ILMxLAB has announced a new virtual reality series based on the iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader, titled Vader Immortal, according to StarWars.com.
- The new series was announced today at Occulus Connect 5 in San Jose, California.
- Vader Immortal will be a three-part series set between the events of Episode III and Episode IV and will put viewers in Vader’s castle on the lava-world of Mustafar.
- It has been written and executive produced by David S. Goyer.
- Vader Immortal will be connect to Secrets of the Empire, the VR experience available at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, though it has not yet been shared how it will be connected.
- The new series will premiere in 2019 for the newly announced Occulus Quest.
- A teaser for Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode I was also released today. You can watch it below:
What they’re saying:
- Director of immersive content at ILMxLAB, Mohen Leo: “The very initial conversations around this project started three years ago, around the launch of ILMxLAB. 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?'”
- Writer and Producer David S. Goyer: “I think it was about three years ago that Kiri [Hart of the Lucasfilm Story Group] called me up and said, ‘Would you ever be interested in doing something in the VR space with Vader?’ And I said, ‘Yes!’ She said, ‘Do you want to hear anything else?’ And I said, ‘No!’ No one prior to this had ever attempted anything like this in VR. And I was interested in moving into VR. But the idea that I could actually work with ILMxLAB and do something with Vader, that was the killer app for me.”
- Goyer on writing for a VR series: “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.”
- Goyer on fans’ desire to experience a Star Wars story in a new way: “The Star Wars universe is obviously one of the most beloved universes that exists. And I think the wish-fulfillment aspect of not just being able to watch a Star Wars story, but inhabit a Star Wars story and take action within a Star Wars story, is a game-changer.”