On the eve of Star Wars Day, May the Fourth—because it sounds like the first part of the phrase “may the Force be with you”—Disney has unveiled a new way for fans to experience the adventure of Episodes I through VI. The House of Mouse just released the first in a series of mobile apps called Star Wars Journeys. Now, for the bargain basement price of $6.99, you can download the initial offering, Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace, because who doesn’t want to relive that moment in time over and over again in miniature? This will be followed, sequentially, by a Journey for all of the other films in the catalog.
The apps are designed with younger fans in mind, with a targeted age range 6 to 12. With J.J. Abrams’s Episode VII on the way, Disney doesn’t want to leave any potential demographic behind. Some people are young enough that they haven’t had the opportunity many of us have had to spend decades obsessing over and deconstructing every last frame of anything even vaguely Star Wars related. They need to catch up.
Vice President of Disney Publishing Worldwide, Andrew Sugarman told Variety, “We want to make sure the products are relevant to as wide of an audience as possible. They’re great for children and great for families.”
These apps are probably great tools for kids who don’t have parents that are Star Wars fans (those poor bastards), or for those familiar with the franchise but want to bone up on the material—like cramming before a big test. But you should never, for one second, assume that these could be a replacement for constant watching and rewatching of at least the original trilogy. If you don’t want to go through the pain of Episodes I through III, but still want to expand your knowledge base, these might be a godsend.
Each app consists of three parts. There is an interactive story portion that plays something like a condensed version of the film. You also have access to a database that allows you to access information about characters, vehicles, planets, worlds, and more. It’s like looking at IMDb on your phone while you watch a movie. And if that isn’t enough, each Journey includes a game. Phantom Menace obviously has one that revolves around the pod race, and I imagine, or hope, that A New Hope will give you the chance to play Luke’s trench run. Check out this video that details the features.
The article goes on to say:
Each version was designed with 20 scenes but can be expanded with new sequences, character breakdowns and additions to the gameplay, should they prove popular with users. The story mode alone is expected to take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
The rest of these apps will be release from time to time from now until Star Wars: Episode VII opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.