Darth Vader to Star in a Canonical Virtual Reality Story
With Disney throwing a massive amount of resources behind their new Star Wars property, one of the more interesting things to come out of Star Wars Celebration was the news that Luscasfilm would not shy away from using emerging technologies like virtual reality to tell Star Wars stories. Case in point? A brand new Darth Vader virtual reality experience, which the folks at Entertainment Weekly have written up alongside quotes from the producers and crew.
According to the article, the virtual reality story is the brainchild of ILMxLAB, a new division at Lucasfilm that will be using cross-departmental resources to put together Star Wars stories technologies like virtual reality. To write the story, ILMxLAB hired Batman Begins screenwriter David S. Goyer, who also has some experience writing in the digital realm for his work with the Call of Duty video game franchise. Goyer shared a few thoughts with Entertainment Weekly on his vision for how audiences will be able to take a hands-on experience with the Star Wars universe.
You don’t play it. You be it. You’re in it. You’re part of the story. The world I came up with, that I’m pushing, is you are ‘the visitor’ — the visitor in this story that’s happening around you that you may have some effect on. You can pick up things, you can open things, you can push things. You can walk and touch characters. Imagine being in a movie.
While Lucasfilm indicates that they do not have a story in place yet — only a subject matter — they did confirm that the Darth Vader virtual reality story will be an official part of the Star Wars canon. Then again, one would imagine that there will not be any huge reveals in the Darth Vader game — the folks at Lucasfilm aren’t going to put important story points in a technology that not everyone has access to — but this could be a fun way to experience first-hand the power and fear surrounding Darth Vader.
The big question, of course, is will you play as Vader? Maybe my ambitions are too modest, but I would love to play a game where I get to watch Vader but not actually play as him. I can imagine myself as a random junior officer on the desk of a Star Destroyer as Vader murders his way through the senior officers or as an anonymous stormtrooper following Vader into the caves on Hoth. Any opportunity to step into Vader’s shoes would require me to empathize with him, and the last time a Star Wars property asked me to do that, we got three movies with Jar Jar Binks. I’d stick to cowering in fear, thanks.
Don’t rush out to buy a virtual reality headset just for this game, though: David Goyer says they are still a year or two away from a finished product.