Lucasfilm Announces Star Wars Virtual Reality Experience

star-wars-secrets-of-the-empire-700x291By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

OH MY GOD!!” That was the reaction from my teenage son when he saw the trailer for Disney and Lucasfilm’s latest Star Wars epic. With audiences hungering for more beyond blockbuster movies like The Last Jedi and the upcoming Han Solo spinoff film, along with video games like Battlefront II, the Mouse House is going to give fans the chance to really experience the Lucasian saga thanks to virtual reality.

“Under the orders of the budding rebellion, your team will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders.” – Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

star-wars-void-secrets-of-the-empire-1024x445Developed by Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab and The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is a “multi-sensory hyper reality experience.”It will put guests into a room where they will be able to walk freely and untethered, and experience a completely original Star Wars story from a first person perspective.

With Rogue One’s K2SO as their guide, teams of friends and family will be assigned by Rebellion leader Mon Mothma to act as undercover spies. Their mission is to sneak into a into a top secret Imperial installation on the molten lava planet of Mustafar. Throughout the half hour adventure, users will solve puzzles, engage in battles with Imperial Stormtroopers, and fight giant lava monsters, all in the quest to accomplish their mission.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with THE VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure.” – Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB

THE-VOID-FANS-00Wearing a completely untethered, all-in-one virtual reality headset, guests will be divided into groups of four, and will roam the halls of a specially constructed virtual stage. Through the use of high resolution graphics, audio effects from Skywalker Sound, a compelling story arc and social interaction, they will not only be entertained, but will make the story their own. Think of it as an escape room meets a video game, only the experience is virtually real.

“A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of THE VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know they are part of this amazing story.” – Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at THE VOID

THE-VOID-FANS-08The half hour adventure will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort starting January 5, 2018, and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning December 16, 2017. Tickets will be $29.95, which is a bargain considering how long the adventure runs, and will not require separate admission into the parks.

It’s likely Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will be the first step in Disney’s plans to create a kind of West World-like atmosphere for Disney Resorts. That concept is designed to give guests the opportunity to check into their hotel and live the Star Wars adventure 24/7 through the use of costumes, props and non stop interactive adventures.

“While invoking all the senses,” Dobbs Beck adds, “we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Better get your tickets now (click here). This thing is going to sell out fast, especially with Star Wars: The Last Jedi leading the way.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.