Today’s been a big day for the Star Wars universe, what with all the rising Skywalkers and chortling Emperors coming out of the franchise’s annual Celebration event. Still, there’s Star Wars news that’s big, and there’s Star Wars news that’s important, and it’s a good idea to keep those distinctions clear. Case in point: Maya Rudolph’s playing a droid, y’all.
Specifically, the Wine Country, Forever, MacGruber, Saturday Night Live, Insert Your Favorite Thing Where Maya Rudolph Absolutely Steals The Show Entry Here star has signed on for the cast of a new VR adventure set in between Episodes III and IV, titled Vader Immortal. The Oculus Quest/Rift adventure will see players/viewers serve as a smuggler who gets repeatedly yelled at by James Earl Jones’ iconic cyborg baddie, and, again—and more importantly—accompanied by ZOE3, a wise-cracking robot companion who also presumably does a pretty amazing Beyoncé impression.
In promotional copy for the series—set to debut its first episode this spring—producer David S. Goyer explicitly compared ZOE3 to K-2SO, the Alan Tudyk-voiced former security droid that served as a highlight of 2016's Rogue One. Droid Comedy has, of course, been a key component of the Star Wars formula since the beginning, ranging from regrettable—i.e., all that slapstick R2-D2 shit in Revenge Of The Sith—to delightful, as with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s turn as L3-37 in last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. And while diving into the franchise’s backstory yet again for a VR adventure isn’t as automatically intriguing as, say, a VR game where you literally just hung out with Maya Rudolph, drinking wine and listening to her say funny shit, it’s still a pretty intriguing step in the right direction for the project.