Fun Facts about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
On December 5th, 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted its latest attraction. It instantly earned the title of the most popular attraction at Walt Disney World.
The following month, this ride opened at Disneyland and dominated there as well. Simply stated, it’s THE Disney ride of the moment. And we’re going to learn more about it today.
Here are some fun facts about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
A Story Told in Three Acts
The sweeping nature of Rise of the Resistance will cause you to wonder when the ride actually begins.
You’ll start with a pre-show wherein Rey explains your mission. For some reason, The Resistance “desperately needs your help.” Uh-oh.
Immediately after your briefing, members of The Resistance will escort you to your ship, which promptly gets attacked and hijacked.
Afterward, The First Order takes you to a prison for interrogation. Later, you gain your freedom and some guidance from Finn.
Next, you board an escape vehicle and try to reach a turbo lift and then flee the ship.
So, this story involves three acts. Everything before your imprisonment counts as the first act wherein you learn your mission.
You’re in constant peril during the second act as you enter enemy territory. Members of The First Order even taunt and threaten you during this section!
Then, the third act is where most of the action happens. You attempt to make your escape despite the presence of Kylo Ren, who really doesn’t want you to go.
Rise of the Resistance plays out like an 18-minute mini-movie. You can watch the entire experience here:
Please note that the first six minutes display the line queue. So, you can skip that if you want to get straight to the action.
Imagineers challenged themselves to set a new standard in theme park design.
For this reason, two different visuals from the attraction stand out.
The first occurs after The First Order captures many of your crew, including you.
Officers take you to a holding facility, and you’ll appreciate the danger once you enter this new open-air space.
This section features 50 (!) life-sized Stormtroopers, all of whom are holding various threatening poses and occasionally move slightly.
You’ll actually encounter more later in the ride. However, even Stormtroopers firing lasers at you isn’t as attempting as an entire room of them!
You Must Dodge Live Ammo!
When I say that Disney upped the ante with Rise of the Resistance, I’m not joking.
You’ll find some experiences here that are singularly unique at Disney theme parks.
To wit, during your imprisonment, cast members will treat you like a prisoner of war…and they’re not friendly!
The members of The First Order will heckle you!
Disney has only done this a handful of times in its theme park history, and it’s usually during character meals/interactions like 1900 Park Fare.
Somehow, that’s not even the worst part, though! At various moments during your escape attempt, you’ll dodge “live ammo.”
Obviously, this is an immersive aspect of the ride rather than something dangerous to anyone.
The storyline indicates that Stormtroopers are so desperate to capture you that they’ll take you dead or alive.
So, they pull out their trusty Laser Blasters and take aim at your brain. The new “PEW! PEW!” you hear could be your last!
The Life-Sized At-At
Some of the early reporting regarding Rise of the Resistance wasn’t entirely accurate. For whatever reason, Disney officials undersold the attraction at first.
I didn’t fully appreciate the size and scope of this attraction until Disney revealed that one hangar would host a life-sized At-At. In fact, there are multiple ones!
These “all-terrain walkers” first appeared in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and proved wildly popular with fans.
The conceit of the At-At involves its height. Each one stands more than 72 feet tall! As you might imagine, building one of those ain’t easy.
Again, Imagineers dared to do the impossible…and then doubled down on the premise!
You’ll drive under and around two different At-Ats as you attempt your daring escape. In fact, you’ll get a great look at their underbelly during this encounter!
Later, you’ll go up a floor and become the rare soul who gets an up-close view of an At-At laser cannon and lives to tell the tale!
The First of Its Kind
Virtually every theme park attraction you’ve ever ridden relies on the track. This base keeps your ride cart moving in the proper direction.
If you didn’t have a track, chaos would ensue. Disney knows this fact from experience. The initial version of Autopia lacked any sort of guidance.
Guests famously lost their teeth colliding into one another on the track! So, Imagineers figured tracks would be a good idea for that and all other rides.
Then, in 2001, Disney tried something different. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt utilized an array of sensors to allow ride carts to move without tracks.
The sensors guided the vehicles safely, preventing any head-on crashes.
This technology proved quite expensive. So, Disney hasn’t used it often.
In fact, we wouldn’t receive another trackless ride until 2013, when Mystic Manor debuted at Hong Kong Disneyland!
Meanwhile, Walt Disney World wouldn’t get its own trackless ride until Rise of the Resistance. But this one’s a doozy!
The spacious nature of the airport hangar-sized attraction allows for a shocking amount of ride movement.
Remember how I said you can go under the At-Ats? Your view and your perspective will change depending on which ride cart you’re in.
That’s because each one comes with a distinct sensor-guided path.
Realistically, most of the ride experience is identical, but there is modest variance in the At-At sequence at a minimum.
Disney later added a trackless ride cart with even more movement, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. But Rise of the Resistance was the first!
The Time Frame
Here’s one of those facts that you already know if you’re a diehard Star Wars fan. And if you’re not, you probably don’t even care much.
Still, you should know that Disney put plenty of thought into the timeline for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and especially Rise of the Resistance.
After all, Kylo Ren and Rey appear, and we all know how that turns out. So, Disney has established the timeframe for this ride to clarify any concerns.
This story occurs between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Yes, that’s Episode VIII and Episode IX.
If you’ve ever wondered why Snoke doesn’t appear, that’s why!
Featured Image: Matt Stroshane/Disney