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Star Wars is making its way to virtual reality

God… has there ever been a better time to be a Star Wars fan? Not only are we getting a bunch of new films and games, but a trio of companies, including Lucasfilm, have joined forces to create ILM Experience Lab, which aims to bring the most beloved sci-fi series of all time to virtual reality. As a massive Star Wars fan myself, I’ve daydreamed about this kind of thing happening for years, but I never imagined it would actually happen. 

Did you feel that? That great disturbance in the Force? It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out not in terror, but from sheer joy. There is a lot of excitement about the upcoming Star Wars franchise refresh, but Lucasfilm, Skywalker Sound, and Industrial Light & Magic have just announced what might be the coolest news yet. The companies have formed ILM Experience Lab, or ILMxLab, for the express purpose of creating virtual and augmented reality experiences, and they’re starting with the galaxy far, far away. The Star Wars experiences created by ILMxLab will debut later this year alongside or even before the debut of The Force Awakens, according to USA Today. And just like ILM and Skywalker Sound work with other filmmakers, the new division will eventually offer its services to Hollywood as well. A video published to ILM’s YouTube account (seen above) gives some truly tantalizing glimpses of what’s in store. Using Structure Sensor-equipped iPads and Oculus Rifts, it looks like you’ll be able to do things like explore the dusty streets of Tatooine with C-3PO and R2-D2, or pilot an X-Wing.

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