As a franchise always on the cutting edge of storytelling technology, Star Wars is the perfect fodder for a virtual-reality experience. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in the Mos Eisley cantina? And just as virtual reality-pioneering Oculus Rift is making its big public debut at E3, the first details about Lucasfilm’s plans for “expierential storytelling” are coming to light.
The new division within Industrial Light and Magic, called ILMxLab (or ILM’s Experience Lab), has premiered the first look at the work they’ve been doing on bringing fans into the Star War Universe like never before.
One of the experiences, which USA Today got to demo, gives the viewer full control of where they looked as C-3PO and R2-D2 hid from a Stormtrooper. Another scene puts someone equipped with Oculus Rift headgear into the cockpit of an X-Wing, allowing viewers to observe scenes straight from the film—but not necessarily with full video game-like control. “What we’re aiming for is to open the two-dimensional world of the movies and allow fans to walk into those worlds with the same visual fidelity,” John Gaeta, ILMxLab’s creative director, told the paper. “All that George [Lucas] begat caused a reassessment of innovation from movies to video games. The next 40 years of ILM is about exploding that universe with tech once again.”