We’ve seen Star Wars experiment with VR, but the sci-fi brand is going to become a full virtual experience at Disneyland and Walt Disney World later this year.
The Walt Disney Company is partnering with VR studio The Void to create Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire for its U.S. resorts. The Void is working with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic on the project.
“Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy,” The Void details on its site. “They will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multisensory Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience in a way that allows them to interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters.”
We don’t know where this experience will take place chronologically in the Star Wars story, although the above promotional image shows a droid that looks like Star Wars: Rogue One‘s K-2SO.
Consumer VR is a hot topic, but theme parks are also looking into the technology. Disney experimented with virtual reality in the past, but it hasn’t used modern VR in its theme parks yet. The Void created a Ghostbusters VR experience, so the company has experience working with big brands.
In California’s Disneyland, Secrets of the Empire is coming to the Downtown Disney area, while its heading to Disney Springs in Florida’s Walt Disney World. Both are shopping and dining complexes located outside of the theme parks.
Disney has big plans for Star Wars for its resorts. It’s creating themed lands, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, for Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. But those won’t open until 2019. Meanwhile, Disney has looked for ways to introduce the popular brand into its parks before then, including temporarily re-theming Space Mountain in Disneyland to Hyperspace Mountain. This VR project gives them another way to inject some Star Wars magic ahead of Galaxy’s Edge.