At Oculus Connect, Industrial Light and Magic took the stage to announce a new project aimed squarely at Star Wars fans. Vader Immortal, a launch title for the new Oculus Quest headset, will tell a new story in the Star Wars universe in-between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It’s coming in 2019 and is described as a VR “experience” rather a game or anything else of the sort.
“The very initial conversations around this project started three years ago, around the launch of ILMxLAB,” said ILM’s Mohen Leo in an interview with the official Star Wars website. “Lucasfilm was in production on Rogue One. In the film, the audience gets a glimpse of Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar, which we knew would be intriguing to a lot of fans. This was also around the time that some of the first really compelling content for the Oculus DK2, the developer kit that preceded the Oculus Rift, came out. We recognized that VR has a unique ability to transport people to a fictional place and let them explore it. So, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to let the audience visit and explore Vader’s castle, and have the opportunity to learn some of his secrets?'”
The tech follows on the heels of Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay, which had Oculus players in the midst of a battle with General Leia. It’s being written by David S. Goyer, who is also working on the VR experience, Secrets of the Empire. And despite what you might assume, Vader Immortal will be part of the official Star Wars canon.
Oculus Quest is the next iteration of Oculus hardware, with full-room tracking and motion controls. Quest is a standalone VR set like the Go, but is optimized for both PC and mobile games, unlike the Go’s mobile focus. It will cost $400–the same price as the Oculus Rift–when it launches next spring.