New Star Wars Virtual-Reality Experience

Enter a galaxy far, far away — right here in Edmonton.

August 17, 2018

For some of us, a perfect date night is sharing a great bottle of wine and conversation at a great restaurant. For others, it’s a movie. Or cocktails.

Or, maybe, you and your special someone can try to infiltrate an Imperial base, disguised as stormtroopers, and then scramble in a panicked effort to make it out alive.

The new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire virtual-reality experience opens Saturday at The Rec Room West Edmonton Mall. Walk in, put on the special jacket and VR visor, and you’re plunged into a galaxy far, far away. You feel the sparks from the blasters as they brush by you. You have to try and crack access codes so you can make your way through the various levels of the Imperial stronghold. You walk onto gangplanks that overlook deadly lava pits. There’s monsters to fight. And there’s a few special guests that you’ll recognize from the Star Wars franchise of films.

And it’s a heck of a lot of fun. By the time we got out of there (on the media preview day), I’d worked up a pretty good sweat — even though I could tell by the way my suit had buzzed, that I’d been targeted by blaster fire more than a few times. I think, maybe, for the media experience, that I’d received the VR-world’s version of a mulligan.

This is the second immersive VOID experience to be installed in Canada, the other being at the Roundhouse in Toronto. But, in Toronto, it’s a Ghostbusters theme —Edmonton is the first in Canada to get the Star Wars VR experience. That’s right — Edmonton wins.

“All of our experiences are dynamic, and no two experiences are alike,” says Sarah Marsh, the chief experience officer for VOID, the San Francisco-based virtual-reality entertainment company that’s responsible for installing both of the Canadian experiences for Cineplex, which owns The Rec Room franchise. “When you come to Star Wars next time and you bring your friends or family, you’re going to see something new, something different, and you can explore the environment in a different way.”

Marsh says that more than 500,000 visitors have experienced the VOID at the nine locations spread out around the globe.


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