Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Star Tours 1987-2010

I just found out yesterday that Star Tours, a Star Wars based ride at Disneyland is closing its doors for a new ride, Star Tours II. This makes me feel both happy and sad. I am sad to see a beloved ride leave. Star Tours opened in 1987 at Disneyland, at that time I was a 7 year old kid so I was of the perfect age to love the ride, which I did.

I can somewhat recall my first time on Star Tours, the wait seemed to take days... and that was just to get inside. The first time I went on the ride I believe hearing the wait was 3 hours. Once you finally got inside the actual Star Tours building you are greeted by a replica of the Starspeeder 3000 (the ship you ride) being repaired and C-3P0 and R2D2. It was a lot to take in as a kid, seeing actual characters from the Star Wars movie! I remember also the first time I rode Star Tours that it threw me around with all its twists and turns. As I grew up I would always long for the feelings of that first time, not knowing which way the ship would turn and being small enough to not be able to hold on. Of course I couldn't write this blog without mentioning Captian Rex, the man in charge of the Starspeeder 3000. Until recently I never knew he was voiced by Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman. His famous line always is worth a chuckle. "I know this is probably your first flight, and it's mine too, ha ha."

Check out this commerical for the ride,badass!

As I grew up the ride was always a favorite of mine but as other attractions got put in the park, the lure of a ride I had been on tons of times lost some of its luster. I would always still go on the ride of course, but the small lines and my memorization of the entire ride made it loose a lot of the fun it once held. As you leave Star Tours, you see all these posters with other planets, I would often start wondering when do we get to see these other places? I guess I am getting that answer next year. Dinseyland announced that Star Tours II is coming in 2011. I am happy that the ride is getting an upgrade, Star Tours II will feature new technology and use 3D in the ride. As is set to take place sometimes between Episodes III - VI. You can see that announcement here as well as a clip from what the new ride will feature:

If you live the area, I would suggest going on one last trip on the ride. I wish I could! But now I am 100% going to make sure that I am going to Disneyland next year to ride the next chapter of Star Tours. I just hope that it can live up to the fun that I had when I was a kid.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

RIP Party Down

Party Down is a great show that had been on Starz for two seasons. It was produced by Paul Rudd and Rob Thomas (not the singer but the same person who created another show called Veronica Mars). Sadly since the show offered a fresh look on comedy and was a great show it has been canceled.

The show had an impressive cast of young talent. Adam Scott (who is now on Parks and Recreation) , Martin Starr (Knocked Up, Adventureland, Freaks and Geeks), Ken Marino (Role Models and The State), Lizzy Caplan, Ryan Hansen, Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), and Jane Lynch (Glee).

The cast seemed to all be from impressive comedy groups. Marino from the State group, Starr, Lynch and Caplan from the Apatow group, Hansen was a main character on Veronica Mars and Lynch, Marino, Scott appeared on Veronica Mars. The producers no doubt had a connection to the actors as Rudd was in Knocked Up (as was Scott) and 40 Year old Virgin (Lynch was also in 40 Year Old Virgin). Lynch also left with two episodes left in the first season because she signed on to do a little show called Glee, she was replaced by Jennifer Coolidge for the last two episodes and then Mullally took over for season two.

Another connection I saw was from the cult show the State. Marino was in the show and throughout the two seasons many guest stars showed up from The State and I know Rudd was in the film The Ten, which featured many former cast members from The State. Also we had a strong Veronica Mars connection, which include Kristen Bell showing up in a few episodes but she was a very important to the plot of season 2. We also had appearances from Ken Jeong, J.K. Simmons, Jennifer Coolidge, and Joey Lauren Adams among others.

I wouldn't say it was as great as Arrested Development, but like that show it was taken away from viewers way too early. A small uproar formed on twitter of fans saying they were going to cancel their Starz memberships because the show was canceled. I know I watched all the show on Netflix, they have it on instant watch. They have all of the episodes available to watch instantly right now, I suggest you go and watch this fresh and original series. Just don't get upset that you will never see more of it. Here is a clip: