A Mysterious Star Wars VR Attraction Is Coming To Downtown Disney
As if having a whole land devoted to Star Wars isn't enough, Disney's Lucasfilm announced on Thursday that a virtual reality attraction based on Star Wars will be coming to Anaheim's Downtown Disney, just outside of Disneyland. The project is a joint venture taken on by Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB (Lucasfilm's immersive entertainment branch), and The Void, a company that specializes in themed VR attractions that include physical elements.
While the attraction has a name—it'll be called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire—there's not a whole lot of information about what it'll actually involve. We can perhaps infer a few things from the image that was released by Lucasfilm (above). In the picture, a handful of kids have banded with a droid that's very much like K-2SO from Rogue One (shouldn't there an age limit as to how young you can wield a blaster and join the Rebels?). This party is engaged in a standoff with Imperial Stormtroopers, and it looks like they're doing battle on the planet of Mustafar, with Darth Vader's castle looming in the distance.
We do know that it promises to be an immersive experience; Lucasfilm says that guests will be allowed to "move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience, including interaction with friends, fans, and Star Wars characters."
It also might be worth looking into The Void's portfolio. In 2016, the company released a Ghostbusters-based VR attraction in New York City's Times Square. As noted at The Verge, the attraction was built around a "hyper-real" world that combined VR with tangible spaces; you can reach out and touch a wall that you see, and you can sit in a chair that you see. This sorcery comes via a combination of a VR headset, a backpack computer, and a completely accurate tracking system. In other words, it'll be a mashup of fake reality and real reality.
Secrets of the Empire will land in both Anaheim at Orlando's Disney resort. There is no word yet on price of admission or when the attraction will be unveiled. And Galaxy's Edge, that land devoted to all things Star Wars, is slated to drop sometime in 2019.