'Hyper-reality' social VR game Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire heads to Disneyland Destinations

Promotional art for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.ILMxLab / The Void / Lucasfilm

Virtual reality pioneers The Void is joining forces (get it?) with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic Lab (ILMxLab) to create a "hyper-reality" VR experience for Disneyland Destinations in California and Florida.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire heads to Disney Springs and Downtown Disney commercial areas located outside the House of Mouse's full-fledged entertainment parks this summer.

As with The Void's previous work, such as a tie-in with 2016's Ghostbusters film reboot, Secrets of the Empire looks to combine virtual reality technology with physical staging, sensory theatrics and haptic wearable to recreate the look and feel of the popular sci-fi series.

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A press release for the announcement noted that the experience will "allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience, including interaction with friends, fans, and Star Wars characters".

A promotional image (above) released today (3 August) suggests one possible setting could take players to Darth Vader's fiery home on the fictional planet Mustafar.

"At The Void, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds," said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The Void.

"A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it's what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The Void, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won't just see this world, they'll know that they are part of this amazing story."

ILMxLab, which is no stranger to both virtual reality and a certain galaxy far, far away, also talked up the The Void's tech's ability to recreate a genuine Star Wars experience. "At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories," said Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLab. "Through our collaboration with The Void, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure."

"By combining Lucasfilm's storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away."

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