It is an experience Walt Disney Imagineering describes as one of its “most ambitious, advanced and immersive,” and also one of its largest attractions ever created. And today, Disney gave us a sneak peek into that massive and highly-anticipated addition to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Rise of the Resistance.
The photo showing just inside the hangar aboard the First Order ship was released by Disney along with the following details describing the attraction’s storyline:
“When it opens, this harrowing adventure will blur the lines between fantasy and reality and will put you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. You will join the Resistance and depart from Batuu in a transport ship to meet General Leia Organa at a secret rendezvous point. Along the way, however, you will be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer. The action then ramps up as you seek to escape the clutches of Kylo Ren and the First Order – with the help of some heroes of the Resistance.”
Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on December 5 at Disney World, and on January 17 at Disneyland, but several media outlets were given an advanced look at what Guests will experience on this intergalactic adventure. Chris Taylor, of Mashable.com, was one of the lucky journalists who was granted early access to Rise of the Resistance during a recent visit to Galaxy’s Edge, where he and other visitors of Batuu encountered the droid BB-8 and a 3-D hologram of Rey asking them to join the Resistance and meet General Organa. They then received a message from Poe Dameron alerting them that he was ready to accompany them in their journey off-world.
“You then step into an outdoor boarding area featuring Dameron’s signature black X-Wing – engines still steaming, a Poe-like helmeted figure hovering in the cockpit,” Taylor explains. “Ahead is the Resistance transport, another fully-realized spacecraft, conveniently placed next to an apparent mountainside.”
“No seats inside the vehicle; it’s more of a troop transport kind of deal. Which means,” Taylor adds,”you get to hang on to the overhead bars and live your best Jyn Erso-from-Rogue One moment.”
Taylor continues,”One series of shenanigans later, the transport is captured by the First Order. Via some rotational trickery, visitors exit the same way they came in – only to find they’re on the deck of a Star Destroyer.” Describing what happens next as “the most impressive moment of the tour,” Taylor and the other Guests were greeted by long lines of First Order Stormtroopers standing in front of the star-filled hangar exit. “It’s an extremely arresting visual, in the sense of ‘Oh, crap, they’re arresting us.’ It takes you awhile to realize the costumes are all empty.”
From that point, the visitors were taken on their second transport of the Rise of the Resistance experience – “a six-person vehicle, apparently free-roaming the floors of the Star Destroyer,” a trackless ride system in an area that’s vastness “has the scope and scale you expect from the Star Wars universe,” according to Scott Trowbridge, the Imagineer who manages the Star Wars parks. Piloted by an R5 unit droid, the vehicle delivers guests to an escape pod, one Taylor describes as “reminiscent of the tourist transport in Star Tours.” Following this motion simulator experience with massive screens, “This pod will literally drop, Tower of Terror-style, to properly convey the sickening lurch of falling out of the Destroyer. At some point, Kylo Ren will attempt to gain access to the pod, and a red lightsaber slices through the ceiling. …”
This is where Disney’s media preview of Rise of the Resistance ended, but not before it bestowed what Chris Taylor described as a “stupid grin plastered on my previously jaded face,” as he left the attraction feeling “like a kid again.”
Housed in a building so enormous, as if it’s its own world within Galaxy’s Edge, Rise of the Resistance promises to redefine “the new E-Ticket standard”(thanks Disney guru, Lou Mongello! ), as it truly seems it will be a completely next-level, totally immersive Star Wars experience for Disney Park Guests!