Rise of the Resistance was announced at a Destination D event in November 2018, The attraction is very technically complex. Disney announced that the attraction would open as a “phase two” of Galaxy’s on both coasts.
During the opening ceremonies on August 27th, the media were shown a video of the attraction, but I was not allowed to take any photos or video. This attraction is indeed incredibly complex and ambitious, but I will try to explain it.
Also as part of the media preview, which I attended courtesy of the nice folks at Disney Media Relations, I was able to go inside the still under construction attraction building. I’m so excited to share my experience with you! Again, I could not take photos, but you can check out the video below for some of my thoughts immediately after existing partial preview of the attraction.
Scott Trowbridge, Star Wars Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineer, explained the attraction, which promises to put you in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance, with great enthusiasm.
We don’t yet know the full end-to-end story, but in part of the adventure, you will depart from Batuu in a transport ship that is blue and rectangular shaped.
However, as often happens in Star Wars, something goes terribly wrong.
Eventually you find yourself captured and on a Star Destroyer. You are intercepted by Kylo Ren and the First Order. You find yourself in a massive Star Destroyer Hanger Bay.
Escape is necessary for survival, but the Resistance has heard of your capture and is on their way to help.
Throughout your ride, you’ll come into contact with some famous Star Wars Characters including BB-8, Rey, Nien Nunb, Poe Dameron, Finn, and Kylo Ren.
The Technology and Show
We were shown the small ride vehicle and also the massive hangar bay. The bay itself, as pictured in the concept art above, is at least 50 feet tall and twice as wide with dozens – probably 50 or more – audio-animatronic Storm Troopers lined up. Behind the Storm Troopers is a screen that, when turned on, will look out into space and simulate motion. It will not, however, require 3D glasses.
Technically, Rise of the Resistance is complicated. Imagineers combined multiple ride systems. including a trackless vehicle and a motion simulator.
At one point you will be in a trackless ride vehicle. Your trackless ride vehicle races through the Star Destroyer while the onboard Droid driver reacts to its surroundings. The First Order, including an army of Storm Troopers, wants to keep you as prisoners, but you need to escape.
During your time evading the First Order, you find that you need to make it to an escape pod to get off the Destroyer before it blows up. Your trackless vehicle rides into the escape pod, which is actually a motion simulator. This part of the ride simulates your escape from the Destroyer.
At the end of the ride, the ride vehicle appears to drop from the ship, and you can see yourself flying away.
After I saw video with a quick preview of the attraction story, and had a chance to look inside the attraction building itself, I can tell you that the attraction is epic – grand in scale and execution. I can’t wait to see the finished product.