Star Wars fan? Google has apps for that

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

George Lucas says he would ‘muck everything up’ on new ‘Star Wars’ movies.

In the relentless push to ensure that you don’t go five minutes without seeing something Star Wars-related before The Force Awakens is released worldwide in December, Disney has teamed up with Google to allow users to infuse a Star Wars theme into Google’s apps.The franchise’s creator wrote story treatments for a new trilogy of Star Wars films before he sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, but the Mouse House ultimately decided to take the franchise in a different direction, and Lucas stepped away. “They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were gonna go do their own thing,” Lucas explained during an appearance on CBS News. “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway,” he continued. “But at the same time, I said, ‘If I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble.’ Because they’re not going to do what I want them to do.

But, like all Jedi before them, users must choose whether they want to join the light or dark sides of the Force—the hokey religion that comes with ancient weapons that are no match for a good blaster. Google announced in a blog post today (Nov. 23) that a group of engineers, suffering from a severe case of arrested development, had used their technical prowess to refit a range of apps, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Search and even Android Wear, with Star Wars details.

The changes, once they take place, will appear across your devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows and Chromebook, expect for Chrome, Gmail and YouTube which will only work on the desktop, says Google. Effectively a brand advertisement of sorts for the highly anticipated new film, Google says that the idea came about from a number of Stars Wars fans at the company who wanted to work on a Google tribute to “Episode VII” as soon as they heard about the movie. If you choose the light side, the progress bar on YouTube becomes a lightsaber; the pegman in Google Maps becomes a little Rebel pilot, and the location marker is now an X-Wing. Even if you’re not a huge Star Wars fan (the horror!), playing around with the new tool is still fun, as this is the first time that you’ve been able to theme all of Google’s apps with just a click. The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing,” Lucas explained. “The third one is you don’t show up at their coffee shop and say, ‘You are going to burn it…’ You just say ‘Nope, gone, history, I’m moving forward.'” Lucas has also discussed his decision to move on from Star Wars in another recent interview, blaming the fact that “all you do is get criticised”.

Google didn’t list out every little change that it’s made to its services, so it’s likely that more will pop up as more people try out the Star Wars-branded web. In the past, themes have been more limited – Gmail has its own themes, for example, as does Chrome (by way of the Chrome Web Store), but these things were never tied together in any way.

But now, after you choose your side, you’ll soon see a new look-and-feel for a wide range of Google products including Android Wear, which gets a new watch face; Google Chrome, where movie scenes appear when you open new tabs; Chromecast, which gets new backgrounds; plus themed version of Gmail and Inbox’s email apps, and more. Google wasn’t immediately available to comment on how many Star Wars events it’s added, or when the promotion will end, but it’s possible that you’ll be receiving event alerts for movies that come out long after you’re dead. If the annoying lightsaber noises as you change the volume on YouTube or the pictures of Jakku on each new Chrome tab prove too much to handle, you can turn the Star Wars bonanza back off in the same place you turned it on—just choose neither the light nor the dark side. Fans are encouraged on the site to post their choice of sides to social media using the hashtag, #ChooseYourSide, which will help to power the indicator on the homepage that shows the balance of the forces.

While Google wasn’t available to confirm that this chart was live-tracking signups, it does seem that the general internet population worryingly favors the dark over the light.

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