How three act structure is helping take fans on a whole new Star Tours… Was originally going to be the title of this piece but I think it’s a bit wordy and long. Don’t you? So for the sake of argument that is my thesis statement and now I have to prove it.
As most of you know I am a film student in my normal life. I love watching and studying film. One of the main subjects that keeps coming up while learning film is the three act structure. What is that you ask? Simple! Every film must have a beginning and middle and an end. Now I know this is where some of you might point out that not all films follow this perfectly and try to give me examples. Trust me even movies that start at the end still have 3 acts. I have a point about Star Tours in here somewhere… I think I lost it. Oh wait. No it’s back.
So what Disney has done with the new Star Tour which is interesting and a lot of fun is that they monopolized the three act structure and used its simplicity to create a very complex ride. Each time you ride there are options of different beginnings, middles, and ends. The ride randomizes these and you get a new ride every time… Ok not every time. In fact I know people who have gotten the same ride several times over. But the idea is that the ride can feel new even after multiple rides. This keep Disney from having to upgrade the video to keep fan from being bored.
By separating the experience of Star Tours into three acts fans can start the journey, build the adventure and come to their final destination with favorite characters and locations from the films. I will now use examples from the ride to explain so SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Let’s say the beginning you get is Vader (yay!) You start the adventure knowing you have an enemy spy on board and that Vader is now out to get you. In the middle you land in Hoth and fight the At-Ats. Then General Akbar tells you your mission (This part isn’t an act. It’s what is known as a turning point. Basically it is the point in the film where you change direction. Or in this case the point in the ride where you go from a peaceful touring vessel to a group for the rebel alliance. ) Lastly you land in deep space and take on the Death Star. And with those three simple acts you have been taken on a fantastical journey and what I consider to be one of the best rides at Disney World!
DragynAlly is a Screenwriting MFA student and writer in progress. You can check her out on her own blog The Dragyn’s Lair.
Pictures provided by Daniel Wanderman. @DanielWanderman on Twitter.