Vader Immortal world premiere: Star Wars comes to VR with story, humor, stakes

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This dramatic staredown moment from <em>Vader Immortal</em>, as captured from live Oculus Quest hardware. While this captured image is a bit fuzzy, Vader's  animation and presentation within the VR experience is quite satisfying.

Enlarge / This dramatic staredown moment from Vader Immortal, as captured from live Oculus Quest hardware. While this captured image is a bit fuzzy, Vader’s animation and presentation within the VR experience is quite satisfying. (credit: Lucasfilm)

I could start my review of Vader Immortal: Episode One, the first lengthy Star Wars experience for consumer-grade VR headsets, in a number of ways. Controls? Comfort? Visuals? Story? Droids?

But after I finished my first run of the 45-minute experience, premiering exclusively on Oculus Quest on May 21 for $9.99, I knew where to begin: the moment Darth Vader became my life-sized lightsaber combat ally.

There I was, my eyes locked onto the tall Star Wars icon’s mask as it loomed above me. He ordered me to turn a key. (I wasn’t in a position to argue.) Doing so loosed a mystic energy, along with a slew of mysterious, sword-wielding guards, in response to which Vader shouted, “We must protect the prisoner!”

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