SAN FRANCISCO — Just in case you missed the Death Star-sized marketing push for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney and Lucasfilm have joined forces with Google to create a Star Wars theme for Google apps including Google Maps, Gmail, search and YouTube.
You can choose to join the light — Jedi masters as Qui-Gon Jin, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi — or dark sides of the Force — Darths Maul, Tyranus, Sidious, Vader by visiting Google’s Star Wars app site.
Gmail: A light side (blue) or dark side (red) lightsaber will take the place of the standard loading bar. The Gmail inbox background will display light or dark side images.
Maps: You will navigate to your destination with the help of a TIE fighter or X-wing. Pegman, that little orange guy that tells you where you are in Google Maps, will appear as a First Order Stormtrooper or Resistance Pilot.
Chrome: A custom Chrome extension will show new Star Wars images every time you open a new tab.
YouTube: Light or dark side lightsaber transforms your seeker bar, loading bar and volume control.
Google Calendar: Star Wars movie “milestones” will be added to your calendar.
Clay Bavor, vice president of product management, says he and other Google engineers and product people who are die-hard Star Wars fans dreamed up the epic Star Wars theme.
“You can regularly spot Darth Vaders, dogs dressed like Yoda, and even the occasional stormtrooper, roaming the halls of our data centers (probably still looking for those droids),” Bavor wrote in a blog post. “So when we first heard about Episode VII, we started thinking about what a Google tribute to these epic stories might look like: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if there was some sort of Star Wars thingy in Search? The Millennium Falcon in Cardboard would be sweet! What if Google Translate could decipher galactic languages?;… and on, and on, and on.”
Expect more Google-issued Star Wars fandom before the film opens on Dec. 18, such as the Millennium Falcon in virtual reality, Bavor says.
And he says Google has hidden a few Easter eggs that the Internet is already hunting.
Follow USA TODAY senior technology writer Jessica Guynn@jguynn
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