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Disney Millennium Falcon ride will be an interactive smuggler’s mission you can actually fail

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Nov 8, 2018, 7:16 PM EST (Updated)

As Disney prepares to open its most ambitious theme park expansion yet with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, more details about what may be the biggest attraction in the park itself are coming to light — and it sounds as though the stakes will be unusually high when it’s your turn to take the cockpit in the galaxy’s fastest hunk o’ junk.

The Millennium Falcon ride at Galaxy’s Edge is taking ride simulation to another level, replacing the static movie that guests sit through on previous motion sim attractions (like Star Tours) with a real-time, interactive, co-op video game experience that will pay off with forking-path outcomes, depending on your input. 

That means you can actually flunk the smuggling mission Disney first outlined in the bonus Galaxy’s Edge short feature that accompanies the Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray. As one of six crew members with a specific role to play (gunner, pilot, engineer), your trip to aid a space pirate named Hondo (presumably Hondo Ohnaka from Star Wars Rebels and Clone Wars) can actually go south, meaning you’ll have to get in line again if you want the best ending.


Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

How you ultimately fare on your Falcon adventure reportedly will go a long way toward establishing your immersive reputation everywhere you turn in Galaxy’s Edge. “Costumed characters are expected to interact with visitors and advance the continuing story line throughout the day,” reports The Orange County Register. “That means a bounty hunter might tap you on the shoulder in the space port’s marketplace looking for Hondo’s lost loot.”

Designing a video game-like Star Wars attraction comes with unprecedented theme park challenges, including global language accessibility, difficulty scaling, and rewarding individuals for performing well even when the rest of their six-member crew royally mucks things up. 

But Disney apparently aims to find a sweet spot between rewarding guests for the trouble of channeling their inner Han Solo, while not giving in to the temptation to just put the story on rails to assure each mission ends in success.

“Disney may not mind that people won’t succeed on their first try,” notes VentureBeat in a lengthy feature on the new ride. “Just as you don’t tend to beat a video game on your first try, you probably won’t get the best possible outcome the first time you ride the Millennium Falcon attraction. That could just encourage you even more to ride it again. And if you don’t have enough time to ride it again that day, it could encourage you to come back to the park just to have another swing at it.”

At least Disney’s landing the Falcon at more than one park, so if you don’t succeed on that cross-country trip to Disneyland in California, maybe you’ll do better the next time you find yourself near Disney World in Florida — while dodging the bounty on your head in the meantime. The hangar bay finally opens on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next summer at Disneyland, with the Orlando version set to debut a few months later in the fall.