A similar pyrotechnic show, Symphony in the Stars, held its original debut during the "Last Tour to Endor" event in 2010. This earlier generation of the show highlighted John Williams' musical score from the films, incorporating the music with archival voice and sound clippings from the films. An abridged version of the show was subsequently presented for special events including the "Star Tours Galactic Party" on May 19, 2011 and for Star Wars Day on May 4, 2013. The show began annually in 2014 during Star Wars Weekends. It was retooled as Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular and became a nightly presentation beginning in December 2015 until its retirement in June 2016.
A Galactic Spectacular features multiple special effects including fireworks, projection mapping, fire effects, lasers, searchlights, and fog and smoke effects. The main aerial pyrotechnic shells are launched off-center from behind the Chinese Theater; appearing to the right of the theater as opposed to directly behind it. This differs from previous fireworks shows, as the current aerial shells are launched from across World Drive, instead of within the park's boundary as previously done. Low-level pyrotechnics are launched from the rooftops of the Great Movie Ride, Hyperion Theatre, ABC Commissary, Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Disney Junior - Live on Stage! buildings. Two flamethrowers situated adjacent to the theater's cupola release jets of isopar fire effects during the show. Fog machines hidden between the theater's spires create clouds of fog and smoke. Stage lighting surrounding the hub and concealed rope lights attached to the hub's trees provide additional lighting effects throughout the show. Imagery from all seven Star Wars saga films are projected onto the Chinese Theater facade of the Great Movie Ride. In addition to the Chinese Theater's surface, two blank projection facades flanking either side of the theater serve as additional areas of projection space.
The show's producers collaborated with composer John Williams and his music editor, Ramiro Belgardt, on adapting Williams' scores from the films into the show's soundtrack.
A Galactic Spectacular begins with a brief narrated prologue of the 1977 premiere of A New Hope at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. The main show is divided into segments dedicated to battles, heroes, creatures, romance, and villains. The dramatic opening shot from A New Hope begins the sequence showing various battle scenes from Takodana, Hoth, Jakku, the Death Star, and Starkiller Base. The next segment, dedicated to the series' heroes, featuring Rey, Luke Skywalker, and ending with the Millennium Falcon escape scenes. Three brief segments follow then after; a cantina segment dedicated to the creatures and aliens from the series, a segment dedicated to The Force with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a romance segment with Han Solo, Leia Organa, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala. A darker sequence is followed, recreating the fiery lightsaber battle between Anakin and Kenobi on Mustafar. The scene segues into a segment dedicated to the villains of the series, including Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Palpatine, and Kylo Ren. The trench run attacks on the Death Star and Starkiller Base are then played out as the finale sequence. The show concludes with a montage of all seven original Star Wars film poster art collaged across the theater.
"Main Theme/Rebel Blockade Runner" (from A New Hope)