The VOID: Battle the Empire in Virtual Reality (Droids Included)

Robot Review: October 21, 2018

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire was released last year as one of the titles at The VOID – a 3D virtual reality experience where you walk through and interact with the story’s environment.

Recently we visited their store at the Glendale Galleria Mall in Glendale, CA to check it out.

Here We Go!

First you’ll suit up in a hefty vest and helmet. Each helmet has a microphone so your team can communicate and the VR visor flips down to cover your eyes.

After watching an introductory video, you move into the Staging Bay where your virtual reality experience begins. What was previously an 8x8ft barren walled room is now a spaceship approaching the Empire facility on Mustafar, a molton lava planet.

Your mission is to access the facility disguised as a squad of stormtroopers. We won’t give away much about the details of the experience, but here’s a few highlights…

You will feel the heat of the burning lava around you.
You will feel afraid of falling off the edge of a platform.
You will frantically try to solve puzzles while ducking enemy fire.
You will probably get shot by a stormtrooper’s laser – it won’t kill you, but you will feel it in your vest.

The Robot Cast has some well-known faces from the Star Wars films:

  • K-2S0: From Rogue One, this Imperial-turned-Rebellion droid will guide your squad through the mission.
  • MSE-6: This little Imperial service robot, nicknamed mouse droid, looks like a black lunchbox and zips around on wheels. You’ll cross paths with it in a hallway, just like Han, Luke and Chewbacca did in Episode IV – A New Hope.
  • Astromech Droid: This chrome R2-D2 style droid also supports your squad and appears at various points in your mission.

You’ll see other random robots such as a Loading droid and a Control Room droid as well.

And there will be stormtroopers. Lots and lots of stormtroopers. Shooting at you. From all directions.

By the time you get home, you’ll receive your Wanted poster via email with a link to view your mission statistics.

VOID Star Wars Email Mission Stats

But Wait There’s More!

The VOID also has a Ghostbusters experience and a fantasy-haunting Chicago World’s Fair experience called Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment.

Robots-in-Film favorite Wreck-It Ralph is coming soon at The VOID. And because of a recent partnership with Lucasfilm and Disney, future experiences will include additional Animation and Marvel film themes.

Wreck It Ralph Coming Soon Widget

For more info and available locations go to thevoid.com.

Film and Television Producer Gale Anne Hurd

The People Behind the Robots takes a look at the humans behind the robots in movies, television and short films.

Producer and writer Gale Anne Hurd sat down at Marc Maron’s WTF podcast to talk about her long and successful career in film and television. A career that includes such Robots-in-Film favorites as Battle Beyond the Stars, Virus, Aliens and several Terminator projects.

The conversation was a fascinating peak into Hollywood and how some of the biggest Science Fiction movies of all time got made.

Right out of college, Hurd worked as an assistant for legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, eventually learning a variety of aspects of film production at his studio.

Filmmaker Jim Cameron was also working for Corman around that time. When Hurd met Cameron, he was an Art Director and model builder for the 1980 film Battle Beyond the Stars (also Hurd was the Assistant Production Manager for the film).

By 1982, Jim Cameron had finished the screenplay for The Terminator, and agreed to work with Hurd and her newly formed production company to get the film made.

Their partnership continued through the 1980s, working together on more Terminator projects, Aliens and underwater special effects extravaganza The Abyss.

Hurd’s production company has since made dozens of films over the years including:

  • Alien Nation: (1988) Starring James Caan and Mandy Patinkin
  • Tremors: (1990) Now a long-running film series starring Michael Gross
  • Raising Cane: (1992) Directed by Brian DePalma
  • Mega-hit Armageddon: (1998) Starring Bruce Willis and directed by Michael Bay

More recent projects include some of the early 2000s Marvel superhero films such as Hulk and The Punisher, as well as the long-running zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead.