Industrial Light and Magic announces the release date for its new virtual reality experience, Trials on Tatooine, at the Star Wars Celebration convention in London.
This weekend, Star Wars fans from across the globe descended upon London to take part in the Celebration event. Some were disappointed that the rumored Episode VIII teaser didn’t make the show — but the convention did provide some more details on the intriguing Trials on Tatooine.
First unveiled several months back, Trials on Tatooine provides an opportunity for Star Wars fans to swing around a lightsaber in the comfort of their living room. The iconic weapon seems tailor-made for a virtual reality experience, which explains why Industrial Light and Magic are developing this title in-house.
The “cinematic virtual reality experiment” takes place on the planet that Luke Skywalker calls home as of the beginning of A New Hope. Having landed on Tatooine, the player is surrounded by Imperials, and has to fight them off using his or her trusty lightsaber.
We now know that the protagonist isn’t Skywalker himself, but instead a young padawan helping to forge a new Jedi Order. That means that Trials on Tatooine takes place during an era of the Star Wars universe that was only hinted at in The Force Awakens.
Ordinarily, we could write off something like Trials on Tatooine as a mere side-story, that probably wasn’t intended to be canon in the first place. However, the game was co-written by Pablo Hidalgo, who is a creative executive at Lucasfilm tasked with deciding what is canon and what is not.
Trials on Tatooine could potentially fill in some gaps in our knowledge about the state of the Star Wars universe following the original trilogy. What happened to Luke Skywalker after the fall of the Empire looks set to be a major plot point going into Episode VIII — and the game could potentially offer some insider info ahead of time.
Even better, fans won’t have to wait too long to try out the experience for themselves. Trials on Tatooine is scheduled to hit Steam today, and will be available to owners of the HTC Vive headset for free.
Whether or not it gives any insight into the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker, the game should be a great stopgap for Star Wars fans eager for more video game content. With more titles on their way from the likes of Visceral Games, it’s certainly a good time to be a gamer for anyone who’s invested in the franchise.
Trials on Tatooine releases today on PC.