Google today launched a new Chrome experiment called “Lightsaber Escape” in partnership with Disney, LucasFilm, and Industrial Light & Magic. The Star Wars “interactive web experience” starts off in a Star Destroyer, where, Google says, “you’ll need to use your phone as a lightsaber to escape the First Order.”
The Lightsaber Escape game is quite simple. You swing your phone around to control the lightsaber on your desktop or laptop with the goal of fighting stormtroopers and other villains.
The game is considered a Chrome experiment because it was developed to work only in the browser. The 3D graphics were built with WebGL, the communication between your phone and computer occur over WebRTC and WebSockets (Google says this reduces latency and improves interactivity), and the rest uses web standards that ensure the experiment works across browsers without plugins (though of course Google makes sure that the experiments it builds work best in Chrome).
As you may have guessed, this experiment is “inspired by” the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie debuting on December 18. Google has jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon more than any other tech company yet, with varying results.
Today’s Chrome experiment aside, Google has placed Star Wars features in Google Translate, Google apps (including Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and Chrome), Google Cardboard, and of course Google search. With the movie coming out on Friday, Google has just a few days to squeeze in another Star Wars-themed promotion, but based on what we’ve seen with this game, the company should probably finish here and end on a high note.