Join General Leia’s Crew in Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay

Go one-on-one with BB-8 in this amazing and accessible virtual reality experience.

Have you ever wanted to be a part of the Resistance? Thanks to the incredible ingenuity of ILMxLAB, you’re able to do just that with the official VR experience connected to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay — Astro-Mechanic for the Resistance, available today in select territories for HTC Vive on Steam and Viveport, and Samsung Gear on the Oculus Store.

Whether you make the trip through hyperspace to a local Nissan dealership or download the full interactive experience to your VR device at home, Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay is a can’t-miss chance to live out your dream of being a vital part of the crew on a ship in the galaxy far, far away.

Daniel Aasheim, senior producer at ILMxLAB, chatted over e-mail with about the making of this unique experience and what novice astromech mechanics can expect aboard General Leia’s ship. Why did you choose VR as the platform for Droid Repair Bay?

Daniel Aasheim: At ILMxLAB, we are focused on telling the right story for the right platform. We started talking a few months back about making a piece centered around droids; Ben Peck, our engineer for Droid Repair Bay, had been experimenting with BB-8 to understand what it could be like to really be in a virtual space with him.

That was a compelling thought to Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB, and so we decided to explore droids in virtual reality in a deeper capacity which lead us to what you’re seeing today.

There really is no better way to get up close to your favorite droid – and now you have the opportunity to hang with a whole bunch of them on General Leia’s ship, a location seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Can you tell us a little about BB-8’s new astromech droid friends?

Daniel Aasheim: Each and every one of them is as full of personality – and attitude – as our friend BB-8.  Being a part of the Lucasfilm companies allowed us to leverage amazing talent on the design, and work directly with the Story Group to bring true authenticity to each character, really bringing them to life in the Star Wars universe. Are there any other familiar faces in Droid Repair Bay?

Daniel Aasheim: Mostly there a lot of new faces! There are three new BB units developed specifically for our unique virtual reality story, and some more petite versions, if you will, as well that help around the droid repair bay on General Leia’s ship.

If you look closely, though, you might catch a glimpse of someone that BB-8 hangs around with… What’s the most exciting part of working on a VR experience like Droid Repair Bay?

Daniel Aasheim: Working with the talented teams at ILMxLAB and in the greater Lucasfilm company to create a unique, new, authentic Star Wars story in virtual reality has been a real honor.

Our team also has kicked off accessibility research for people with disabilities, and we were able to incorporate some learnings from that research in this VR story. That’s super important for ILMxLAB – making accessible, and authentic, Star Wars content.

And did I mention we get to work on droids? Seriously. All day. There’s not much that brings more happiness to your day besides spending it with these characters. Any tips for astromech mechanics who have never used VR before?

Daniel Aasheim: Steady hands are your best friend… besides a droid, that is. Don’t forget to interact with them either. They really are their own characters, with their own droid-appropriate quirks.

If you don’t have access to a VR device, you can still be a part of General Leia’s crew! Droid Repair Bay is a 360 degree short story now on YouTube. Star Wars Droid Repair Bay – A 360 Story may not be completely interactive, but is just as breathtaking and engaging as the full VR experience.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #ILMxLAB

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