If virtual reality really is the next big thing it only makes sense that Lucasfilm and ILM would introduce their take on the concept using ‘Star Wars.’ To get in on the action, Lucasfilm created ILMxLab whose entire purpose is to develop, explore, and create virtual reality. Not only that, but they are set to do so by giving us content directly from the ‘Star Wars’ universe and will be debuting the technology alongside the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ this December. With having access to Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound, ILMxLab will have some of the top talent in the industry at their disposal which means we should be in for a treat. We’ll have to be as their goal is to put us quite literally in the movie watching experience in a way never before seen.
While no set hardware interface or interfaces are locked down, the company has been working with both iPad and Oculus Rift technologies. With a plan to develop “virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms,” the sky is the limit and they are going to need something that can reach as wide a range of an audience as possible.
According to ILMxLab creative director John Gaeta:
“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.”
Previously when talking about the goals of the company Gaeta has said that:
“Cinema is a master storyteller’s art form. Until recently, a “4th wall” has contained this form. Soon, however, we will break through this 4th wall and cinema will become a portal leading to new and immersive platforms for expression. ILMxLAB is a platform for this expansion. We want you to step inside our stories.”
I’m thinking there might be some really cool potential technology here though virtual reality is something that has been in the works on various levels for years. While these days George Lucas is often thought of as the guy who couldn’t stop reediting his movies and giving us Jar Jar, his companies were at one point responsible for many of the greatest technological innovations for the filming and viewing of movies. I’m happy to see that they appear to be back on that path.
You can check out the demo video below of what they are trying for which shows how some of their latest technology is being used not only for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ but ‘Jurassic World‘ as well.
What are your thoughts on a virtual reality ‘Star Wars’ experience? Do you think we could be in for something amazing or do you prefer just the big screen treatment? Share your thoughts below!