Earlier this week we learned about a new Star Wars VR experience in development by ILMxLAB. No, not Trials on Tatooine, the short VR “experiment” that lets you wield a lightsaber against stormtroopers – that one’s already released on Steam for free. This one is CG video in production with specific focus on Darth Vader. It was first announced during the Star Wars Celebration event in London, UK.
Fans of the franchise (which, let’s be honest, is basically everyone) should take note that while this is a narrative-focused VR piece, meaning it’s not as interactive as a game, but not as passive as a traditional 2D film. Since VR producers are still experimenting with storytelling in VR, you can bet that ILMxLAB are hoping to establish some baselines with this upcoming release. The experience is promised to be lightly interactive, including the viewer’s ability to pick and touch things, as well as explore the 360 environments.
David S. Goyer is writing the VR experience, who has done work for DC on some of their comic book to movie adaptations in the past.
The teaser above is only 0:51 seconds long and barely shows anything at all. It opens with embers lightly falling through the air, along with a heavy sigh of breath foreboding in the background, presumably coming from Vader himself.
As the screen fades in, we see Vader standing alone in a scorched landscape, facing to the left with his cape whipping in the wind, as the low growl of music increases its volume.
Then, Emperor Palpatine’s voice comes in: “The Dark Side of the force is a pathway to many abilities that some consider to be unnatural.” This is a direct quote from the iconic scene in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, when Palpatine is talking to Anakin and alluding to the possibility of preventing Padmé from suffering from the death Anakin saw in his visions. Then, as Vader ignites his lightsaber, he starts walking towards the camera and it’s all over.
During the panel that announced it, Goyer teased that we may not get to experience the full thing until “a year or two” from now, but this teaser has certainly heightened our interest.