Back in late May, ILMxLAB and Oculus Studios announced Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, an immersive VR experience set in Batuu's Black Spire Outpost — the setting of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme parks at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Since the spring, the highly-anticipated project has attracted Star Wars talent like Anthony Daniels (voice of C-3PO) and Frank Oz (voice of Yoda).
Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we now know that the tiny green Jedi Master is part of the first synergetic VR adventure, Temple of Darkness, which takes place thousands of years before the Skywalker Saga during the age of the High Republic. While Lucasfilm's ambitious publishing initiative (aka Project Luminous) won't launch until early 2021, fans can get an early taste of the halcyon days of the Jedi Order when Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge debuts next month. Taking up the role of Padawan Ady Sun’Zee, players will help Yoda investigate a temple that's been overrun by a mysterious entity.
"It's thrilling to see the era of the High Republic expand beyond the printed page, especially with regard to Master Yoda,” Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain told THR. “Whether you're experiencing Tales from the Galaxy's Edge or reading about his exploits in [IDW's upcoming comic book series] The High Republic Adventures — as well as some of our other books and comics in this era — fans will experience Yoda doing what he does best: teaching Padawans as only Yoda can."
Watch the trailer below:
During the development stage, ILMxLAB benefitted from Oz's input on how to best portray the iconic character. "What is beautiful about Yoda's struggle is that that struggle is to maintain, and to try to keep, good in the world. That can be hard, and it weighs you down," said ILMxLAB’s Jose Perez III. "[Frank] was really adamant that Yoda is not out there just being a badass and fighting and everything's super cool, like he's this rad ninja guy. It's like, this is a strong, little guy, he's worked extra hard, because he's a little guy, to do this."
Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is mainly about a droid repair technician who crash-lands on Batuu and ends up working for Mubo, owner of the Droid Depot. In the very first installment of Tales, however, the technicians head to a cantina where they're regaled with a thrilling story about Yoda, thus transporting the player back in time thousands of years to a time when the Jedi were at the top of their game.
"When we were breaking the story, a big part of it is, what is that fundamental question of being a Jedi, that balance of light and dark. It's essentially the struggle we're referring to with Yoda, and you're in VR, embodying that and feeling that viscerally, exactly the experience we've seen so many times in so many other spaces. It is actually the core Star Wars story; it's all about using selflessness over being selfish. That is the core; it's just done differently here," Lucasfilm franchise content & strategy VP James Waugh told THR.
Perez saw it as an opportunity to expand on the lightsaber feature in Vader Immortal, but was also excited about "the freedom to tell a story about the Jedi when they're at their peak, and what are the struggles that they're still dealing with, even when they were the guardians for all that time?"
A side quest of sorts, Temple of Darkness launches Thursday, Nov. 19 for Quest VR headsets.