The Piece of Star Wars History You Probably Never Saw On TV

I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Not a shock to followers of everything on zog.ninja, including listeners to my science and tech podcast Sovryn Tech. And I don’t just mean that I’m 6’1″ and weighing in at 210 lbs (which I am). I love Star Wars, and always have. And while many franchises fall into disarray or become convoluted messes (I can’t read DC and Marvel much anymore), I will likely always love Star Wars and “swallow” whatever gets released about it.

SIDE NOTE: Check out my Episode VII and Star Wars History review here!

But hey, take it easy on me, I’ve been taking in everything that was released even as a kid. And that includes a little known documentary from 1986 that aired on NBC’s “Disney Sunday Movie” slot. See? When George Lucas said that Star Wars was always a Disney franchise in spirit, he was being rather literal in certain ways.

Of course, Disney’s involvement in this documentary has exactly to do with the fact that the entire thing was about the still famous Star Wars “ride” at Disney parks: Star Tours.starspeeder3000

If you’ve never been to a Disney park and never got to experience being onboard the Starspeeder 3000 (the in-universe passenger liner you get to ride on, pictured above on my favorite Star Wars planet/culture: Alderaan), I have to admit, you’re missing out. It’s a classic experience, especially if you rode it in the 80’s and 90’s before these kinds of experiences became less novel. So when the ride opened up in 1987, Lucas and Disney made sure you were going to know about it and everything that went into it (which was an impressive amount of work and ingenuity at the time). But you don’t need me to tell you all this, the Star Tours TV Special can explain it all to you.

Honestly, I’ve yet to have met anyone that remembers having seen this. I was fortunate enough at the time to have a VCR, and my parents recorded it. So I was able to watch it over and over again. I even memorized the (now ridiculous) rap that R2-D2 and C-3PO “perform” at the very beginning. But the real joy for me in this is that it was hosted by Gil Gerard, the legendary actor that played the equally legendary and badass Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (a personal favorite show of mine). They even mention Tron (a rarity of the day) in this, and give an overview of the history of speculative fiction and film. Star Wars, Tron, history, and Buck Rogers in one special. You bet that’s worth a half-hour of my life a few times over. Maybe see if it’s worth a bit of yours?

Cheesy, over the top…I know…but it’s a rare piece of Star Wars history. You might want to do the workarounds to get it downloaded and add it to your collection (and the music in the special was done by–of all ironies–Star Trek music god, Dennis McCarthy!) Granted, the Star Tours TV Special isn’t canon, and also the Star Tours ride has been renovated and refitted multiple times, so you’re not going to see much of what’s in this special if you actually go to it today. But hey, like the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, it’s fun to bite your thumb at Disney and Lucas by keeping copies of things they’d wish you’d forget never happened. And may history, cheesy or otherwise, never be forgotten. And I still enjoy watching this special every once in awhile. I can admit it.

Carpe lucem!

 

donate_svtDISCLAIMER: The ZOG Blog is the part of this site where Dr. Brian Sovryn can talk about anything. From pop culture, to philosophy, to just sharing updates with what’s going on at Zomia Offline Games and with other projects.