Back in 2016, Industrial Light & Magic’s xLab team announced that it was working with writer David S. Goyer to create a VR experience starring Darth Vader. And at this year’s Oculus Connect conference, the company showed off the first trailer for the finished product, now a three-part series called Star Wars: Vader Immortal, the first episode of which is set to launch in 2019.
While neither Oculus nor ILM is offering too many details on what Vader Immortal will entail — we know it will take place some time prior to Episode IV — but it sounds like it’ll offer players the chance to take up a lightsaber and go head to head with Star War’s most iconic villain in VR.
Vader Immortal will by no means be the first VR Star Wars title, either. xLab first dipped its toe into the water with a basic lightsaber game, Trials on Tatooine, and has partnered with The Void on the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire immersive VR installations, too. But Vader Immortal sounds like a much larger and more expansive experience, one that could realize the kind of narrative storytelling potential that the Star Wars brand implies and leverage it for more than just a cool VR demo.
Oculus is listed as a “premier partner” for Vader Immortal, which will launch alongside the upcoming Oculus Quest headset next year, but the language there seems to indicate that it might only be a timed exclusive to Oculus, and odds are that it’ll pop up on other VR platforms, too.