rise of the resistance

When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened, I was totally blown away by the highly immersive land designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. While the land transported me into the Star Wars galaxy like never before at the grand opening, it was really only half-finished.

Batuu’s signature E-ticket attraction, Rise of the Resistance, was not ready for opening day. The ride was said to be such a leap in theme park attraction technology that it needed more time to complete, leading to a later opening date. And now that time has arrived and Rise of the Resistance is finally open at the Hollywood Studios park in Walt Disney World. I have experienced it and it’s incredible. Could it be the best ride ever? Come along with us on this adventure! We have video.

Rise of the Resistance Review

Rise of the Resistance gives off-world travelers on Batuu an opportunity to join the Resistance. The First Order’s reach has invaded this small outpost on the edge of known space and we’re invited to board a transport shuttle headed to the Resistance’s new secret base. Little do we know, it will get captured by a Star Destroyer and we will be pursued by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren as we “frantically search for a way to escape the clutches of the First Order.”

Rise of the Resistance is like four rides in one, connected by narrative sequences unlike anything seen in a theme park ride before, each of them blending queue, pre-show and ride. It transcends the ride itself and becomes a much longer storytelling narrative, worthy of hours-long lines. The whole experience from your first encounter with characters to the exit of your vehicle could last anywhere from 20-25 minutes.

The journey begins on Batuu as you discover that First Order troops have landed on planet and are looking around Black Spire Outpost for a rebel spy. You might even have a personal interaction with Kylo, his Stormtrooper guards, or maybe the Resistance side of the equation: Rey, Chewbacca, or Vi. If you wander into the forested area along the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost, you will discover the Resistance’s temporary encampment. This is where the real adventure begins.

Guests make their way through a pathway leading them deeper into “the forest toward towering cliffs and the crumbling remains of an ancient civilization.” In a makeshift briefing room, BB-8 presents us with a holo-transmission from Rey, who has a plan to reunite with General Leia Organa. We hurry to board a nearby Intersystem Transport Ship (I-TS) on route to the new base, but we are spotted by a First Order Star Destroyer and captured. Arrested and interrogated by the Supreme Leader himself, we must find a way to escape thanks to our resistance cohorts.

This is when the ride itself begins. We board eight-passenger First Order Fleet Transports (highly technological trackless vehicles) piloted by reprogrammed R5-series astromech droids. Traversing the labyrinth of the Star Destroyer, we will have run-ins with Kylo and his army of Stormtroopers. We might even come face-to-face with an AT-AT Walker. By the end of this ride, you will believe that blaster bolts are real. The climactic ending sequence takes place as we board escape pods that drop us back down to the planet of Batuu.

Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux) all reprise their film roles for this attraction, and a couple of them even get realistic animatronic figures.

Rise of the Resistance is a masterwork of Imagineering, employing state of the art technology and mind-blowing illusions to create the most immersive storytelling ride experience ever created. Watch the video above to see my full reaction.

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