Star Wars: Where Science Meets Awesome Movie Props

Categories: Stuff

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination has pretty much anything a hardcore fan of George Lucas' epic universe could ever want-- props from all the films, costumes that made the characters legends, and activities exploring how modern technology's vehicles and and robots are inching toward those in the films.

Although none of us is all that hardcore into Star Wars (combined we haven't seen all six films), we were pretty giddy to see all the props and play with the exhibits. We built Lego hovercrafts, tried to make a pair of robot legs walk (it's really frickin' hard), and watched an interactive film in the Droid Theater. But we also got a glimpse of C-3PO's dark side.


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Anthony Daniels pre-outburst
When we arrived around quarter after nine in the morning, the museum's kind staff told us that local TV stations were filming an interview with Anthony Daniels, the actor behind C-3PO's fiberglass costume. The staff asked that other members of the media on hand not be noisy during the taping. And, in our defense, and the defense of other media members eyeing-up the wookie costumes and X-Wing model, we were being pretty respectful. But apparently Daniels didn't didn't think so. Mid-interview, he raised his voice and said, 'I am trying to concentrate!' and berated those milling about for getting too close to the interview area and making noise. It was a little strange as nobody was encroaching on his personal space or even talking all that much. He calmed down pretty quickly and finished the interview, then walked through the exhibit telling stories about the props to another local TV reporter. And for the record, about half an hour later he was (seemingly happily) posing for photos with fans. Then we rode the anti-gravity machine, and it was freaking awesome.


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Blaster and lightsaber arsenal.
It's a little strange actually to see Star Wars props out of the context of the films. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of Star Wars branding in the exhibit, but it's somehow different. I found myself looking at the Darth Vader costume in its glass tomb, and I noticed for the first time that the buttons and switches on the costume aren't real. I don't know why this surprised me, of course they're not real, just like Darth Vader is not real. But in my head, they were real and they served some kind of purpose. I had a similar experience looking at the collection of light sabers. I knew light sabers aren't real, but looking at them simply as handles that will never project an energy beam was a little weird. The parts of the world's best-known sci-fi opus have become so woven in our cultural imagination, that it's strange to see them for what they are. Not that I was disappointed, I loved seeing the stuff. It was like learning once and for all that Santa isn't real, I guess.


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CP Web Editor Jeff Shaw flies the hovercraft.

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Luke Skywalker's landspeeder with intricately added dents and flaws.

The exhibit runs through August 24.



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