Set The Scene: Five Elements in Rise of the Resistance That Satisfy
Well I guess the technical name is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. But we’re calling it Rise of the Resistance. Or just Rise at this point. At least out loud. This brand new attraction opened just a few weeks ago here at Walt Disney World and opens at Disneyland in January. For those unfamiliar with this latest and greatest attraction from Walt Disney Imagineering may I suggest watching a quick POV of the attraction from our friends over at BlogMickey. By quick I mean an 18 minute expose of the entire attraction from preshow through finale.
Let’s dig-in to what I believe are five elements within the attraction that are truly legendary
1. Rey’s Hologram
Projections in theme park rides aren’t new, ways they can be presented are always being reinvented however. Rey’s hologram in the preshow is a perfect example of a new way of showing old technology. A seasoned theme park guest would easily be able to spot the mirror mid way through the hologram area, but the illusion goes deeper than that.
You’ll notice that the Rey hologram isn’t exactly aligned with the diagonal of the wall being reflected. This immediately keeps show and makes people second guess how an effect is being completed. Standing close and personal you can see just how the effect is pulled off: a screen behind the two-way mirror angled slightly different. It’s simple and works wonders.
2. Unloading from the Intersystem Transport Ship
Next step in the ride is getting onto the ITS. You board the ITS with the front of the ship on your right, back on the left.
In reality the ship is on a turntable, disguised extraordinarily well, but still a turntable. This means you enter and exit through the same doors. The doors on the other side of the ship are false and serve no real purpose. Leaving through the same doors you entered but in a brand new place throws every guest on the ship through a loop. After riding numerous times I can safely say a majority of people line up at the false doors waiting to leave once the ship is taken by the star destroyer.
These little details matter and help build story and show that you’re truly in a crazy attraction where the typical theme park rules don’t apply.
3. Interrogation Room Shadows
After being taken by the First Order you are taken to interrogation cells. In the catwalks above you witness General Hux and Kylo Ren harass your group for a minute before wandering away. This effect is done by projection, but Disney has taken the effect further than before.
The projections cast shadows onto the room. Yes, the fake Kylo Ren and Hux both cast shadows behind themselves and shadows against the red light forward.
You can see the shadow on the red light on the top of this image as well as the black shadow cast behind the characters through the blue light.
It’s truly impressive and really helps send the idea home that “no of course they’re real THEY’RE CASTING SHADOWS” whereas a projection screen wouldn’t be able to accomplish such a task. It’s dimensional and very very real, one of the coolest and most overlooked effects in the entire ride in my opinion.
4. Empty Prisoner Transport Vehicles
In most attractions the ride vehicles are designed to control and force you to view a certain vantage point of the show scene being displayed. Rise of the Resistance is a little different in that you’re on out of control hacked prisoner transport vehicles that don’t know where they’re going.
Right out of the load area you encounter two other prisoner transport vehicles, not hacked and clearly working for the First Order. They communicate with your transports and ultimately decide you’re not a threat and you continue on. This entire interaction was built to allow the empty ride vehicles to enter your (now empty) load area and get set for more guests. The dialogue designed in this section, and the little dance the four vehicles do together, is seamless with the overall storytelling of the attraction. They’re not trying to hide other vehicles but rather embracing the presence and adding them into the story. It is a big star destroyer, after all.
5. The Drop Sequence
Rise of the Tower of Terror, almost. The ride ends with your transport boarding an escape pod which drops off the star destroyer and heads back towards Batuu. It’s a belly buster of a drop that’s quick and fun, but what most people don’t notice is the physical set around the projected scene.
Of course with space travel and being in a ship the route will be a projection, that’s a given, but what’s awesome are the glowing red lights on top of the escape pod. You can see them in the above picture. They’re big, bright, red lights that are between your vehicle and the projection dome on the other side. This gives another level of dimension and adds immense depth to “just another star tours simulator” type finale.
This second image, taken after the drop and still on the simulator, shows that the lights have disappeared which of course they have… they were on the star destroyer and you’re long gone from it. Simple, effective, and wonderful.
So what do you think? Do you agree that these elements are wild or am I just crazy talking again? Did I miss your favorite effect? Let me known in the comments!