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A galaxy far, far away comes to Edmonton with Star Wars virtual reality experience

Editor’s note: This story originally included pricing for The VOID as listed in a news release given to media during the event. The Rec Room later clarified that The VOID at West Edmonton Mall will cost $34.95. This story has been updated to reflect the new information.

Star Wars fans in Edmonton are about to get a completely interactive experience with the opening of The VOID, an immersive virtual reality experience that takes fans into the franchise at The Rec Room at West Edmonton Mall.

The mission? You’re an undercover rebel disguised as a stormtrooper in Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire — created in collaboration with Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB.

The VOID’s Sarah Marsh said it’s a combination of storytelling mixed with extraordinary technology and sensory effects.

“It’s location-based hyperreality,” Marsh said on Thursday. “It’s more than [sight]. You hear, feel and smell what it’s like to be in a galaxy far, far away.”

The Void is a totally immersive virtual reality @starwars experience at @TheRecRoomCa inside @Official_WEM #secretsoftheempire @morganrblack pic.twitter.com/yDUE7jl8TC

— Global News Radio 880 Edmonton (@880Edmonton)

Inside The VOID, you move room to room wearing state–of–the-art virtual reality technology.

“You get to be a part of the story and you’re untethered. You walk through the spaces, sit down and pick up objects as you discover your place in the galaxy,” Marsh said.

“You believe you’re a part of Star Wars.”

As a member of the rebellion, you travel to the planet of Mustafar where you must recover Imperial intelligence that is vital to the rebellion’s survival. Disguised as stormtroopers, and joined by the droid K-2SO, you must navigate through an enemy facility where you solve puzzles, fight giant lava monsters and use your blaster to complete your mission.

Cineplex and The Rec Room’s Sarah Van Lange said it’s difficult to put the experience into words.

“[This is different] than anything else in the world. There are so few of these, we are so lucky to be launching it here in Edmonton,” Van Lange said. “There’s only a handful of them around, so the community is in for a treat with this launch.”

The virtual reality gear participants wear when going into The Void.

Edmonton is home to just the second location of The VOID in Canada. The other one, found in Toronto, is in the form of Ghostbusters: Dimension.

“Our first foray here is with Star Wars, but as you can imagine you’ll have the opportunity to experience some of your other favourite titles,” Marsh said. “You may see Star Wars, you may see Ghostbusters or you may see some of our titles that we have not yet announced.”

Without a doubt @MargeauxMaron makes a great undercover Stormtrooper! Just went through Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire @voidvr in The Rec Room at WEM. Incredible!!! Like being in a Star Wars movie. Can't wait to go again!

— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins)

All I can say is: WOW! I just checked out #TheVoid at @TheRecRoomCa in West Edmonton Mall, and experienced Star Wars: Secret of the Empire with two self proclaimed “Star Wars nerds” 🤓 See what this new VR experience is all about, and their reactions on @GlobalEdmonton at 5&6!

— Margeaux Maron (@MargeauxMaron)

The Rec Room in South Edmonton Common does not have The VOID, but all locations across Canada do have some kind of virtual reality component.

Van Lange suggests The VOID is most appropriate for ages 10 years and up and people wanting to experience it must be at least 48 inches tall.

Those with mobility issues can take part in the mission as well. The VOID has a complimentary wheelchair available and guests can bring their own wheelchairs as long as it is no larger than 34 inches wide.

It costs $34.95 per person to take a trip through The VOID, which opens on Saturday.

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