy with what Disney have done with GE and can't wait to visit it next October. As an 'ordinary' fan I speak from experience - only fanboys and Star Wars geeks are getting their proverbial knickers in a twist over the lack of certain characters. Most of us just see an awesome attraction and land that ticks the vast majority of our Star Wars boxes. Darth Vader belongs to my childhood - he's ancient history as far as I'm concerned.

December 7, 2019 at 11:12 AM

Darth Vader was in Rogue One which came out in 2016. He is also the big bad villain in the new EA star wars video game. Everyone knows who he is, even young people. I would say that he is still just as relevant and popular as he was 40 years ago in the OT. Not that I think he should be in GE (Especially if he is supposed to be dead during this time period).

December 8, 2019 at 2:13 AM


"Darth Vader belongs to my childhood - he's ancient history as far as I'm concerned."

Hmmm see that might make sense if Disney was not resurrecting Palpatine (also ancient history from your past) to try and save this trilogy. Not to mention that Episode 7 relied entirely on the nostalgia of not only the OT characters but even the original Star Wars plot. There are countless parallels between the Disney and Original trilogies such as: Kylo Ren/Vader, Rey/Luke, Snoke/Palpatine, BB8/R2D2, Starkiller Base/Death Star, Resistance/Rebellion, First Order/Empire etc. So you seem to be in contradiction by dismissing the original characters and the nostalgia of those characters when the Disney trilogy has so heavily relied on them.

Furthermore the Disney trilogy is not a separate story from the Original but a direct continuation of that story. So to dismiss that original story and its characters as no longer relevant is absurd.
Again you are in contradiction by suggesting the OT characters are irrelevant when the Disney trilogy is by its very nature dependant on those characters and their story by being a direct continuation and conclusion to that story. You do realize this is the SKYWALKER saga right? And Darth Vader is the Anakin Skywalker on whom this entire saga is based? He is the most relevant character in the saga.

I would also point out the irony that Disneyland itself is heavily reliant on both nostalgia, characters and stories much older than Darth Vader. From nostalgic lands like frontierland to nostalgic rides like Pirates to nostalgic characters like Mickey and friends and Fairy tales its just obvious. So again its contradictory to suggest that old characters are somehow not relevant in this very nostalgic park full of beloved old characters and themes.

You simply misunderstand if you think any SW fan doesnt like new characters. Star Wars is all about that. But where Disney took a horrible turn was destroying and undoing what the original characters were and a what they accomplished, and the new characters are pretty bad but thats for another post. Which comes back to my point that had Disney included Leia in this attraction it wouldve gone a long way in bringing fans like myself to being more accepting the Disney Trilogy and Galaxys Edge.

December 8, 2019 at 8:10 AM

@ Daniel

We can agree to disagree. My point simply is that, as a Star Wars fan for over 40 years, albeit just a 'fan' not an 'uber-fan', I'm more than happy with the story arc Disney has taken, the characterisation, the continuation of the story and the fact that GE is based in the world of the third trilogy when Darth Vader and co are (mostly) now - as you put it - 'nostalgia'. It works for me and it's really not a big issue. And if it works for me then my strong suspicion is that it will work for a vast number of people out there - enough to make GE a success. Clearly you and many people like you are always going to have complaints and issues and will put people like me right on where our faults and errors lie in our interpretation and enjoyment of this land (thank you for doing that by the way) but it still won't mean that I don't enjoy it as it is for what it is, without ever wishing it was something else.

I'm actually sorry that you and others can't simply enjoy the 'World's Best Theme Park Attraction'. I can't imagine being so wrapped up in a fantasy (the Star Wars fantasy that is) that you get all worked up because of character inconsistencies or plot holes or whatever. I've yet to find any theme park attraction or fantasy film or novel or series that isn't inconsistent and 'unrealistic'. But I enjoy them regardless. Mind you that's probably because I'm flawed....

December 8, 2019 at 8:33 AM


“ But where Disney took a horrible turn was destroying and undoing what the original characters were and a what they accomplished, and the new characters are pretty bad but thats for another post. Which comes back to my point that had Disney included Leia in this attraction it wouldve gone a long way in bringing fans like myself to being more accepting the Disney Trilogy and Galaxys Edge.”

I have respect for your passion sir but I feel like there is no pleasing fans like you. The Star Wars that you love so dearly and want to keep in in neat and tidy little box forever just isn’t the way the majority of fans see the franchise. For every new character like Rey that is “pretty bad”, there are millions of new fans young and old that love her, and find ways to connect with her much in the same way that you and millions of others connected with Leia. But I’d love to hear how all the new characters suck. Looking forward to that post, and may The Force Be With You, Always ®

December 9, 2019 at 1:20 PM

@ Daniel,

But there's also alot of SW fans who are fans of the OT AND this new trilogy....I count myself among those fans.

As it's been mentioned, from a generational standpoint.....there are plenty of audiences who gravitate toward Rey & Finn as their favorite characters. (I saw far more Finns & Reys at halloween than Luke & Leia's.)

The point being is it's fine to not like the new characters or even the new trilogy....but it's another to disregard audiences that do & completely deride it as a failure.

In terms of what they've done to the "original characters"....technically, we've only seen Han, Leia & Luke (Lando is returning).

Yes, Han died (a request & fate Harrison Ford wanted since Return of the Jedi)
Leia's portrayal hasn't been "horrible". She's a general now for the rebels. Chewie is still Chewie, Yoda was still Yoda, R2D2 & C3PO were still the same. The biggest issue appears to be Luke, which is understandable....but he still saved the Rebels (and he's in Rise of the Skywalker, so his journey still isn't over)

So ALL of the OT characters weren't exactly "ruined"....especially since we don't know how everything will turn out (with the exception of Han)...in fact, mathematically, it would be appear more characters stayed the same (Yoda, Chewie, R2, C3PO, even Leia)....than not (Luke & Han), lol.

Even if this version of GE wasn't what I would've done....it is what it is. If this were a separate park, that required separate admission & a guest paid for a SPECIFIC experience (i.e only OT) then that would be completely understandable. But the land is one of the many in the park.

One doesn't HAVE to enjoy the new trilogy to enjoy the land or the attractions....

December 9, 2019 at 1:23 PM

@fattyackin: These are the fans I dislike. I don't mind someone disliking new or prequels on merits, that's their right. What I dislike are the ones who complain about "you're not a real fan" for liking some parts of it others hate. I went through that with the prequels and now here. Daniel said earlier on this thread that "I wonder if Russell actually cared about these characters." I've had that same line tossed at me, people saying dictating how much of a fan I am merely for disagreeing with them.

I have no doubt Daniel is a big Star Wars fan but then, he doesn't know a lot about the Expanded Universe and I know folks who will immediately say "if you don't know that, you're not a true fan." It's fine to disagree but I get annoyed at how guys who weren't even born when the original trilogy came out openly dictate to someone like me (who saw the first film at two years old and loved the franchise since) that "you don't love this franchise if you like the Disney stuff" that goes around. It just shows how this fandom is a very complex thing.

December 9, 2019 at 2:53 PM


Yeah, it can be incredibly frustrating. To the point where discussing Star Wars for some people is about as inflammatory a subject as Politics or Religion. People lose sight of the fact that Star Wars was a movie that was aimed at younger audiences right from the jump. Hell, they made a documentary a couple years back based entirely around the Kenner toys that we all loved, illustrating how Star Wars was able to expand beyond merely the cinema and into way more aspects of our young lives. And while i appreciate the passion of someone like @Daniel’s opinion (jump on back in whenever bud, it’s all love here), I agree wholeheartedly that just because someone doesn’t like something (in this case the Sequel Trilogy) it doesn’t give them a right to dictate opinion as fact or devalue the opinion of somebody who feels differently. But alas, to each his own. I find something to love in every Star Wars film. They all have their warts (some more than others), but it’s the world you get to live in when you engage in Star Wars fandom that keeps people returning. Disney understands this, and have applied this doctrine to Galaxys Edge beautifully. I think that this land was never destined to live up to the expectations of the hardcore fanboy / girl (though interestingly most of the “new movie” complaints are hurled from a male perspective), but what those hardcore OT-or-nothing fans don’t seem to accept is that Galaxy’s Edge is built for people who love Star Wars AND theme parks. The ability to adapt and update rather than be constrained to a specific storyline is what will keep Galaxy’s Edge fresh and exciting for years to come and, at least from my experience there, ultimately judge it a success.

December 9, 2019 at 3:31 PM

@fattyackin: Hey, I've been a fan since I was two years old, action figures, video games, comics, books, the works...and even I can be absolutely astounded at how some fans literally treat Star Wars as a religion and woe to those who state what they feel is blasphemy.

You do raise the good point in that some of the hardcore fans want a "perfect" Star Wars land. The problem is that there is truly no consensus among the fandom what "perfect" Star Wars is because of all the raging OT vs Prequels vs Disney fights and then fights within those fights. Second, that they overlook the non-hardcore fans or even those who don't follow Star Wars at all who just want a fun experience.

It's true for other fandoms (trust me, the Marvel fights between the comic readers vs the movie fans can outdo SW debates) but Star Wars does tend to amplify them.

There's a great bit in the TV show Supernatural where the brothers find someone has been doing books on their adventures with a big fan following. It's fun for the writers to poke fun at their bad episodes and a great bit of Dean stating "for fans, they sure do complain a lot." The best bit is that the "book series" ended after the fifth season so in season 12, Dean is telling some fan of all the wild stuff that's happened to him and Sam since...and she laughs "that's the worst fan fiction I've ever heard" and talks about what the "real Sam and Dean would have done."

All one needs do is look at SW, the MCU fights and fans demanding Game of Thrones remake its entire final season to see how excellently Supernatural nailed the downsides of fandoms.

December 9, 2019 at 9:16 PM

- yeah there is also a funny episode of the Simpsons (the one where Homer gets hired to be the voice of the new Itchy and Scratchy character Poochie) where the voice-cast of the Itchy & Scratchy show is doing a panel at a convention and one of the fans brings up his displeasure with a xylophone gag. Pretty much hits it on the head.

December 9, 2019 at 10:44 PM

@fattyackin: Or a real-life version that sounds like something from a TV show: Frank Oz talked a while back on how he liked Last Jedi, felt Yoda was totally in characters...and fans literally replying "all you did was create, perform and voice the character, you don't know him like we do."

December 10, 2019 at 6:01 AM

As for those wondering whether or not SWGE is a hit ... A photo posted on the SWGE fan created FB page shows a MASSIVE number of guests occupying the area in front of the park turnstiles at 5:40 AM this morning.


Disney has released a statement indicating that two guests turned around and left after they found out that Princess Leia does not appear anywhere in the new land.


December 10, 2019 at 9:38 AM

@TH - The question is are those guests lining up at 5:40 for Galaxy's Edge, or RotR (similar to PtWoA and FoP). Personally, I went to Disneyland this past summer to see Galaxy's Edge, but I'm going to WDW in January for RotR. It does seem that the early arrivals are being dictated solely because of the limited capacity and popularity of a single ride, and NOT the land as a whole (MFSR lines have still been holding steady in the 45-60 minute range despite the virtual queue allowing guests to go anywhere while they wait for their RotR ride). I still think Disney has some work to do with Galaxy's Edge, but they'll be living off the high of RotR for quite a while. I just hope they don't treat the land as they have PtWoA and call the land a "success" simply because its marquee attraction draws pre-dawn crowds.

Also, would those guests looking for Leia that turned around have still done so if she was present in the land, just not wearing her Jaba's Slave Barge outfit?

December 10, 2019 at 11:25 AM

Ironically, as I type this, I am actually wearing my Jaba's Slave Barge outfit.

December 11, 2019 at 3:28 PM

@Th Creative:

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