Moments after we were wowed by that new Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes sizzle reel, we made our way across D23 Expo to check out the latest video game development covering Disney, Lucasfilm, and Marvel properties. The audience was treated to a clip tracing the development of the epic Star Wars: Battlefront 2, new footage from Spider-Man, a trailer for Kingdom III, a Spidey reveal for Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, and a surprise appearance by avid gamer John Boyega. But the bit that most piqued our interest was something called Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, an in-the-works augmented reality system that promises to let fans play a cutthroat game of holochess on the coffee table or experience the visceral thrill of firing up their own lightsaber.
“AR has always been a big part of the Star Wars stories going back all the way to the beginning,” said Mike Goslin, VP Advanced Development. “In A New Hope, Princess Leia appears early on as a hologram all the way up to The Force Awakens, where they have the galaxy maps and the Starkiller Base.
“My personal favorite is the holochess game on the Millennium Falcon, with the little monsters… We’ve always wanted to recreate that game, but the technology hasn’t existed to do that, until now.”
Goslin then pulled out a Lenovo-designed headset that, when paired with a smartphone loaded with the proper app, allows users to visualize and interact with all kinds of Star Wars scenarios. The simulated highlight reel included holochess, as well as action figures coming to life to battle AT-ATs on the floor.
It’s all part of Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, and Disney is billing the killer app as a lightsaber peripheral, teased in a short video (below).
Goslin was light on details, promising more information on the site jedichallenges.com in the months to come.
We’re counting the days until we can play holochess — even if we have to let the Wookiee win.
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