The Force is strong in the UK with a new Star Wars Identities exhibition landing for a summer long visit and it really is out of this world, as Graham Walker has been finding out.
For almost 40 years, audiences around the world have followed the adventures of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, cinema’s most famous father and son duo.
Now comes STAR WARS Identities, a redefined modern exhibition experience in which visitors can rediscover the unforgettable characters of Star Wars in a whole new way.
Developed and produced by Montreal’s X3 Productions in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., the exhibition - at London's O2 to September 3 - makes use of an extensive archive collection from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to explore the sciences of identity through the characters of StarWars.
The stunning collection of some 200 props, models, costumes and artwork from the original Star Wars films, an interactive identity quest, and insightful scientific content, will all work together in STAR WARS Identities to follow the dramatic journeys of Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
Visitors can develop a better understanding of what makes the characters of Star Wars who they are, and at the same time explore their own identity with one question: What forces shape you?
“This exhibition offers a fresh perspective on the beloved characters of Star Wars,” says Jacques-André Dupont, President and Executive Producer of X3 Productions.
“We get a deeper understanding of their identities, and, at the same time, we get a deeper understanding of our own.
The collection, the interactive components, and the scientific content work hand in hand here to create a seamless and exciting experience for our visitors. It’s a character-driven adventure into identity.”
Working with the Montréal Science Centre and a committee of scientific advisors, exhibition developers of STAR WARS Identities divided the study of identity into three major themes: the origins of the characters, the influences that shape them, and the choices they make during their life. Within these three themes, ten components of human identity are explored: species, genes, parents, and culture in Origins; mentors, friends, and marking events in Influences; and occupation, personality, and values in the final zone,Choices.
These components form the backbone of the exhibition, exploring the complex notion of identity both in the real world and in creative fiction. Original content throughout the exhibition will shed light on each of the components of identity; simultaneously, “making-of” featurettes explore the stories behind the development of many iconic Star Wars characters, explaining how they became who they are, and showing how different creative choices could have made them different characters altogether.
The vast and exclusive collection of some 200 objects from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art features props, models, costumes, and artwork from the original Star Wars films. This rich collection spans the original Star Wars canon, drawing from the classic (1977-1983) and prequel (1999-2005) trilogies, the animated series The Clone Wars, as well as a few artefacts from the recently released StarWars: The Force Awakens. Fan favourites like Darth Vader, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Yoda, and the Millennium Falcon – among many others – are sure to delight visitors of all generations.
STAR WARS Identities puts the visitor at the centre of the exhibition experience with an interactive identity quest that spans the duration of the visit.
Closely interwoven with the collection and the educational content, this unique interactive experience will use technology to help visitors of all ages create their own personal and original Star Wars identity by incorporating elements of their own identity with fictional elements. Visitors will then leave with their own unique character inspired by the Star Wars universe and with a deeper understanding of the exhibition’s central theme.
In order to develop the exhibition's scientific content, X3 Productions has collaborated with the Montréal Science Centre content experts to gather a team of specialists from a variety of scientific fields, including genetics, neuropsychology, health sciences, and psychology. Their knowledge and expertise have shaped the exhibition's structure, and their input has been essential in developing its scientific content and in ensuring that its investigation into identity is up to date and firmly grounded in the sciences.
The Star Wars movies have broken box office records and won countless awards over the decades, but it is in the public’s imagination that the franchise has truly made its mark by enchanting audiences of all ages and establishing itself as a cultural touchstone across the world. The films continue to resonate today because of their universality: we identify with the characters of Star Wars, and we recognise ourselves in their journeys.