With HTC Vive and Oculus Rift now on the market, PlayStation VR set for release in October, and rumors of Xbox One VR and Nintendo NX VR still swirling, virtual reality is getting increasingly within the reach of the average consumer. With the push for consumer VR comes the race to be on the forefront of creating new VR content, and there has been no shortage of VR content announcements over the last few months.
Among the projects that have been announced are Michael Bay's Rogue Initiative, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and VR experiences for both the Assassin's Creed and Star Wars franchises. Star Wars is no stranger to immersive experiences, with the Star Tours ride having long been a popular attraction at Disney Land and Disney World. However, a Star Wars VR film promises an entirely new way for fans to experience their favorite fictional universe. Based on recent news, it appears they will be experiencing that universe from the viewpoint of Darth Vader.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice screenwriter David S. Goyer took to the stage during Star Wars Celebration to make an announcement about his latest writing project: a Darth Vader virtual reality movie. The news comes by way of The Verge, with some accompanying quotes from Goyer about the project. According to Goyer, it will be an interactive experience that lets audiences not only watch, but also interact with the world around them as the story unfolds:
"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. You can pick up things, you can open things. You can push things, you can walk. You can touch characters."
According to the article, the film will take place in a persistent world that cycles through day and night and continues on once the main story has ended. Goyer says that having that persistent world that audiences can interact with makes them more emotionally invested in it:
"The difference between cinema and television and VR — particularly with the fidelity that [the xLab] team is working on, is that you really feel like you there. The sense of presence isn't just a buzzword. And it's surprisingly very emotional. 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 a way that you can't really do in any other medium. And it can scare you."
After Goyer's contributions to Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, some might be wary of him putting his typically dour spin on the Star Wars mythology, especially with a character as beloved as Darth Vader. However, Goyer was also responsible for helping to shape Christopher Nolan's massively popular take on Batman with the Dark Knight trilogy, so with the right collaborators, the Darth Vader VR movie certainly still has the potential to impress. According to The Verge, the film is being "written in conjunction with the same brain trust that is overseeing the new films, and it will be contributing to official series canon." Disney is very protective of its brands, and no doubt will be keeping a close eye on this project.
For Goyer's part, he says he is "really, really excited for a year or two, whenever it happens, and you guys get to experience what we're working on. It's pretty mindblowing." As with any Star Wars project, expectations from fans will be sky high. If Goyer and team can deliver, though, then the Darth Vader VR film promises to take the franchise in an exciting new direction.
Screen Rant will provide more coverage of the Darth Vader VR film as it develops. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: The Verge