It’s been nearly five years since the last original Star Tours ride closed down in Disneyland Paris, and yet it keeps inspiring creative people to create tributes.
We at EndorExpress created a full captation of the original experience as Star Tours: Before The Adventures Continue, while others have created excellent 3D recreations and more. But today we want to shine a light on Star Tours: Last Launch:
As the Empire expands its power across the galaxy, a communication message is intercepted between the rebellion and someone deep inside the intergalactic travel agency Star Tours. Will this message blow the Rebel cover? Find out in Star Tours: Last Launch!Star Tours: Last Launch synopsis
Led by Mickael Plasse, it’s a 20 minute tribute to our favourite attraction using a mixture of live action, built sets and 3D environments. The project is currently in its last week of a kickstarter to raise funds to complete the project and enter it in film festivals. We talk to Mickael about the project and where the inspiration came from.
My earliest memory of Star Tours was when I was just four years old. I remember telling my parents that ‘he is driving so bad!’ (Laughs). So Star Tours always held a special place in my heart. Just before the final flight I came up with the idea to create an hommage.
How did your feel about the closure and the upgrades?
I like the new version! It took a lot of work and they managed to make it great. Especially the movements combined with the latest visuals is spectacular. However, I do miss the little touch of immersion that we had on the original one. Now we are just IN Star Wars with C-3PO as our pilot, instead of just living in the Star Wars universe and just seeing what else is out there.
I don’t know how to fully explain it, but it’s different. I’m still very nostalgic of the original one.
Understandable! So you incorporated both timelines into a coherent story? I’m sure that wasn’t simple!
Correct! The chronology of the Star Tours has always been complicated. And we made it even more complicated to make it fit. (Laughs)
You have the Death Star on the original version while the story took place after the return of the Jedi. But then the new version of the attraction take place before the original ride but we found RX-24 in the queue. Also you have the G2 droids which look more sophisticated than their predecessors (or successors timeline wise), of which the upper part are crated next to Captain Rex in Disneyland Paris.
So I took some liberties with the Story of Star Tours: Last Launch. The original Astroport is a maintenance area while the spaceport THX1138 is the main unit of Star Tours. This gives us the freedom to add both areas to a single timeline.
That sounds exciting! You chose to launch a kickstarter to fund the project. Why the choice?
Yes! The crowdfunding. It truly was a success as we reached our goal in just a few days, which is just absolutely incredible! So first of all I would really like to thank all the people who supported the project!
You know that financing is always the hardest part of a project, especially as an independent filmmaker. In the beginning I tried to self-finance the project, but quickly got limited in several areas like set construction. Choosing a crowdfunding gave us the opportunity to build some actual sets! Fun fact: one of the perks was to have a small role in the film. The extra budget will also allow for an actual premiere and screenings in France with possibly other countries as well!
Can you tell us a bit about the technical and creative side of the project?
Well, the main difficulty of this project is the fact that Star Tours just has these three rooms and a film, none of which are accessible to shoot a short film in. So we not only have to recreate everything on our soundstages, but also come up with the rest of the TXH1138 Spaceport. So we built some sets, which then got extended with virtual sets. For the rest of the scenes we’re in a complete 3D environment. We built everything in Blender to show that you can actually create realistic visuals with free software, and don’t need expensive gear to create short films. In fact, we started shooting the movie on just a Sony a6300, and recently upgraded to the Panasonic GH5S.
Impressive! Well, we can’t wait to see the finished project!
You can still contribute to Star Tours: Last Launch here.