With less than a month to go until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, hype for the film is at an all-time high. Now, Google is getting in on the action, working alongside the brand to introduce a new level of immersion on its sites that fans will love.
By visiting the official Google Star Wars link, visitors can choose between the Light and Dark side, and then watch their changes take effect across a number of Google-oriented pages. For instance, on both the Gmail and YouTube pages, loading bars have been replaced with lightsabers, complete with sound effects if you roll over the volume bar. Other links can also be explored, including Google Calendar, the Chrome browser and Google Maps.
Google explained the changes, citing its partnership with both Lucasfilm and Disney, which will carry through the film’s official release on Dec. 18, and beyond. “It’s a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path,” said Clay Bavor, vice president of product management for Google. “And that’s just the beginning. We’ve got more coming between now and opening night the Millennium Falcon in all its (virtual reality) glory included, so stay tuned.
“And we’ve hidden a few Easter eggs, too. So awaken the Force within, and be on the lookout for things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ”
The trailer below provides a brief overview of choosing between sides, and also highlights some of the community members showing their own form of excitement over the Star Wars universe, through fan-produced clips and finding information on Google.
The promotion is likely to be a big boon for Google. It also comes at an ideal time, since hype for The Force Awakens is at an all-time high. Entertainment Weekly recently reported that the film has already made $50 million in pre-sales for tickets, setting a new record for a film that hasn’t been released.
This is just the latest move on the promotional front for the film. Various partners have some sort of Star Wars related program in the works, ranging from fast-food campaigns to beauty products to the best-selling toys. Other products have been performing significantly well also, including video games like Disney Infinity 3.0 and Star Wars: Battlefront, which arrived last week.
As for what Google has in mind with its current program, it’s likely to sprinkle more information and tidbits about The Force Awakens through its many sites, as well as numerous nods to the classic films fans grew up with.
Those interested in the promotion can take full advantage here. But don’t be afraid to see where both sides lead you. Do, or do not. There is no try.