This week, The Last Jedi planet of Crait is being added to the Star Tours ride at Disney parks in Florida and Anaheim. However, that may be just one of several changes coming to the 30-year-old attraction.
We know for a fact that Crait is debuting on November 17 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Beyond that, new rumours suggest the addition will usher in an even bigger transition. Currently, the ride consists of a largely randomised set of planets and scenarios. But the new rumours suggest that will be going away permanently, transitioning to one single new sequence that would only feature characters from the sequel trilogy. The ride would start with new intro, followed by a Jakku sequence from The Force Awakens, a transmission from BB-8, and then Crait from The Last Jedi.
The rumour continues that, sometime in the next several months, guests will be able to make a choice: Ride either this new sequel trilogy ride, or do another ride based on characters from Episodes I-VI.
A Disney Parks representative would not comment on the rumours.
As a Disneyland season passholder and Star Wars fan, these transition rumours are disappointing, but they also make sense to me. Huge new Star Wars sections of both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios, called Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, are under construction, aiming for a 2019 opening. And though nothing has been officially announced, most fans assume those openings could mean the end of Star Tours.
Location-wise, it's unlikely the ride would be integrated into either land (especially at Disneyland, where it's on the other side of the park entirely), and the whole point of the new lands is to create a wholly immersive, connected experience. Having an unrelated Star Wars ride on premises could take away from that, especially if it showed characters who aren't represented in Galaxy's Edge. (Another rumour is the new lands will be primarily sequel trilogy-themed.)
That's a lot going against Star Tours. So a graceful exit, slowly winding it back from its current randomised ride, feels like a logical step. But again, while these are just rumours at this point, fans should find out more this week once Crait debuts.