One of the newest studios to join the Microsoft Studios family has been hard at work on a Star Wars VR experience for the upcoming Oculus Quest – a newly announced standalone virtual reality headset. Ninja Theory’s collaboration with ILMxLAB is currently titled Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series and will consist of three episodes. The plot was written by Dadid S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) and will be set in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
As you may have guessed from the title, Vader Immortal will focus on one of the most iconic villains in pop culture – Darth Vader. Through the Oculus Quest headset you will travel to Mustafar – the lava planet where Anakin Skywalker dueled Obi-Wan Kenobi and later the world where Darth Vader would build his castle. You will wander around, learn some of Vader’s secrets and even wield a lightsaber. “With Vader Immortal, we really wanted to push connection to characters and narrative between multiple experiences,” said Mohen Leo, director of immersion at ILMxLAB. “So you’re not just visiting an iconic place from a movie; you get to meet iconic characters like Darth Vader, face-to-face.”
“We have an amazing team at ILMxLAB in San Francisco who worked in close collaboration with a team at Ninja Theory, an award-winning games company in the UK,” Leo added. This collaboration appears to have begun before Microsoft announced the acquisition of Ninja Theory back in June.
Vader Immortal will be a canon addition to the Star Wars universe. “We came up with the concept, and then we had a conversation about where in the timeline it would fit,” said Goyer. “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.”
Those of you hoping for this experience to be brought to non-VR platforms will be disappointed. “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,” Goyer added.
The Oculus Quest headset addresses many of the current criticisms of VR hardware. It is wireless and does not require a PC to operate. Mark Zuckerberg claims the Oculus Quest can deliver visuals on par with the old Oculus Rift headset with resolution of 1600×1440 for each eye. The $399 headset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor – the same processor that is found in Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and the Google Daydream VR headset.