ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, is bringing a Darth Vader-themed VR series to the recently announced Oculus Quest. With six main films dedicated to telling to Vader’s story though, you’d think there wouldn’t be much left to say about the franchise’s archetypal ‘dark father’. The developers behind the upcoming Vader Immortal however say in a blog post that there’s more to learn about Darth Vader, and it’s going to be canon to the series.
Written and produced by David S. Goyer, screenwriter behind a prolific body of works including The Dark Knight franchise and the location-based VR experience Secrets of the Empire, the new VR experience is slated to be a three-part series set between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
The studio is staying pretty tight-lipped for now on specifics, although we’ve been told that users will visit Darth Vader’s castle on the lava-world of Mustafar, which was first seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There, we’re told that we’ll “encounter Vader himself and wield a lightsaber.”
According to ILMxLAB, Vader Immortal “counts [as canon], and was hatched and developed with guidance from the Lucasfilm Story Group. It will be an official part of the overall saga, adding to what we know of Vader and his story, and of everyone and everything else that Vader Immortal touches.”
“We came up with the concept, and then we had a conversation about where in the timeline it would fit,” Goyer says. “Everyone felt very strongly that it’s a legitimate Vader story and that it advances the ball in terms of who he is and what his goals are. We were also determined to make sure that it’s a story you can only experience in VR. There aren’t any other plans to port this into any other medium. We wanted to design it specifically for VR.”
Users will also be able to explore Vader’s castle, which ought to reveal what Goyer calls “some other depths to his character that might be difficult to experience in other mediums.”
Vader Immortal is set to launch in tandem with Quest sometime in Spring 2019.