×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Star Wars’ VR Series ‘Vader Immortal’ Puts You Inside Darth Vader’s Castle (Watch)

Lucasfilm’s immersive R&D unit ILMxLab and Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus are getting ready to release a new three-part VR series called “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series” early next year. The first episode of the series is going to debut exclusively on Facebook’s new Oculus Quest VR headset as one of the device’s launch titles, the two companies announced at Facebook’s Oculus Connect developer conference in San Diego, Calif. Wednesday.

“Our mission at ILMxLAB is to have fans step inside our stories, and ‘Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series’ represents a significant step forward in that ongoing quest,” said ILMxLab’s executive in charge Vicki Dobbs Beck. “Our friends at Oculus share ILMxLAB’s ambition to bring compelling immersive narratives to life and using Oculus’ hardware, we will invite fans to experience Darth Vader as never before.”

The two companies first started to collaborate on the series back in 2016, Oculus head of experiences Colum Slevin told Variety Wednesday. ILMxLab ultimately won over David S. Goyer as writer and executive producer for the show. Goyer had some previous video game production experience, but said that ILMxLab made the conscious decision not to go down the game route with “Vader Immortal.”

“It’s not a game, it’s a story with a beginning, a middle and an end,” he said, adding: “It has some elements of immersive theater. It’s sort of a hybrid.”

ILMxlab previously produced a VR experience dubbed “Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine,” as well as a location-based VR adventure dubbed “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” that was also written and produced by Goyer. Throughout this work, the lab honed its VR skills, said Dobbs. “We’ve been really learning that pacing is very important,” she explained.

As a result, “Vader Immortal” won’t just be fast-paced action. “There is also periods of reflection. Also periods of beauty,” said Goyer.

The lab is now in the process of finalizing its release plans for the title. Dobbs said that the series will be a paid title, but added that there hasn’t been a decision on pricing yet.

ILMxLab debuted a teaser trailer for the episode at the show, and Goyer said that it would allow players to enter Darth Vader’s palace and take part in the action themselves.
Facebook officially announced Oculus Quest as a new standalone VR headset at Oculus Connect Wednesday. The $399 headset is scheduled to ship in early 2019, and consumers are supposed to have access to over 50 games and apps at launch.

Having a “Star Wars” title as part of that launch line-up is a big deal for Oculus, admitted Slevin. “People have been dreaming of being transported into that world since 1977,” he said.

More ‘Star Wars’

Update: 3:45pm: This article has been updated throughout with additional details on the title as well as quotes from Dobbs, Slevin and Goyer.

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content