Virtual reality is “the next big thing” according to certain tech-geared folks, and it appears that Lucasfilm is hopping on the bandwagon in a big way. The company has announced the creation of ILMxLab, a new division devoted to developing, exploring, and creating virtual reality experiences for the Star Wars universe, with a target release date timed to the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this December. That’s right: you just might get to go inside the movie after you see it.
The department is testing a variety of iPad and Oculus Rift-based technologies to fully immerse fans into the world of Star Wars. Their reach is pretty much infinite, as they aim to develop “virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms.” ILMxLab creative director John Gaeta tells USA Today their drive is rooted in George Lucas’ innovation:
“What we’re aiming for is to open the two-dimensional world of the movies and allow fans to walk into those worlds with the same visual fidelity. All that George begat caused a reassessment of innovation from movies to video games. The next 40 years of ILM is about exploding that universe with tech once again. xLab is as attuned to Silicon Valley as it is to Hollywood.”
In the demo video below (which also features Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy), you’ll see they’re using some pretty cutting edge tech to bring the Star Wars and Jurassic Park universes to life, and the ultimate goal is to put the viewer literally inside the movie. Star Wars fandom, it seems, is about to enter a whole other level.
Watch the demo video below, and visit the ILMxlab official website for more information.