ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm's immersive entertainment division - made two major announcements during its panel today at Star Wars Celebration Europe. At the end of the panel, it was announced that screenwriter David Goyer is now collaborating with ILMxLAB. The brand new story-based project, revealed in a short teaser, centers around a particularly iconic Star Wars character: Darth Vader. Just like VR is a new frontier, so sounds this venture. Here's what David S. Goyer had to say in a statement.
"When we looked at all the characters, places, and worlds in the Star Wars universe available to us, we asked ourselves, 'What haven't we seen before? Who are we curious about? Darth Vader is the perfect ambassador to usher us into the Star Wars VR universe."
StarWars.com also announced that ILMxLAB's acclaimed VR experiment, Trials on Tatooine, to Steam VR for free. Starting Monday, July 18, anyone with an HTC Vive VR headset will be able to become a Jedi Padawan as you enjoy an experience never before available in your own home. Thanks to VR technology and the creative talent at ILMxLAB, Trials on Tatooine transports fans into the Star Wars universe in ways previously not possible. As the Millennium Falcon descends for a landing and Artoo Detoo delivers a lightsaber that you use to deflect blaster bolts back at firing stormtroopers, you become fully immersed in the iconic desert planet.
According to Rob Bredow, Lucasfilm's chief technology officer, Trials on Tatooine was an experiment to better understand the balance between interactivity and storytelling on this new platform. With Trials available on the Celebration show floor, many fans tried VR for the first time. Here's what Rob Bredow had to say at Star Wars Celebration in a statement.
"Celebration is all about Star Wars fans, and seeing the reception of Trials on the show floor has been an amazing experience for everyone involved. In the spirit of Celebration, the release on Steam VR is meant as a thank you to the fans, and a chance to bring Trials on Tatooine to those who could not make the trip to London."
As discussed on the panel among ILMxLAB creators, including Vicki Beck, John Gaeta, Diana Williams, Mark Miller, and moderator Pablo Hidalgo, this division is meeting the excitement and challenges of VR and mixed reality by focusing on narrative storytelling. "VR," Gaeta said, "will allow us to establish a deeper empathetic connection - the ability to meet characters and explore places in a way that is completely different from other media platforms." And as Williams explained, "VR conveys a sense of presence that is truly unparalleled. You are surrounded by story."