Google's Star Wars Experience

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 26, 2015
Updated • Sep 4, 2019

The new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens will be out in less than a month and the hype surrounding it is already in full swing.

The movie marks a new era for the Star Wars franchise, as it is now part of Disney. It is the first film that George Lucas won't have a say in at all, and kind of a reboot of the series considering that the official Star Wars canon has been severely limited.

Update: The Star Wars Experience page is no longer available. It was part of a promotion for Star Wars VII. End

Google's Star Wars Experience promotes the film, and while Google makes no mention of it, it is likely that the company is compensated for it.

It enables you to select a site in the battle between light and dark, and in doing so, adds light or dark side themes to Google apps on the web.

google star wars experience

Note: A side-effect of choosing a site is that Star Wars related events will be added to Google Calendar. These are removed when you leave the experience again, or when the experience runs its course and ends.

To get started visit the Star Wars Experience side on Google. Make sure you are signed in to your account, as this is a requirement. There you can then select to join the light side or dark side.

light dark side

A click on either side displays a join button that you need to click on to join that side and add themes to many Google apps based on the selection that you have made.

Apps that will be themed accordingly include Gmail, Google Chrome (if you install an extension), the main Google Search page, YouTube, Google Maps or Chromecast.

If you visit any of these apps or services, you will notice slight, and sometimes even huge, changes. All are Star Wars themed, as you can see on the first screenshot of this article.

This may include backgrounds, colors, or smaller changes such as different loading animations or icons. Google notes that it may take a couple of hours before apps or services change based on your selection on the Star Wars experience site. Also, the transformations can only be experienced on the desktop and not on mobile devices.

You can switch sides at any time, or leave the experiment and reset everything to default values in the process.

Simply visit the Star Wars experience website again, and click on change side underneath your selection. From there either select the other side, if you want to switch sides, or the center if you want to exit the experiment.

Now You: Dark or light side? Your take on the Force Awakens movie?

Google's Star Wars Experience
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Google's Star Wars Experience
A look at Google's Star Wars Experience website, what it offers, and how to exit the experience.
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  1. Jay said on January 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    The light side

  2. Earl said on November 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I like the (CG) animated series better than the live-action movies (except for the first one, of course–the original).

  3. Tom Hawack said on November 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Google Productions presents … not quite yet but who knows, maybe a first step into the theater arena? Who said Google was already a circus by itself?

    Strictly confidential : I don’t subscribe to “Star Wars”, I dislike these planetary mega-productions which bring, to me, nothing, nothing at all. This is a pan of American movie productions, there are many others to which I do subscribe, but “Star Wars” : no, really… get that insanity out of my view!

    1. JohnMWhite said on November 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      I take it you are not a fan of the Star Wars films, which is fine, but that’s a bit of a strange way to express it. It’s not something to be ‘subscribed’ to and it is not insanity.

      1. JohnMWhite said on November 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        Yeah, you’re not extreme at all, spilling paragraphs of faux-intellectual nonsense and whining about the existence of marketing material for a film.

      2. Tom Hawack said on November 28, 2015 at 9:07 pm

        I’ve only been answering to your replies, JohnMWhite. If you had answered honestly to the civilized dialog I’ve been paining to establish in order to recenter your lack of good will, then there wouldn’t be any more troubles in your mind than there are in mine. Continuing to misinterpret my comments leads to nowhere.

        You are flooding what was a simple comment. I’ve tried to be explicit and your conclusion is that a commitment to my ideas, developed because of your interventions, formulated peacefully with a smile even, is extreme. Well, if you feel it that way I’ll leave you wondering about the logic of your assertions. This is my last answer to what appears to be your extremism, not mine. Everyone is free to read our words and I have little doubt as to anyone’s conclusion.

        Good luck.

      3. JohnMWhite said on November 28, 2015 at 7:19 pm

        Somebody is engaging in communication extremes here, that’s for certain. Nobody is force feeding you, nobody is attempting to confuse reality and fiction, and nobody is saying that assault and battery are acceptable promotional tactics.

      4. Tom Hawack said on November 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

        JohnMWhite, I’m not acting but only bouncing with words. My feeling is that their is an inflation, hysterical so to say, in films’ mainly promotion and, in this case, together with the assistance of Google. Too much, I feel it as force-feefing and I say so, if you don’t mind.

        Other examples, the latest which has horrified, exasperated New Yorkers : the promotional campaign for the ‘The Man in the High Castle’ series, about to be removed because of so many complaints, campaign which included Nazi symbols all over the subway *but* for a promotional campaign, not of Nazism but of a series. Like if I slap my neighbor but *hey* it’s for a clip. This is getting mad in an attempt to confuse reality and fiction.

        Star Wars’ promotional campaign isn’t that of ‘The Man in the High Castle’, fortunately, but it adopts practices which, IMHO, lead to communication extremes.

        Anyway, if I had a grand-daughter or gand-son who wished to see the movie of course I’d adopt their enthusiasm to accompany them to the movies and I wish as well to all fans to have a good time :)

      5. JohnMWhite said on November 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        You’re acting like you’ve never seen a film be promoted before. It’s your right to be fed up with the hype, but you seem to be aggrieved that things exist that you don’t have to go anywhere near, just because you don’t like a film series.

      6. Tom Hawack said on November 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

        Perhaps I haven’t had the right words to express the exasperation better described in an article such as this one :

        “Mad At All These Star Wars Spoilers? Install Star Wars Spoiler Blocker” :

        I reacted at the content of this article mainly because it showed the association between spoilers and as if that was not enough, Google as a big daddy coming in with another helping hand. Why not Starbuck as well since we’re at it, maybe as well soundtracks in the subways, in the streets, etc. etc. etc. I admit being discussed by this world-wide campaign, and I’d feel the same if the product (the movie here) was one I cared for. Plainly fed up. But sorry for maybe expressing it, again, with excess as well, on my side this time, but here only !

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