Star Wars VR Attraction Similar to Military VR Training

Star Wars: Secret of the Empire uses VR for fun. Military forces use VR to sharpen skills.

Star Wars shows no signs of disappearing from pop culture any time soon. And if watching the movies isn’t enough for you, you can immerse yourself in the universe of Star Wars by way of a virtual reality attraction at various Walt Disney locations. The VR attraction is interesting in its own right. But it becomes even more interesting once you realize that it is similar to how the U.S. armed forces are harnessing VR for military training.

Way back on Jan. 5, Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter published a summary of his visit to the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire “hyper-reality experience” in the Downtown Disney District of Disneyland. He apparently liked it, writing, “With our backpacks strapped and our visors on, my team and I stood in a small corridor that magically transformed into a docking bay straight out of an Imperial cruiser. For me, a VR novice, this was incredible enough.”

So if you’re into all things Star Wars, the Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience might be something you’ll want to put on your to-do list. And don’t worry, the attraction isn’t just confined to Disneyland. It’s at Disney Springs too.

The attraction seems like foreshadowing of the future of video games, but the technology behind it isn’t just for entertainment. American armed forces use virtual reality to train troops, including in ways that are similar to the Star Wars hyper-reality experience.

Military virtual training has been around for years. But VR training is becoming increasingly widespread. The below video from 2013 shows dismounted soldiers using a type of VR that is more primitive than the Star Wars hyper-reality experience, yet retains some similarities to it as well.

No one is in danger of becoming proficient in military skills by visiting the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. But at the same time, the technology that Disney is using for that has a military application.

The U.S. armed forces are using VR to train troops today. The military forces of other nations are undoubtedly doing so too. And as technology advances each year, expect the type of military training, and even the type of warfighting, you once used to see just in science fiction move closer and closer to becoming reality.