This week in Galactic Hunter Video Theater, let's look at something that's technically a video with the original Star Tours. The 1987 theme park ride was basically a short film on a motion simulator, and probably prompted about as much fan discussion in the 1990s as the movies did in the 1980s. (We didn't have much to go on.) So click on through to see the original Captain Rex (an uncredited Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens) in a rough video capture, after the break.
As far as I know, there's no legal release of the original ride at this time. Many motion simulator theme park rides have seen release on DVD or Blu-Ray as bonus features. For example, Back to the Future, ALIENS, and Terminator 2 all had theirs put out there and it's really fascinating to see the wide level of quality for the film portion. Being released in 1987, Star Tours benefits from being cut from the same cloth as the then-last film in the series without resorting to stock footage. The ALIENS ride in particular is horribly low-budget, and were it not for an appearance from the great Jeffrey Combs, I'd say it's unwatchable.
Out of context, Star Tours does look a little silly in 2012 but prior to its decommissioning in 2010, it represented one of the last true untouched "vintage" Star Wars productions out there. The movies all got face-lifts, the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour episodes were re-edited and re-scored, and the Ewok telefilms (while largely unchanged) did see a name change for the North American home video market. Going to Star Tours in the early 2000s gave fans the chance to see a slightly dusty and untouched Star Wars time capsule which today exists only in our memories. And, of course, illicit YouTube videos.
If you have a suggestion for a future installment of Galactic Hunter Video Theater, please leave a comment or feel free to email me! We've had a few requests which we haven't been able to feature as the YouTube seems to be lacking quality versions to share of certain stories, and seeing the quality of this particular installment you can tell our standards are not too high for audio fidelity. Anyway, see you next time!