The Galaxy Far, Far Away may be near and dear to our hearts, but it’s far, far away from reaching an oversaturation point. Indeed, as long as Disney is justifying ways to milk the commodity that Star Wars has become, we’ll see the diversification continue to spill out of the theater and into retail stores and other evolving venues. Case in point: Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic’s ILMxLAB and The VOID have teamed up for an immersive hyper-reality experience entitled Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which debuted late last year at Disney Springs and invites guests to “Step Beyond Reality.”
The multi-sensory installation transports wide-eyed visitors to the Star Wars universe in groups of four. Completely untethered aside from customized headsets and vests, team members go incognito as storm troopers and embark on a mission to the lava planet of Mustafar. Along with droid K-2S0, participants solve various puzzles and combat molten monsters in an effort to capture Imperial intelligence for the rebel cause.
With operations in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London, ILMxLAB has taken up the torch of Industral Light & Magic (ILM) and is carrying it into the realm of next-generation immersion and entertainment experiences. With the combined talents of ILM, Lucasfilm and Skywalker Sound, the laboratory was able to imbue the Secrets of the Empire VR experience with real-time interactive effects that merge seamlessly with physical sets.
This distant relative of George Lucas’ original brainchild may be a somewhat shameless cash grab, but it’s also an undeniably fun excuse to demonstrate a developing technology to audiences trained to wear their encyclopedic knowledge of a fictional world and narrative on their sleeves as a badge of honor. In a world where most experiences are increasingly customized, personalized and arguably made more self-centered, reality-bending experiences like this maximize escapism while allowing the fan base to indulge in casting themselves as the stars.
Check out the videos below for a sneak preview of what it looks like inside Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and to see fans gush. Tickets are available now at TheVoid.com.