This past weekend at Star Wars Celebration, it was announced that filmmakers at Lucasfilm are about to begin production of a new type of film featuring a good ‘ol famous character from galaxy’s past.
It’s a virtual reality (VR) film that will be centered around Darth Vader. It will be unique in that it would be the first time that the iconic studio would put together an immersive experience. “The difference between cinema and television and VR…is that you really feel like you’re there,” said David S. Goyer, the writer of the VR film. “It can make you sad, and make you lean in, and make you feel for a character in a way you haven’t before.”
In order to achieve that feeling, Lucasfilm’s (and arguably the rest of the film industry’s special FX unit) Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has been tasked with customizing the VR technology to help tell the story. “You are the visitor in this story that is happening in and around you, and to a certain extent you might even have some effect on the narrative,” Goyer said. He continued saying that, like a movie, it’ll be a story that will be played out in real-time with evolving weather and light conditions.
The Verge alluded the final product to a real-life version of The Matrix and in many ways, that’s what ILM wants to do. Thanks to their experimental lab, or xLab for short, this “film” will be more of an experience that will make us more invested in entertainment like never before.
The real question still remains if VR and filmmaking will become as big as xLab hopes it will be. If adding Darth Vader to that equation can heighten that popularity even more, that’s something that we all, as movie fans not just Star Wars fans, can be excited about and will probably watch.
I mean the ability to influence a storyline featuring Darth Vader in a “real” world?
“It’s pretty mind-blowing,” Goyer concluded.