×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lucasfilm Developing ‘Star Wars’ Augmented-Reality Content Under Pact With Magic Leap (VIDEO)

Lucasfilm is bringing droids, starships and other elements from the “Star Wars” universe into the real world.

Disney’s Lucasfilm and its ILMxLAB R&D unit on Thursday announced a strategic alliance with Magic Leap, an augmented-reality startup that has raised nearly $1.4 billion in funding. Under the pact, the companies are forming a joint research lab at Lucasfilm’s San Francisco campus to work on storytelling within the Mixed Reality universe.

“The future of mixed reality and immersive entertainment holds incredible promise, and we are honored to work with Magic Leap to shape that future,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in announcing the deal. “At Lucasfilm and ILM, innovation has always been in our DNA; through this collaboration, ILMxLAB further propels our legacy of exploration and leadership on this new platform for experiential storytelling.”

The companies released a proof-of-concept video Thursday at Conde Nast’s Wired Business Conference in New York featuring C-3PO and R2-D2, showing the squat droid beaming holograms into the room using Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality technology. It’s reminiscent of the scene in the original “Star Wars” movie when R2-D2 projects a hologram recording of Princess Leia appealing for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

For now, there aren’t any details on what, exactly, will emerge from the partnership — or, indeed, the business model behind augmented-reality experiences. Magic Leap, founded in 2011, has not announced a time frame for the launch of its technology. The company’s investors include Alibaba Group, Warner Bros. and Google. Among other partnership, Weta Workshop, Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based VFX company, is producing content for Magic Leap’s platform, and Jackson serves on its advisory board.

“Collaboration between our two companies is a perfect fit, and I can’t wait to share the results with the world,” Magic Leap founder, president and CEO Rony Abovitz commented on the Lucasfilm agreement.

Lucasfilm formed ILMxLAB last year to explore forms of storytelling on new media platforms. Earlier this spring, the division launched its first virtual-reality experience for “Star Wars” on the HTC Vive headset.

“We are pushing into an era of experiential, persistent and perceptual storytelling,” commented ILMxLAB executive creative director John Gaeta. “We want people to step inside our stories, and we want those stories to react back to people in deeply compelling ways. However, before magical realism becomes a seamless part of everyday life, it needs some advanced prototyping.”

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content