The Video Cards of the Future Will Be Able to Give You an Incredibly Shiny Captain Phasma

Awkward elevator conversations have never looked better.
Gif: Epic Games

Right now, even the mightiest graphics card on the market would melt like Mustafar trying to render this new Star Wars short made with Epic Games’ Unreal engine. But in the future, Nvidia hopes new technology it showed off this week will bringing gamers one step closer to some... well, very shiny graphics.

This cute Star Wars skit featuring some incredibly unlucky First Order Stormtroopers debuted at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday, a brief collaboration between Nvidia, Epic, and ILMxLab (Industrial Light and Magic’s experimental subdivision that’s already given us VR experiences and some early AR prototypes set in the galaxy far, far away).

The demo is meant to show off Nvidia’s new real-time ray tracing technology planned for its next generation of graphics cards, Nvidia RTX, as well as improvements to the Unreal Engine to allow developers to create more realistic and cinematic lighting effects with the engine.

What better Star Wars character to show it off on other than someone with gear as shiny and chrome as Phasma’s? It’s pretty damn impressive. Epic is hoping to make the updates to Unreal Engine that use this tech available to developers later this year, although very shiny Star Wars troopers probably won’t be included.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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That’s nothing compared to their live “Siren” demo, which would only have been even more impressive if they had animated their wispy Asian girl using capture from a live, burly Italian man. Or Andy Serkis. That would have been funny.