Times Square is famous for its huge and brilliant billboards. But the bar is even higher now that Darth Vader looms over New York City. The wrap-around billboard from LG is a giant digital OLED screen that makes for an amazing 3D trick. Currently, it promotes Obi-Wan Kenobi with a display of Darth Vader in all his badass glory.
In the short video loop, Imperial (and by that I mean black) blast doors lift to reveal Darth Vader in his chamber. He walks to the edge and looks down disapprovingly at the pedestrians below. Then he drags his lightsaber along the ground, scarring the otherwise polished floor. Because the screen wraps around the building, Vader paces to both sides before turning his back dramatically and stalking off, cape billowing. The blast doors lower.
None of the videos we’ve seen make it clear if the billboard has sound or not. But it’s easy to imagine “The Imperial March” playing, the lightsaber turning on, footsteps on that shiny Imperial floor. And of course Darth Vader breathing as he lords over us all.
LG’s collaboration with ILM on the billboard follows one that coincided with The Book of Boba Fett. In that version, Boba Fett paced the edges of the screen menacingly before settling onto his throne.
LG shared the behind the scenes video below showing the technology involved. The remarkable display includes visual effects and motion capture elements from ILM, Lucasfilm, and Tippett Studios. It probably wasn’t Hayden Christensen in the Darth Vader suit this time around but it’s convincing enough to be intimidating.
The 3D aspects of this amazing technology have limitless applications. We approve of it being used to bring us even more Star Wars content.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.