David Goyer’s Darth Vader VR Project Teaser Trailer

Goyer says he has been approached for a lot of VR projects over the last couple years but was reluctant to become involved even though he was impressed with the technology. He found out about ILMxLab when he was having informal conversations at Lucasfilm with Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm head of story and Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, which we can only assume was for an unannounced film or television project. His interest resulted in a phone call in December asking if he wanted to try “this crazy groundbreaking thing” and of course he said yes.

My family is like ‘What are you working on?!?’ It’s so new but one of the things thats exciting about it from our perspective is, I think even a year from now you guys are going to have much more of a context of… what’s neat about what we’re working on is we don’t even have a name for the genre of storytelling that we’ve been working on for a while now. But if you’ve experienced the Trails on Tatooine as I did, I was really blown away by that, but based on what we’ve been working on for the last half year of so, that’s like here and what we’re working on is up here. And I’m just losing it as I’m working on it. I’m really excited for a year, or two, whenever it happens, and you guys get to experience what we’re working on. It’s pretty mind-blowing.”

And Goyer admits that creating content for this new medium is very different.

Even writing it, we had to come up with what the format is, because it’s not really a script. Like how do you even write this? It’s like a spreadsheet. We spent a couple weeks figuring out how to do that.

This experience is being created alongside the Lucasfilm Story Group which means that it will be a part of the new Disney Star Wars canon.

This exists within the Star Wars universe. It involves characters that you know, or some that may have been talked about but you’ve never seen before. It will be adding to the existing canon.

I wonder who he could be talking about when he says characters that may have been talked about but we’ve never seen before. As for how they came to a story focusing on Darth Vader, Goyer revealed the origins of the idea:

First it was very blue sky and this idea originated from something that John [Gaeta] and Kiri were talking about a couple of years ago. We talked about, we have this incredible new storytelling platform that allows you to feel in a way that you’ve never felt before and possibly feel for someone in a way you’ve never felt for them before, and allows you to feel like you’re in a real place. So we thought, we have the entire Star Wars universe at our disposal, what planet do we want to be on, what location, what character is so iconic that we need to know more about. And we want to experience these things in a way that can’t be experienced in a film or a novel, but can be experienced in VR.

As for what else ILMxLab might be working on, Mark Miller says they’ve already “begun work with some of the best writing talent from the film and game world” alongside the Lucasfilm Story Group in San Francisco.

If you’re interested in the future of storytelling and what ILMxLab is doing with the Star Wars brand, you should definitely watch the ILMxLab presentation from Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 featuring John Gaeta, Diana Williams, Mark Miller, Pablo Hidalgo and David Goyer:

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