Every Star Wars fan has wanted to hold a real light saber in her hand or see the view of Tatooine’s binary suns while actually standing on the planet’s sandy surface. Apparently Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB is working on the technology that will make those things as close to possible as they’ve ever been. (Watch the trailer above.)
According to this Los Angeles Times story, the ILMxLAB, a division of the company focused on virtual entertainment, has developed “Trials on Tatooine,” a virtual reality experience that enables users to live through a pre-dark side Kylo Ren as he begins training to become a Jedi. That training includes not only wielding a light saber, but also standing in front of the massive Millennium Falcon as it touches down on Luke Skywalker’s home planet.
The bad news about “Trials on Tatooine” is that most regular people can’t engage with it yet. As the Times explains, it’s really just an experiment — one that was unveiled during the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco and that may be available at events like Star Wars Celebration — to test where future Star Wars games and experiences can go. One place that Rob Bredow, Lucasfilm’s chief technology officer, says that such VR experiences may eventually go is to the Disney theme parks.
But not yet. Until then, we have to live vicarious through Martens’s own virtual test drive of “Tatooine,” which sounds pretty amazing. Of “holding” a light saber for the first time, Martens writes that “inside the headset it’s a potent, buzzing instrument, one capable of scorching the ground should I lower it.” If only he could virtually alter Kylo Ren’s destiny from one that involves heartbreaking patricide … maybe in version 2.0?