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Porgs were everywhere in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to the point where the Millennium Falcon itself became a nest for the little Ahch-To natives. More than a few fans of the film came away from it wanting a porg of their very own, and sometimes a plush toy just isn't gonna cut it. ILMxLAB knew that this would be the case, so they began Project Porg last year, and now we have a video sneak peek at what the experience will look like.
Working as Lucasfilm's immersive entertainment division, ILMxLAB made the extent of their powers known with the excellent virtual reality experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. As executive Vicki Dobbs Beck says in the video below, they are trying "to create a whole new era of living stories." While Secrets of the Empire was full-on virtual reality, Star Wars: Project Porg is more intimate — it is "mixed reality," almost in the vein of something like Pokemon Go. The exciting thing about mixed reality, according to the video, is that "you are really a part of the story."
As such, users combine their own imaginations with added digital creations. The result, at least in terms of Project Porg, will be a digital porg that the user actually takes care of in a Tamagotchi kind of way. The porgs can be played with in a number of ways; they can be fed, and they can even breed. Before you know it, you'll possibly wind up with baby porgs that need to be taken care of. Have to hit the road? No problem — take your headset and controls with you, and you can take care of your digital porgs on the go.
Take a look at the new video from ILMxLAB and see what in the porg we're talking about:
As they say in the video, users will "actually develop a relationship with a character over time." Some Star Wars fans have waited their entire lives for a chance to do this. Beck also addresses the notion that you can travel with these new digital friends: "You can take that same character with you, to public locations, possibly even a place like a theme park."
We wonder if she has any specific theme park in mind? Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge certainly seems like it could be the right place to take a digital porg. What would your new friend think if you went to that upcoming Star Wars theme park and didn't bring it along? It wouldn't be very happy with you.
This is one of ILMxLAB's first forays into mixed reality, so we're going to bet that they have plenty more surprises in store. As they say in the video, between this technology and virtual reality, "the sky's the limit."