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Disney Parks' long-running Star Wars themed attraction, Star Tours, just received a major update in conjunction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The rest of the world gets to experience it starting today, but we got a sneak peek. Our own Sean O'Connell got to experience the new aspects of the ride before everybody else, including a brand new Star Wars planet that hasn't been seen before, and wasn't even announced, called Batuu.
Disney had previously revealed that the Star Tours ride would visit the salt flat world of Crait, but that's not the only new place that the ride goes. At the very tail end of the attraction, your Star Tours vehicle leaves Crait for the forest world of Batuu. It's here that the Resistance Base is located. The ship enters the planet's atmosphere and flies past a tall post, where you see people working in a sort of nest, then the ship lands on the planet's surface, buildings surrounding the ship are simple huts, not entirely unlike what you might see on Endor.
Star Tours is made up of multiple ride segments that usually hit randomly, making each ride experience a little different, though for the next few months all rides will focus on aspects of the new Star Wars trilogy. The story of the ride sees C-3PO accidentally stuck as the pilot of a Star Tours sightseeing ship, when the Empire, or in this case, the First Order, goes looking for a spy on board your ship (a member of the crowd is chosen at random). The brand new opening sees a First Order robot go looking for the spy at the Star Tours terminal; BB-8 and Rey can be seen in the background of the 3D experience. Later, your ship receives a holographic message from either Poe Dameron or Maz Kanata, that ends up sending the ship to Crait.
While we only get the briefest look at Batuu as part of the ride, one has to wonder what part it will play in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Since it seems pretty clear that the existing Resistance base will be attacked by the First Order in the new film, perhaps this location on Batuu is the actual Resistance rendezvous point in the movie. The events of Star Tours aren't exactly canon, but it would make sense since the movie and the ride were obviously being developed together.
Star Tours contains content from all eight Star Wars saga films, though, for continuity's sake the ride will be splitting in half once the current focus on the new content wraps up. One line will send guests to elements of the first two trilogies only, while the other will focus on the new trilogy. The new Star Tours content will be available to everybody when the rides open at Disney's Hollywood Studio and Disneyland today.
Photo courtesy WDWNews.com/Disney