The first official lightsaber VR experience from Industrial Light & Magic's xLab will shortly be available to the public. Today at the Star Wars Celebration expo, Lucasfilm chief technology officer Rob Bredow announced that Trials on Tatooine is coming to Steam VR on Monday, July 18th. The experience works on the HTC Vive, and it will be free.
My colleague Adi Robertson got a preview of the experience earlier this year. Dubbed a "cinematic virtual reality experiment," it puts the player on Tatooine as the Millennium Falcon flies overhead and lands. Soon an Imperial shuttle follows, and after R2-D2 hands off a lightsaber you're deflecting bolts from a group of Stormtroopers, buying time for the Falcon to escape.
Trials isn't the first attempt to bring lightsabers to virtual reality — last year we had a blast trying out Sixense's riff on the concept — but it is the first experience to be made by Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. ILM's xLab is the company's in-house unit focused on virtual and augmented reality, working in creative sync not just with the various media assets used to create the films, but with the Lucasfilm Story Group and the various writers and directors working on the new films.