Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

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Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Poster.jpg
Rise of the Resistance.jpg
Entrance to the Attraction at Disneyland
Disney's Hollywood Studios
AreaStar Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Soft opening dateDecember 3, 2019
Opening dateDecember 5, 2019 (2019-12-05)[1]
AreaStar Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Opening dateJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)[2]
General statistics
Attraction typeCombined Motion Simulator and trackless Dark ride
DesignerWalt Disney Imagineering
ThemeStar Wars
MusicJohn Williams[3]
Vehicle typeTrackless ride vehicle, First Order fleet transport
Riders per vehicle8
Riders per row4
Duration18 minutes
Height restriction40 in (102 cm)
Audio-AnimatronicsYes, 65[4]
Must transfer from wheelchair

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. The attraction—a combined trackless dark ride, walk-through, motion simulator, and drop ride system[3]—puts guests into the middle of an altercation between the Resistance and the First Order. Featuring four interworking ride systems in conjunction with Audio-Animatronics, practical sets, projection mapping and screen-based media, Rise of the Resistance is one of the most complex and advanced attractions designed by Walt Disney Imagineering.[3]


Announced alongside the land's official announcement at the 2015 D23 Expo in Anaheim, the attraction was originally described as guests "being placed in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance". On November 17, 2018 at a Destination D event, the attraction's name was announced as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Film actors Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, and Kipsang Rotich reprised their roles in the attraction as Rey, Poe Dameron, Finn, Kylo Ren, General Hux, and the voice of Nien Nunb, respectively.[5][6] James Arnold Taylor provided the voice of Lieutenant Bek.[7] Industrial Light & Magic created the CGI sequences for the attraction.[3]

The construction of the attraction posed unprecedented technical challenges. Not only does the ride contain 65 Audio-Animatronic figures, but the ride building itself required the largest concrete pour in the history of Disney Parks. More than five million lines of code control the various aspects of the ride. It has been called a "technical masterpiece".[8]

The attraction was originally planned to open with Galaxy's Edge on opening day, but on March 7, 2019, it was announced that it would open later than the rest of Galaxy's Edge for "phase two".[9] On July 11, 2019, the opening dates for Rise of the Resistance were revealed with Disney's Hollywood Studios' version opening first on December 5, 2019, followed by Disneyland's version opening on January 17, 2020.[10]

A media event for the attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios was held from December 3–4, 2019 in which guests attending the event were able to experience the attraction.[11]


The attraction is located in the area of Galaxy's Edge known as the ancient ruins on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost, which includes a Resistance encampment. Its entrance is marked by a turret that leads guests — acting as new recruits — to a path heading into ancient caves that house a Resistance control center where they are given a mission by BB-8 and a hologram of Rey to rendezvous with General Leia Organa at an undisclosed planet. The briefing also includes Poe Dameron, Nien Nunb, and Mon Calamari Lieutenant Bek, all appearing on video screens. Guests then walk past ships, including Dameron's X-wing fighter, and board a resistance CEC Intersystem Transport Ship for the first portion of the ride. On board, Bek speaks to guests as Nien Nunb pilots the ship, which is escorted by Dameron and other X-wings. Dameron is forced to go for help when the transport and fighters are attacked by a First Order Star Destroyer which appears to capture the guests' ship and pull it inside a hangar bay filled with stormtroopers. The recruits then are brought into a cell where Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux discuss their interrogation. Then with help from Finn, disguised as a stormtrooper, the recruits board a hijacked First Order Fleet Transport (an eight-seat ride vehicle) piloted by an R5 unit to travel to an escape pod.

Ride experience[edit]

The ride begins with Finn explaining how to get to the escape pods. The two transports exit the loading station where they pass two other empty transports heading into the loading station, with Bek speaking to the riders through the transports' radio. They enter another room where a probe droid nearly spots them. However, when about to reach two lifts, two stormtroopers spot the guests. The stormtroopers attempt to blast at the transports, but fail as the transports escape. They enter the next room which includes AT-ATs. The door leading out of the room closes before the transports can pass through. The stormtroopers spot the transports again and attempt to blast at them. An audio-animatronic Finn in a stormtrooper suit helps the guests as the transports split up and enter two lifts. Finn tells them to go down, but they go up instead. One of the vehicles is spotted by an AT-AT pilot and is almost blasted.

In the next room, audio-animatronic figures of Kylo Ren and General Hux are seen atop the ship's bridge discussing the situation. Suddenly, a Resistance ship fleet appears and Ren notices the transports. The riders attempt to escape, but Ren jumps down in front of them and ignites his lightsaber as the transports enter two lifts, though the doors close in front of them before he can get to them. As the lifts go down, Kylo's lightsaber suddenly cuts through the ceiling as they escape. The riders then enter a room with three cannons firing at the Resistance, which they pass under and make it into the next room where an audio-animatronic Ren uses the Force on the transports, demanding that they tell him the whereabouts of the Resistance Base. Suddenly, a hole is blasted into the wall and Ren is almost blown out into space as debris falls over him. If the animatronic of Kylo Ren is not working, an alternate ending is triggered. Ren instead appears through the windows in front of the transports in his TIE Fighter and threatens to blast them if they don't give him information on the Resistance Base. All of a sudden, a Resistance X Wing shoots down Kylo Ren's TIE Fighter and the transports escape. The transports enter the next room and enter the escape pods, where the ride turns into a motion simulator. After two other pods eject, the riders' pods undergo a sudden vertical drop and escape back onto Batuu. The transports exit the simulator and enter the hangar, where an audio-animatronic Bek is seen in his escape pod, having just crash landed in the base. They then enter the unload station where the ride ends.[12]

Technology and Effects[edit]

Rise of the Resistance is the most technologically advanced theme park attraction in existence today. The ride features multiple ride systems, including motion simulators, trackless dark ride vehicles, and a version of the Tower of Terror’s drop shaft. In the briefing room scene, BB-8 can be seen rolling on a rock wall. He is actually a puppet attached to a robotic arm with a rotating spherical shell, this is the reason why he rolls up to a specific point. Next to BB-8 is a large hologram effect of Rey, which is accomplished with an OLED display behind a one-way mirror. In the transport, guests enter and exit through the same door, but exit onto the Star Destroyer. The transport is a motion simulator on a turntable. While the simulator is in motion, it is rotated so that guests will exit into the Star Destroyer set with moving flaps for safety once the simulator has stopped. The animation is in sync with the circular motion. During the interrogation, the images of General Hux and Kylo Ren are a Musion effect, however additional projectors are used to create shadows as though the actors were physically present. Before the riders board their vehicles, projection effects and strobe lights are used to simulate the metal being cut, which slides away through the use of a mechanism. Riders then board a ride vehicle that utilizes wireless charging, as well as RFID pucks in the floor to give the vehicle position data and allow it to navigate the attraction without a track. The vehicles are always stationed on charging pads when they are in the load and unload zones in order to remain at full charge. The blasters throughout the ride use either a persistence of vision effect or arrays of LEDs to give the illusion the beams are travelling through air. Projectors and flipping panels are also used to simulate damage as it occurs to equipment and sets during the ride. The room with AT-ATs only contains two, but the use of a mirror makes it look like there are four. When the vehicles stop on the lifts, flaps come up to prevent the vehicles from rolling off. When Kylo Ren appears for the second time, he is a projection on a moving screen, while his lightsaber is a prop. In the elevator scene (which is actually a static room with lights to give the illusion the riders are in a moving elevator), the blade of Kylo Ren's lightsaber is actually a rapidly spinning light panel which moves on a semicircular track to give the illusion it is cutting through the roof. The cannons are situated in front of a large screen. Each cannon has its own system to ensure it does not hit the vehicles. Blasts from the Resistance cause damage to the walls, which are actually panels that move away to show internal parts. During the scene where the wall breaks behind Kylo Ren, panels move away to simulate breaking (an effect originally used in Mystic Manor), complete with a wind effect to simulate being sucked out. The escape pods are a motion simulator on a drop shaft in front of a large projection screen. Each pod also has a locking mechanism to prevent the vehicles from sliding.[13]


The ride has received widespread acclaim. During its reporting of its fiscal first-quarter 2020 results on February 4, The Walt Disney Company announced that attendance rose 2 percent at its domestic theme parks during that quarter. Moreover, spending at the U.S. parks was up 10 percent. Disney CEO Bob Iger reported that the twin debuts of the Rise of the Resistance attractions in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have contributed to an increase in per-capita spending in the parks.[14]

Due to significant guest demand, Disney implemented a system of gaining a place on the ride via their respective Disney park smartphone app, as opposed to their usual "FastPass" system. Guests are required to register for a boarding group on their phone or at in-park kiosks in order to gain access to the ride, which has garnered mixed reactions from park attendees in both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Early on, guests found that boarding groups filled for the day within minutes of the park opening, requiring guests to arrive to the park at its opening time in order to secure a place in line to go on the ride.[15] As guests must be in the park to apply for a "Boarding Group", Disney has taken the step of opening the main hub of the Hollywood Studios park early to implement this new system.[16]


  1. ^ "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Now Open at Disneyland Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d MacDonald, Brady (December 6, 2019). "How Disney pulled off the spectacular technical feats in Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge". The Orange County Register. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  4. ^ McDonald, Brooke. "How Seeing 'The Rise of Skywalker' Changes Your Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Experience at Disney". Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Parker, Ryan (February 27, 2019). "Inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge — A Firsthand Account". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Spitzer, Michelle (December 4, 2019). "Disney's Rise of the Resistance puts riders in the middle of an epic 'Star Wars' battle". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Young, Bryan. "ALL THE EASTER EGGS WE FOUND IN STAR WARS: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE". Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Inside the innovative Disney ride that's key to its Star Wars strategy". CNN. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  9. ^ Smith, Thomas (March 7, 2019). "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to Open May 31 at Disneyland Resort, August 29 at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  10. ^ Smith, Thomas (July 11, 2019). "Timing for Opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Announced". Disney Parks Blog.
  11. ^ "Rise of the Resistance puts riders in middle of epic battle; ride opens at Hollywood Studios". Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  12. ^ Lussier, Germain. "17 Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Easter Eggs and Tips for Riding". Gizmodo. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "How Rise of the Resistance Works (WDW & Disneyland) - YouTube".
  14. ^ "Attendance increases at Disneyland and Disney World after launch of Rise of the Resistance". Orange County Register. February 4, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  15. ^ "Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Ride Guide - Strategy + Tips". Ziggy Knows Disney. February 4, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  16. ^ "How to Ride Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios". All-American Atlas. January 25, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.

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