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Back when Disneyland unveiled the original version of Star Tours, it was quite different than the version of the attraction we have now. Rather than having a confused C-3PO as your pilot, your tour ship was flown by RX-24, or R3X, a droid voiced by Paul Reubens who was even more inept at piloting the ship than 3PO. We already knew that R3X would be making his return to active duty in the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land, but at Star Wars Celebration we learned there's a whole story as to how he got there.
During the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge panel at SWCC last week, Lucasfilm Story Group member Matt Martin revealed that, when the decision was made to turn R3X into a DJ at Oga's Cantina, he took on the responsibility of creating the story of how R3X went from becoming a Star Tours pilot to a cantina DJ. According to Martin...
The short story is, Rex kinda flunked his way out of Star Tours. Eventually, through some, misadventures found his way to the Rebellion. In the final battle of the Galactic Civil War, the battle of Jakku, had a very epic Tie Fighter chase, he ends up crash landing on Batuu. There he is rescued by the local droidsmith Mubo, where’s he repaired and made into a DJ for Oga’s Cantina.
While Matt Martin doesn't explain exactly how R3X became part of the Rebel Alliance, Imagineering Story Editor Margaret Kerrison says that what Martin wrote was something like 17 pages long, so it probably maps out a very specific story as to how R3X joined the Rebellion. That's a story I'd love to read.
R3X proves during the original Star Tours that he's not much of a pilot. He takes the wrong way out of the hanger and ends up completely missing his destination, the forest moon of Endor, and entering a meteor shower. Why the Rebellion would want somebody like that to pilot a ship I can't guess, but I suppose when you're fighting the Galactic Empire, beggars can't be choosers.
While it has never been seen in a movie, the Battle of Jakku is a major event that takes place following Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi that was the final nail in the coffin of the Empire. It's more than a little hilarious to imagine that somewhere in that battle R3X was up in space flying a ship. He's apparently been on Batuu ever since, but now, he's a DJ.
Paul Reubens returned to record a lot of new dialogue for R3X. This will certainly be a lot of fun for fans. While it's hard to argue that Star Tours isn't a greatly improved attraction now, R3X had a certain charm to him that is missing now..
Of course, actually getting to experience R3X at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge won't be easy. From all reports, Oga's Cantina, won't be a location with a great deal of space, even less if you want to sit down, and you can be sure it's going to be incredibly popular, if only because it will be one of the few places at Disneyland where alcohol can be purchased.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens at Disneyland May 31 and Walt Disney World August 29.