There’s not much that can compare to the feeling that you get in a movie theater when the house lights come down, the Star Wars logo appears on the screen, and the legendary John Williams score swells over the opening crawl. But what if you could step inside the Star Wars universe and interact with one of the most iconic villains of all time–and even wield a lightsaber? Today at OC5, we shared a sneak peek of a new project from ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, in collaboration with Oculus, that will turn that every fan’s dream into (virtual) reality.
Together, we announced the first of three episodes of Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series—a yet untold story in the Star Wars universe–that will debut with Oculus Quest in 2019. ILMxLAB is again working with Writer and Executive Producer David S. Goyer of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Call of Duty, and Blade–in addition to Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire produced by ILMxLAB in collaboration with The VOID. Vader Immortal represents a major inflection point for the VR industry, bringing the world’s most iconic franchise to the world's first untethered VR headset with hand presence for a truly thrilling cinematic, interactive experience.
“Whether it’s hearing Darth Vader’s breathing behind you and physically turning to face him in person or wielding a lightsaber with your own hands, Vader Immortal captures the ultimate wish fulfillment,” says Oculus Head of Experiences Colum Slevin. “Untethered VR immerses you in this universe and places you at the center of this amazing story.”
“Our mission at ILMxLAB is to have fans ‘Step Inside Our Stories,’ and Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series represents a significant step forward in that ongoing quest,” says Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB Executive in Charge. “Our friends at Oculus share ILMxLAB’s ambition to bring compelling immersive narratives to life, and using Oculus’ hardware, we will invite fans to experience Darth Vader as never before.”
ILMxLAB has been at the forefront of innovation in immersive storytelling since 2015, from the Oscar-winning installation CARNE y ARENA to their more recent work with the The VOID. The award-winning location-based experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire sets up the events of this new series; for the first time, fans can experience connected narrative between ILMxLAB’s experiences for location (like The VOID) and in home with the 360° freedom of truly wireless standalone VR that Oculus Quest has to offer.
We’ll have more to share in the months ahead. Until then, May The Force Be With You.
— The Oculus Team