Star Wars: Vader Immortal is a three part VR “narrative adventure” and Oculus exclusive. Episode I launched on Quest and Rift earlier this year. Little is known about Episode II, including its release date, but this week the creators shared a glimpse of what’s to come.

Update (July 22nd, 2019): This week the ILMxLAB team behind Star Wars: Vader Immortal revealed new concept art and details of the upcoming Episode II. Over at the official Star Wars blog, Vader Immortal director Ben Snow affirmed the emphasis on Force powers in Episode II, and shared some concept art which serves as a visual reference for the look and feel of what the team hopes to achieve during some of the game’s key moments.

Image courtesy ILMxLAB, the official Star Wars blog

“The first image is really part of the training. The way we thought about this was, we wanted to give you the Vader equivalent of Yoda teaching Luke about the Force in Empire Strikes Back. So we wanted it to be slightly darker and more twisted. He talks about the power of the dark side as well as the things you can do with the Force. So in this moment that the concept art reveals, you see him starting to manipulate objects and he’s starting to show you how you can use the Force to create something. But then, of course, Vader takes it in his own direction,” Snow said.

It’s not clear yet how the Force mechanics will work from a VR gameplay standpoint, but Snow said the team is focused on honing the feel.

“That is something that we’re still working really hard on,” Snow says, “to make it feel as good as we can. Our goal is to make the Force in Episode II as satisfying as the lightsaber felt in Episode I,” said Snow.

Vader Immortal – Episode I has seen critical praise [our review] and positive user reviews on both Quest and Rift. There’s no official word yet on when Episode II will be released, but early next year would be our guess for now.

Original Article (April 16th, 2019): Anyone who has ever thought about combining VR and Star Wars has definitely thought about finally getting to hold the glowing, humming energy swords that are perhaps the franchise’s most iconic element (pro tip: if you have a PC VR headset you can find out what that’s like right now).

So it makes sense that Vader Immortal – Episode 1 will focus largely on lightsaber combat as a main gameplay element, as we saw from the latest trailer revealed last week:

But after lightsabers, the next most iconic piece of Star Wars lore is arguably The Force—the energy field which connects everything in the universe, allowing certain individuals to manipulate the world in seemingly magical ways.

Last week a discussion with a panel of creators working on Vader Immortal, which focused almost entirely on Episode 1, revealed that Episode 2 would shift focus to Force Powers. It’s easy to imagine how this might work with VR motion input—forcefully pushing enemies with a gesture, levitating important objects, and maybe even choking a peon or two.

Unfortunately the panel didn’t elaborate on Episode 2, but their emphasis on different gameplay elements from one episode to the next helps us further understand the scope of the Vader Immortal episodes, which so far sound like they will lean more toward the ‘experience’ end of the spectrum than full fledged ‘games’. During the creator panel it was said of Episode 1 that “it’s not a movie, it’s not a ride, and it’s not a game,” describing how building the experience for VR involved fusing aspects of each.

ILMxLab, which is developing Vader Immortal, is Lucasfilm’s immersive and experimental storytelling group. The group already has a history of combining Star Wars with VR, including Trials of Tatooine (which was released for PC VR headsets in 2016) and Secrets of the Empire (a VR attraction that’s part of The VOID).

Both are definitely ‘experiences’ rather than full VR games—they’re shorter and primarily focused on telling a slice of a story, with game-like interactions largely used as a means of making players feel like they’re part of the Star Wars universe, as opposed to building out deep mechanics that will bring players back time and again.

Concept art from ‘Vader Immortal’ reveals a heavy emphasis on character, location, and story. | Image courtesy ILMxLAB

Vader Immortal seems like it will follow a similar pattern where the narrative is the most important focus, leaving gameplay as a supporting function rather than the main draw. This makes sense considering ILMxLab’s movie studio lineage (as opposed to game studio). This is just speculation, but from what I’m seeing and hearing about the title so far, I would guess that each episode will last less than an hour; perhaps closer to 30 minutes on average.

That said, the creator panel did hint that there would be some replayability in Episode 1. The panel described a “lightsaber dojo” scene where the player will learn how to slice and dice enemies (this can be seen in the trailer)—but they found it so much fun that they opted to make a way for players to come back to the dojo and use it after the fact.

“We can’t just encounter the lightsaber dojo and then move on with the story, we need to [let players go back],” one creator said.

What isn’t quite clear right now is if gameplay mechanics from each episode will carry over from one to the next, or if each episode will have discrete gameplay. For instance, if Episode 1 teaches the player lightsaber combat, will they use that alongside their Force Powers in Episode 2? We can only hope.

Image courtesy ILMxLAB

Vader Immortal – Episode 1 is due to launch exclusively on both Oculus Quest and Rift (and Rift S); it will be a launch title for Quest when it hits shelves this Spring. No release timing has been given so far for Episode 2 and Episode 3.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • nasprin

    If they manage to do it right, the game will not only propell the VR-industry, but also help the Star Wars Franchise to recover a little from the horrible movies we got…

    • like….cough….”solo”…..

      • Fern

        I basically gain close to $6,000-$8,000 per month using the internet. It is indeed great to definitely replace my past work net income, particularly taking into account I just simply do the work nearly 20 hour or so every week from a home office.I dropped my job after operating for the same employer for a long time, I wanted very reliable income. I was not thinking about packages that miguide you to make you millionnare within few days you can see all over the internet. Those all are kind of ponzi network marketing business schemes wherein you have to first create prospects after which sell something to friends and family members or anyone to make sure they will be in your team. The greatest benefit of working over the internet is that I am always home with the little ones and also enjoy lots of free time with my family members in various beautiful beaches of the world. Honestly,it is actually simpler than you would think, all you need to do is submit a very simple form to obtain front line access to the Home Profit System. The guidelines are extremely simple, you do not have to be a computer whiz, however you should be aware how to use the internet. It is as simple as being on Instagram. Here’s the easiest way to start ->->

        • Miskatonic

          COOL STORY, BRO

      • sfmike

        No the girl power trilogy.

  • Luke

    imho 2,5h game lenght per episode

  • Niklas Fritzell

    I bet this will be a weak story / gimmicky gameplay movie experience.

    • Francesco Fazio

      I hope you are wrong

    • VR4EVER

      „I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

    • T2814

      You do realize that the first chapter has been out for a couple of months and gotten almost universal praise, right?

    • Zbyszek

      The first episode is super cool. The only drawback is its length but apart from that, it’s one of the best apps on the Quest.

  • LowRezSkyline

    I feel like all this should be in one game, not split up into Episodes where they can bleed us for more money for essentially mini-games. But hey, it’s Star Wars and that’s synonymous with sucking money out of fans blatantly, been their thing for a while now.

    • T2814

      At $10 per episode the cost of entry is very low for the amount of entertainment provided. Vader Immortal had a story that took a good hour to get thru and the lightsaber dojo provides hours of VR lightsaber challenges. I’ve seen other VR games cost more and provide less content.

    • Zbyszek

      I guess this was kind of a proof of concept, they didn’t want to invest too much before validating the very idea of a vr game.


    Hello There!

  • junkyfour

    The Quest is a miracle device worth the price and Vader Immortal is a wonderful, if short, time. The Lightsaber Dojo is the reason to keep coming back but it’s droids, droids, and more droids. Something like what’s in the Lenovo Jedi Challenges would be welcome diversity. Hopefully in the future they add what has been lacking for decades–a Star Wars Trilogy experienced from the perspective of all the beloved characters. I want to play the original trilogy and I’m sure that’s what Star Wars fans are truly looking for in a Star Wars video game, not the prequel trilogy, not the current films, not “canon” stories in-between films, but the original trilogy involving Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and The Emperor. The Trench Run. Flying the Millenium Falcon through the Second Death Star. Jabba’s Palace. Running through hallways fighting stormtroopers with a lightsaber. Riding speeder bikes. Being Darth Vader fighting rebel scum. Vader Immortal is a great proof-of-concept but hopefully there’s the something more in the pipeline that’s been lacking for, to say it again, decades.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    It’s not bad for ten bucks but not enough saber battles against actual characters.Also so controlled flight mechanics would be nice.

    • oompah

      Thanks for not saying ur magic words

  • alex123648865687

    Force lightning, laser stop, choke, force pull, force push (grab lightsaber without reaching your belt just for the feeling)…. it needs to have everything !!!

  • Episodic gaming is dead, it was a cleaver idea in 2006 but its time to move on. I want a longer experience.