star wars: vader immortal

As the Star Wars universe keeps expanding, so too do the ways we experience it. There’s the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California coming soon; there are comics, TV, movies, and a whole bunch of titles on the upcoming Disney streaming service. But the most innovative way that Lucasfilm will be expanding on Star Wars will be in virtual reality.

For the past two years, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB and The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer have been teasing a Darth Vader VR project that would add a new layer onto the tragic hero-turned-villain of the Star Wars saga. Now the first Star Wars: Vader Immortal trailer has been released by ILMxLAB.

Star Wars Vader Immortal Trailer

The Star Wars: Vader Immortal was revealed at Facebook’s Oculus Connect in San Diego, California. A collaboration between Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB and Oculus, the much-teased Darth Vader VR project will debut as the launch title for Oculus Quest when it becomes commercially available next year.

The trailer teases the three-part experience, which shows the player as they suddenly get transported to Vader’s headquarters in Mustafar. The Dark Lord of the Sith slowly comes face-to-face with you before activating his lightsaber.

Vader Immortal, written and executive produced by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Secrets of the Empire), will be a three-part series set between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It connects to Secrets of the Empire (though we don’t yet know how), and sends fans to the iconic Sith Lord’s castle on the lava-world of Mustafar first seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As shown in the teaser trailer above, which also debuted today, we’ll encounter Vader himself and wield a lightsaber.

They also explained how the project came about:

“The very initial conversations around this project started three years ago, around the launch of ILMxLAB,” Mohen Leo, director of immersive content at ILMxLAB, told StarWars.com. “Lucasfilm was in production on Rogue One. In the film, the audience gets a glimpse of Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar, which we knew would be intriguing to a lot of fans. This was also around the time that some of the first really compelling content for the Oculus DK2, the developer kit that preceded the Oculus Rift, came out. We recognized that VR has a unique ability to transport people to a fictional place and let them explore it. So, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to let the audience visit and explore Vader’s castle, and have the opportunity to learn some of his secrets?’” … “Secrets of the Empire really emphasized a sense of space and how you move through it. It also takes place on Mustafar, prior to the events of Vader Immortal, and it shows some narrative seeds of a storyline that connects the two experiences. With Vader Immortal, we really wanted to push connection to characters and narrative between multiple experiences. So you’re not just visiting an iconic place from a movie; you get to meet iconic characters like Darth Vader, face-to-face.”

Created by The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer, who wrote and executive produced ILMxLAb’s previous “hyper-reality experience” Secrets of the Empire, introduced the Darth Vader experience alongside Vicki Bobbs Beck at the Oculus developer conference. Star Wars: Vader Immortal will be ILMxLAB’s third Star Wars-set VR experience four home-based headsets and the fifth major app set in the universe overall. This newest endeavor follows up the successful Secrets of the Empire, which was a location-based experience done in conjunction with The Void.

The group behind Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB along with the Lucasfilm Story group, have mapped out the next half dozen years of Star Wars stories that will be told through immersive experiences — VR and other platforms — with high-profile creatives helming the projects. The first of which is the Darth Vader VR project created by The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer. ILMxLAB teased the trailer with a cryptic gif Tuesday, telling fans, “Alert all commands.”

ILMxLab and Goyer first announced the big project at the 2016 Star Wars Celebration Europe, where they confirmed that the Darth Vader VR experience won’t be a game, but a full-fledged story that is part of the canon of the greater Star Wars franchise. Even better, Goyer promises that his virtual reality Star Wars story will make you cry. “You are the visitor in this story, happening in and around you, which to a certain extent, you may have some effect on,” Goyer described at the Star Wars Celebration.

Oculus Quest is a standalone virtual reality headset that can be purchased for $399. It, along with Star Wars: Vader Immortal, will launch in the spring of 2019.

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