Guest review by Skylar Hansen-Raj
“Take a deep breath in and focus. Your mind must be still in order to lift the ship out of the mud.” My trainer speaks slowly and clearly. I’m staring at an X-wing mired in a swamp on Dagobah.
Inhale, exhale, inhale – suddenly the trapped X-wing shakes and starts to lift out of the swamp. Ecstatic, I exhale, but to my disappointment the ship falls back down. I groan.
“So close!” Mom says.
I’m not on Dagobah, I’m actually at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. I’m trying a new game. It’s called Star Wars Force Trainer II: The Hologram Experience. I am currently attached to a computer interface with the game. It’s really cool – a monitor is strapped to my forehead and earlobe, it senses my brainwaves to see how hard I am concentrating. That allows me to use the Force by focusing. I stare at the small screen in front of me, trying to keep my mind clear.
I feel like Luke, discouraged and annoyed. I can relate to his skepticism when Yoda says, “Do or do not, there is no try,” because right now that seems like ancient Jedi hokey-pokey. I take another steadying breath and once again, the ship moves – and of course, falls back down. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wonder if it is programmed to do this, so I will learn the importance of determination. After two more tries, finally the ship lurches up and flies into the blackness of the Dagobah sky, off-screen. Success!
The blue holographic image flickers, and suddenly a new challenge appears. Battle droids, four of them, are clanking towards me. The calm voice of the trainer’s encouragement seems distant. All I can think about is the droids and how I must stop them. Instinctively, I raise my hand and “push” in my mind. To my surprise, the droids fly up in the air and then back, fading into blue dots. Exhilarated I turn towards my trainer, who smiles approvingly before slipping off my headpiece.
I really enjoyed playing this game and I’m excited for its official release. I felt like I was actually using the Force, and in a way, I was. Everyone can play this game. I saw adults and younger kids try it. There are ten levels of the Jedi game, from Padawan to Jedi Master. I did the Padawan level.
The game comes out this fall as an app on a tablet. The app is supposed to get updated with the new movie, even. At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim I had a person as my trainer, but the app will have Yoda as your guide.
I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who would like to experience what it feels like to concentrate and use the Force.
Linda has been a Star Wars fan from the time she saw Episode IV in the theatre with her parents and insisted on being Han Solo while playing with the neighborhood kids. She’s now a fangirl who splits her time learning to twirl a bo staff like Ray Park, jumping horses, writing fanfic she dreams up on her commute to work, and spending time with her husband and their own feisty Padawan version of Ahsoka. She can be reached at Linda.HansenRaj@gmail.com and on Twitter.
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