Wednesday, September 26, 2018

'Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series' Announced!


By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB announced today that a new Star Wars VR series, titled Vader Immortal, will launch in 2019 on the Oculus Quest in 2019.  Taking place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the three episode series is set on Mustafar, specifically at Vader's ominous castle first seen in Rogue OneVader Immortal is written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins).  And, yes, the series is canon.  A teaser for the first episode in the series was released today on the ILMxLAB Youtube channel, which you can check out for yourself below,

Vader Immortal will be available on the Oculus Quest, a new VR headset launching in 2019.  It will cost $399 USD at launch.

About the process of writing for VR, Goyer told,

"I knew I couldn’t write it like a teleplay, I couldn’t write it like a movie. I’ve been writing for screen a long time, so to a certain extent I can anticipate how people are going to react to a scene. But in VR, that completely throws everything out of the water. We would have a really emotional scene, for instance, but as we were play testing it, the environment was just so overwhelming because you’re actually there, you just weren’t listening to anything anyone was saying. And so fairly early on, the rest of the team and I realized we have to write and play test, write and play test. There was no way how to anticipate how you would respond unless you put on the goggles and experienced it, and that taught us a lot."

Mohen Leo, ILMxLAB's director of immersive content, also spoke with, describing how the idea of telling this story in VR first came out.  Leo said,

"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?’"

The series was first teased back at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 during a panel about ILMxLAB and the future of Star Wars VR storytelling, where Goyer was first revealed as the writer of a Vader VR project.  You can watch the panel in its entirety below,

This is the second major Star Wars VR project that ILMxLAB and Goyer have produced. The first was Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a collaboration with The Void.  Secrets of the Empire can only be experienced at cetain The Void locations in London, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Orlando, and Las Vegas, and takes fans on an undercover mission as a Rebel spy.  It features appearances by Rogue One stars Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, as Cassian Andor and K-2SO respectively, along the way.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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