From A New Hope to The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm has continually strived to push technology and storytelling into uncharted waters. Today, Lucasfilm announced a new collaboration to continue that legacy: ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, is joining forces with Magic Leap, the leading pioneer in Mixed Reality technology.
According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, “The future of Mixed Reality and immersive entertainment holds incredible promise, and we are honored to work with Magic Leap to shape that future. At Lucasfilm and ILM, innovation has always been in our DNA; through this collaboration, ILMxLAB further propels our legacy of exploration and leadership on this new platform for experiential storytelling.”
Both entities are uniquely positioned to propel experiential storytelling into the future. ILMxLAB recently dazzled fans with Trials on Tatooine, a stunning experiment in which players interact with the Millennium Falcon and wield a lightsaber in immersive VR; Magic Leap has been at the forefront of Mixed Reality — a form that blends digital imagery with the real world — by developing technology and experiences of its own. To further this endeavor, the companies will be opening a joint research facility this June at Lucasfilm’s San Francisco campus. With world-class talent combined with a like-mindedness in vision and culture, ILMxLAB and Magic Leap will collaborate to pioneer Mixed Reality storytelling.
“Lucasfilm has created some of the most iconic characters of our time. Ones that dare us to dream, unlock our imagination and excite us to go on a journey with them,” said Magic Leap founder, president, and CEO Rony Abovitz. “Magic Leap is creating a whole new medium: Mixed Reality Lightfields, designed to harness the power of your imagination and take you to places you never thought possible. Collaboration between our two companies is a perfect fit, and I can’t wait to share the results with the world.”
“When we formed ILMxLAB last year, our goal was simple yet ambitious: propel storytelling into the future through new media platforms. The collaboration with Magic Leap is the ideal relationship to help us achieve that goal. With the world-class storytelling and tech talent in our joint lab, the promise of compelling Mixed Reality entertainment is one step closer,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge, ILMxLAB.
Today at the WIRED Business Conference in New York, the two companies also released a proof-of-concept video (available to view above) that finds R2-D2 and C-3PO toiling away, observing a holographic map featuring TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon — in a living room. The scene was produced by ILMxLAB and shown through Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality technology. “We are pushing into an era of experiential, persistent, and perceptual storytelling,” said ILMxLAB executive creative director John Gaeta. “We want people to step inside our stories, and we want those stories to react back to people in deeply compelling ways. However, before magical realism becomes a seamless part of everyday life, it needs some advanced prototyping. Our ‘Collab Lab’ is a focal point of practical problem solving, concrete groundwork, sweat, and hyper innovation.”
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