With this early teaser back in 2016, ILMxLab, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, revealed it was working on a story with David S. Goyer, writer of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, this time about a very different dark knight: Darth Vader. While the VOID’s Secrets of the Empire grew out of this development, today, the project was finally revealed: Star Wars: Vader Immortal, a trilogy of virtual reality experiences set to launch with the upcoming Oculus Quest platform next year.
Written by Goyer and developed by ILMxLab in collaboration with Oculus, U.K.-based developer Ninja Theory, and Unreal Engine creators Epic Games, Vader Immortal is set between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope in a turbulent time period when Vader and the Empire alike expand their power and oppress the galaxy. The trailer shows a starship captured by an Interdictor-class Imperial cruiser, its crew thrust into panic. We then travel to Vader’s fortress on Mustafar, a place familiar to fans of Secrets of the Empire and of the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
This inner sanctum of the Dark Lord will be the primary setting of Vader Immortal. It is here that the user comes face to face with Vader…and a mysterious second character. Although he doesn’t match any existing character, he seems to be an Inquisitor, a group of fallen Jedi who now hunt their kind for the Empire as featured in Marvel’s Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comics and Star Wars Rebels.
As the final shot shows the protagonist facing off with their own green-bladed lightsaber against a droid armed with a melee weapon, it’s possible the story involves Vader training the player character to be an Inquisitor themselves.
ILMxLab describes the story in a press release as “a unique combination of immersive cinematic storytelling and dramatic interactive play.” Players can live this story themselves when the first of three episodes of Vader Immortal launches with the Oculus Quest, a new standalone VR headset with a $399 price point, in spring 2019.