It’s funny how you almost have to unlearn some of the stuff you know. At the beginning of this experience, there’s a point, where there’s a computer screen and I was trying to touch the screen, like it’s a tablet, a touch screen, but apparently, that doesn’t exist in the Star Wars Universe. So I had to learn to touch the button next to the screen.

Ben Snow: Yeah, in Star Wars it doesn’t exist. We really came close to give that up. But certainly in the story, we had to keep to it on the main menu, we were like, should we keep to it? Well maybe we shouldn’t be this bad because everyone wants to press the screen.

David Goyer: That was stuff that you just didn’t know. I’ve been writing film and TV for three decades now and so there’s assumptions that I can make and we just didn’t know as we’re working on this, what would fly and what wouldn’t fly.

Ben Snow: We wanted to question everything. I mean, there’s been research obviously in VR and stuff for a couple of decades, but no one really knows. And I think part of our business at ILMxLab is to explore tha and even question it as well.

Showing this story, that focuses on the vulnerability of Anakin, I’m wondering, has George Lucas seen any of this? Have you talked with him?

Ben Snow: I actually am really interested in to show it to him. He hasn’t, he hasn’t. I mentioned it to him. He was at a leaving party for one of my colleagues and I sort of mentioned it to him, but he’s always been interested in narrative and exploring narrative, including in very abstract ways with THX1138 and his student version of that even more so. And he always used Star Wars to push technology and explore new technologies and push filmmaking technology. So we’re sort of exploring narrative technology, so, yeah, definitely soon going to ask the question.Very curious what he thinks of this.

I wouldn’t be a journalist if I didn’t ask you about the news that hit this week with you David. What is going on with that?

David Goyer: Which news?


David Goyer: I can’t talk about that here. I mean, I’ve been working on that for a while, it’s cool. I like that, but I’m talking about this.

Okay. Fair enough. I mean, there’s similarities there between the villain here and the villain of that reboot.

David Goyer: Maybe we’ll do a VR story with both of them.

Ben Snow: I will sign on for that one for sure.

The other thing that’s interesting about exploring this planet is that we don’t know what this planet looks like in the sequel trilogy era of Star Wars. So we don’t know if that’s been restored or where you’re taking this. So there is some stakes here that we don’t know about.

David Goyer: Yeah. And you were going to uncover, we actually go pretty deep figuratively and literally into some early lore and there, there’s, there’s more there. Any more connectivity now.

Ben Snow: Yeah. And you see the Mustafarians briefly in episode three and stuff like that. Just as David was saying how the Ralph Mcquarrie Illustration of the Castle was interesting and sort of peaked. We looked at the Mustafarians and sort of thought about their backstory and their myths and their culture and their culture. I feel like you get to build and contribute to the story, the greatest story of Star Wars and people will latch onto that and take it even further.

I think people are going to dig this or that. I guess the last question I have for you is…

David Goyer: Hellraiser!

Ha, Is what this experience is. Is there ever going to be branching paths? Like is everybody experiencing the same story but in different ways? Or is it like you can make choices that actually will change the narrative?

David Goyer: We talked a lot about that. People will have different experiences, for one thing, it’s the amount of time it takes to experience these episodes can vary wildly depending on what you do in there. There’s stuff to explore. There are some branching things in there so every experience won’t be exactly the same thing, but for this first one it got into a question of, of how much it took so much resource to build the environments. And how much bandwidth the devices had that we kind of had to make some decisions about how much we’re really branching or not.

Mark Miller: We didn’t want to do it for the sake of doing it.

Ben Snow: We are very much interested in this at ILMxLab. We’re hoping a lot of people try VR, you know, this gets people into it. It’s a gateway. Yeah. So a branching narrative that suited our story. The arc that you experience as as one of the key components of the story wanted to be a hero’s journey and so it’s a little bit more a linear but you get the option of hanging out or exploring different objects and looking around a lot of things.

David Goyer: We had alot of things on our list and we experimented with a lot of things and there were like 20 major things like what if we do this, this and this and we ended up getting 12 of them. And so at a certain point you just had to set to say say, this is what we’re going to focus on.

Ben Snow: We get a rich backlog of stuff that we were interested in taking a look at future.

Well, thank you guys very much. I appreciate it.

Ben Snow: I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it. Oh, one last thing.

David Goyer: Hellraiser.

No… Raiders of the Lost Ark. It seems like there’s some inspiration there from George’s other stuff and the exploration…

Ben Snow: Yeah, we are fans of that. Of course. Yeah, It wasn’t necessarily, it’s just in our DNA. Put it that way.

Very cool. Thank you so much. Thanks guys.

Ben Snow: Thanks a lot. Cheers.

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