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Who’s Flying This Thing?!

posted on October 26th, 2010 by Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Guess Who

It was great to read your comments about the pilots of Star Tours on my last post. Some people really want to see Rex again in the new show. Others are excited about the introduction of the new character “Ace.” And then there are those who are speculating about a bigger role for Threepio. So, I thought it was time we set the story straight about just who will be in the cockpit in the new show. And guess what? You’re all right!

C-3PO and ACE

As explained earlier, all Star Tours Starspeeder 1000s are flown using the latest AC-series Tour Droids. And in fact, our initial plans were for our flight to be piloted by AC-38 better known as “Ace.” However, in discussions with George Lucas during the course of our production, we decided to take the story in a very different direction.

So…while AC-38 is supposed to be our pilot, by the time we actually take off, the droid sitting in the pilot’s seat will be none other than…C-3PO!

It’s one of the biggest changes and surprises in the new show. “Professional grit stopped me from yelling the glorious new storyline from the rooftops,” said Anthony Daniels recently. “It’s fun having secrets like this, waiting to share them at the right time.”

You’ll see just how Threepio becomes our pilot when the adventures continue next year.

This week, our Imagineering team begins installation of the Audio-Animatronics figures into the Starspeeder cabins at Disneyland park, and next month at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Oh, and for all you Rex fans, don’t worry – we have a spot for him in the new show!

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort



Todd from NJ on October 26th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

With Rex returning, hopefully the same goes for his original voice, Paul Rubens (Pee Wee Herman).


Jamie from Essex on October 26th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Fantastic, I am very pleased to hear Rex will be returning, although unless they use any of his existing dialog – I am sure he wont be voiced by the same person.


Lou from FL on October 26th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

“I’ve forgotten how much I hate space travel!” – C3P0, in Star Wars: Episode IV

Hmmmm… now maybe we’ll find out why! 😉

Lou M


Joseph on October 26th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I’ll of course have to wait to pass final judgement, but my fear that this will be another Jar Jar corney installment just went up tenfold.

Hopefully there is a compelling story and it isn’t all slapstick as to why 3PO is behind the cockpit.


Albert from CA on October 26th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

There will obviously be more than one cabin. Why can’t there be a different pilot for the different cabins? Then there will be even more variations of the show. Lot more work of course, but would be totally awesome and increase rerides by 3.


Rochelle on October 26th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

My guess is that Rex is somehow responsible for Ace not being in the pilot’s seat … poor C3PO.
I can hardly wait to see the finished project!


Katie on October 26th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

YAY! for rex love him! he would have been missed if he wasn’t showing up again. that is spectacular news i am so glad to hear he will continue being apart of star tours that was my main concern when i heard star tours was going to be re-done


Craig from OH on October 26th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

3PO flying? Interesting twist! Personally I like some slapstick and a good laugh (I love watching old recordings of Food Rocks for example) so I’m really looking forward to trying this- over and over and over. :) Can’t wait to hear an opening date so I can safely buy airfare…


BJ on October 26th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

That is a very, very interesting twist to have C-3PO flying the StarSpeeder 1000s. Hopefully we’ll find out just WHY he hates space travel as a result.

And Rex is back?! Hopefully that means we’ll be able to go onto the Endor Express again, AND we’ll actually GET to Endor this time, LOL.

Also, one quick question regarding the rumored 3D elements: Are 3D glasses required for enjoying the experience or not? I’d definitely hate having to try and keep my 3D glasses on just so I don’t get sick on the new Star Tours ride. That is, unless these 3D glasses are more like pilots’ goggles (an apropos and very genius way to do the 3D glasses thing). In that case, that might actually work.



Amanda on October 26th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Well, if Rex has a place in the show, I guess I can stop crying over Star Tours. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be voiced by Paul Reubens again. Especially since he’s making a comeback at this very moment!


Tim on October 26th, 2010 at 5:16 pm


Thanks for clarifying after your last post. It’s interesting that this didn’t get out sooner as it was mentioned over a month ago at the Marvelous Magic Kingdom event.


Fred from CA on October 26th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Man, this is certainly a twist! I hardly know what to say.

Still, this all sounds very cool and intriguing, Its sounds like there is going to be more of a storyline leading up the when the flight actually takes off.

Very cool to hear that Rex has a place in the new show. If he has a speaking role, please tell us that Paul Reubens is doing the voice!


Evan on October 26th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.


Nicholas on October 26th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

This is great news! I’m so glad Rex will be back in some way, shape, or form, and C-3PO inadvertently ending up in the pilot’s seat is a nice twist as well. I can’t wait!! :)


Alisha from UT on October 26th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I’m really excited to see how this turns out. Star Tours is one of our favorite rides. I’m sure it will be awesome!


Joshua on October 26th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I heard that Rex will be in the quere training to become a pilot :)


Branden on October 26th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

poz’o CVC


Rebekah on October 26th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

ace pilot and c3po co-pilot? as r2 was to rex? maybe rex will be one of the worker bee droids while you wait in line?!?!? i hope they keep the singing droid too.

“I’ve been working on the same droid all the live long days!!!”


Harry on October 26th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Great News! I’m glad Rex is going to be part of the show. Hopefully he has a pretty big role and not just some throwaway token role. I’m all for revamping the ride, but it would definitely be great if a staple of the old ride-in this case Rex-is integrated into the new one.


Dawn on October 26th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Is Ace the co-pilot, kinda like how R2 was the co pilot in the original Star Tours Attraction?


Kenneth from OH on October 26th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

“I can assure you, they’ll never get me onto one of those dreadful starships!”


Famous last words…


Fred from CA on October 26th, 2010 at 11:22 pm


Will there be any new additions in the “Droidnostics Center” portion of the queue? Will there still be any G2 droids around?


Shawn on October 27th, 2010 at 12:39 am

Very exciting! Can’t wait to ride!

So, I think Disney and Lucas should work together and get a “Star Wars land” made. Wouldn’t it be sweet to walk on the Death Star, through the swamps of Dagobah… someday maybe…


Louis on October 27th, 2010 at 1:40 am

C3PO and R2D2, the Laural and Hardy of Space Travel.
Do we have a projected re-opening date?

Off to Disneyland tomorrow morning to see Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion and all the great Halloween decorations.


Anthony from CA on October 27th, 2010 at 1:54 am

This is so awesome!! But at the same time, very sad! We’re taking my Son to Disneyland for the first time on his second birthday this coming December, so I don’t get to show him Star Tours!! :( Of course we’ll be back in a couple of years, but still. I wonder if there’ll be 3 different adventures for each tour-ship? That’s something I always thought they should’ve done the first time around, having 3 rides in one that you get to board at random.

All in all though, I really can’t wait! This ride is one of my favorites, so cool that 3P0’s role has been expanded!


Fred from CA on October 27th, 2010 at 1:57 am

As cool as this news is, I really hope that this won’t make the attraction’s overall storyline too convoluted and difficult for guests to follow.


Pamela on October 27th, 2010 at 5:18 am

It would be perfect if you there was a way people in wheelchairs could stay in their chair to experience this attraction. I can’t transfer from my power chair but would love to experience this attraction when it reopens!


Luis from VA on October 27th, 2010 at 6:01 am

My son & I can’t wait. We love star tours & with 3po at the wheel it will be awesome.


Penny on October 27th, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great Post! These are some of my favorite sorts of posts on the Disney Parks Blog! I’m so excited to see the changes, I can hardly wait.


Marc on October 27th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

If you’re posing as a travel agency, why not give the “tourists” more than one adventure and keep the old ride as one “destination”? (naturally everyone will want to be on the new ride at first, but that won’t always be the case…)


Samantha on October 27th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Yes please keep Pee Wee’s voice I love him and would be very disappointed if they did not use it again.


Fred from CA on October 27th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

It was recently revealed by Disneyland president George Kalogridis that the new Star Tours will offer guests 54 different experiences.


Fred from CA on October 27th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

…Oops. My previous message wasen’t intended for Marc, it was actually in response to Anthony. Oh well, its still good info for people to know. :)


Benjamin on November 9th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

54!? That is SO cool!


Fred from CA on November 19th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I am really looking forward to your next blog post, don’t keep us waiting too long! :)