Author: Alan Morkovsky, Project Manager

In mid-November 2015, Google let its geek flag fly as it asked
users to “Awaken the Force Within” with their Google Star Wars Experience tool.
With the tool, users can transform familiar Google apps with a fresh coat of
Imperial or Rebel paint. Along with the “Jakku Spy” Google Cardboard App and
in-browser phone-paired “Lightsaber Escape,” Google raised the already insane anticipation
for the forthcoming film from out of this world to out of this galaxy…

 

To get started and pledge their allegiance to the Force, the user needs to log in to their Google profile and choose the light side or the dark side at “Awaken the Force Within.” Once you decide, you will be treated to cool cosmetic tweaks (light side or dark side, depending on your preference) in the interface of some of Google’s apps across PC, Mac, Android and iOS.

Here are a few applications that received the treatment:

Google Translate

Ever want to carry on a conversation with a Twi’lek or buy some death sticks in a shady Coruscant cantina. Google Translate features an “Aurebesh” translation tab, turning your native tongue into something from a galaxy far, far away.Translate_SWFA

Chrome

For every tab you open in Chrome, get treated to gorgeous backgrounds from “The Force Awakens,” lots of sand…and it gets everywhere.

Chrome_SWFA

Gmail

Similar to the Chrome background feature, open your email and see some more of that gorgeous photography filling the gutters of your browser. You haven’t had this much fun checking your messages since that one time your astromech droid played a cryptic message from a little holographic princess.

 

Gmail_SWFA

Maps

Dust off that “My Other Car Is an X-Wing (or TIE Fighter)” bumper sticker. No more silly blue car for you, blazing a trail down the GPS highway. Depending on your Force preference, you will swap out that 1980s Gremlin for something a little sleeker, a Rebel X-wing or an Imperial TIE Fighter. But watch where you park, one stray shopping cart and your TIE is up in smoke. Seriously, get some shields on that thing…

 

Maps_SWFA

 

There are some other fun Easter eggs across Google’s multiple applications. The play bar on YouTube glows with a soft blue (light side) or menacing red (dark side). Try typing “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” into Google’s search engine in Chrome, and be treated to the results in the famous opening crawl from the movies. The Disney/Google partnership comes to an end on February 1, 2016, so if you haven’t yet taken a Midi-chlorian count and chosen a side, you still have a chance to hop in and share in the celebration. And while you are, keep in mind some of the cool things Google did to add a bit of fun and flair to normal applications. While we can’t pair sites we are building with multimillion-dollar franchises, it would benefit us to think a little bit out of the box and make the routine a little less Jar-Jar(ring).

References

  1. Awaken the Force Within.” Google, YouTube.
  2. Awaken the Force Within.” Google.