The Force Awakens within Google as apps get Star Wars makeover

Google's Choose your side campaign

Google’s Choose your side campaign Photo: Google

Google Search, Gmail, Maps and many other Google services have been taken over by Star Wars as the internet giant prepares for the upcoming film, The Force Awakens.

A new minigame within Google allows users to select the light side or the dark side of the force, resulting in their Google services being re-skinned with the colours and icons of the Empire or Rebel Alliance.

For example, Gmail’s background is replaced by scenes from the Star Wars universe, tie fighters or Millennium Falcons replace your location on Google Maps, and YouTube’s loading scren becomes force-coloured. December 18 – the date the film comes out – is also added to Google’s Calendar.

Google Maps Star WarsGoogle Maps Star Wars  Photo: Google

On google.com/starwars, people can log into their Google accounts, choosing whether they want to join the light side or dark side.

From then on, certain Google services, including Gmail, Search, Calendar, Maps, YouTube, Waze, Android Wear and others, will contain references to the Star Wars universe. As internet easter eggs go, it’s up there among the better campaigns.

Waze, the navigation app owned by Google, features voice navigation from C-3PO, for example.

“It probably isn’t a surprise that there are tons of Star Wars fans like me here at Google,” Google’s Clay Bavor said on the company’s blog.

“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).

“We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we’ve been working together on building google.com/starwars. It’s a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path.”

Gmail Star WarsGmail’s backgrounds are replaced by Star Wars images  Photo: Google

Google said it would be adding a series of new features to its services in the weeks leading up to the film’s release, such as adding the Millennium Falcon in virtual reality.

The Google Star Wars page also features a balance counter showing how many people have chosen each side. It says that some services may take a few hours to change after a user has chosen or switched side.

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