‘Vader Immortal’ Episode II Concept Art and Details Revealed at San Diego Comic-Con
This week at SDCC 2019, Ben Snow, director of the virtual reality (VR) game Vader Immortal, revealed what’s to come in ILMxLAB’s VR experience as well as taking a look back at Episode I.
SPOILER WARNING: This article discusses plot points and details from both Vader Immortal Episodes I & II
This information comes to us via Dan Brooks from StarWars.com. If you haven’t had an opportunity to play ILMxLAB’s Vader Immortal – Episode I yet, you truly don’t understand the experience you’re missing. Vader Immortal – Episode I is one of the most innovative and uniquely immersive Star Wars experiences created. In Vader Immortal – Episode I, players find themselves captured by the Empire and taken to Mustafar. It is there on the volcanic planet that players come face to face with Darth Vader and eventually wield a lightsaber. At the end of Episode I, Vader promises to teach the player the ways of the Force while they aid the him with his search for an ancient artifact.
“You will get to use the Force in Episode II. The first image is really part of the training. The way we thought about this was, we wanted to give you the Vader equivalent of Yoda teaching Luke about the Force in Empire Strikes Back. So we wanted it to be slightly darker and more twisted. He talks about the power of the dark side as well as the things you can do with the Force. So in this moment that the concept art reveals, you see him starting to manipulate objects and he’s starting to show you how you can use the Force to create something. But then, of course, Vader takes it in his own direction.”
Being that Vader destroys your lightsaber in Episode I, the Force becomes your primary weapon in Episode II, which was a challenge for the game’s creators. How do you create a power for the player to use that isn’t present in a tangible way? ILMxLAB were obviously up to the challenge (though it sounds like you’ll be using a lightsaber again down the line).
“Our goal is to make the Force in Episode II as satisfying as the lightsaber felt in Episode I.”
The Black Bishop from the game’s Episode I returns in Episode II, and he becomes a much larger part of the story and lore of the game according to Ben Snow.
“He becomes quite important in Episode II, and we learn about his background. The tomb will be found within the ancient fortress discovered toward the end of Episode I. We’re trying to make it feel very atmostpheric. This is a hidden area of the fortress that hasn’t really been explored. The Mustafarians know of it through legend. It’s a good chance to poke around in an unexplored part of Star Wars.”
Another piece of concept art comes from Episode I, where the player spies on Vader through a ventilation shaft, seeing him in a painful and vulnerable state. It involves the Sith Lord still attempting to discover the secrets to cheat or conquer death itself. Why does Vader have this obsession? Padme, of course. Snow explains Vader’s frame of mind during this time, though not many in the galaxy get a chance to see him outwardly express this pain like this.
“Pablo Hidalgo [of the Lucasfilm Story Group] had said to me at one point,Vader is in constant pain.’ That’s basically his thing, with everything that happened to his body and all that sort of thing. It seemed to me that you could show that a little bit,” Snow says. First, the player watches from a high angle, then descends, ultimately coming to the Sith Lord’s level. “You’re really close to him when he has the more private moment,” Snow says. “The fact that you have to move your head around to look through the vent just helps you feel like, ‘Oh, I really shouldn’t be here.’”
Aside from walking around the canon planet of Batuu at Galaxy’s Edge, this is the closest fans can get to being in Star Wars, unless of course you get cast in a movie or show!
Writer and Star Wars lover located in Florida, USA.
“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.”
– Anakin Skywalker