Star Wars Identities: Pictures (& a review) from an Exhibition

This past weekend, I attended the world premiere of the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the Montreal Science Centre. Now that I’ve had time to digest the experience — and it is an experience! — several descriptors come to mind. Chief among them? Simply awe-inspiring.

Imagine standing in a room filled with not just replicas but actual, real, honest-to-goodness film artifacts from one of the most successful film franchises in history. An R2-D2, complete with the scrapes and dents you saw on the big screen; a collection of helmets worn by the resistance fighters; the flight suit worn by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker; a pod-racer…and the list goes on. Now imagine that each of these artifacts is accompanied by a tidbit of backstory and/or a glimpse into the months and years of planning, forethought, and creativity that went into bringing the Star Wars world to life.

That, my friends, is the Star Wars Identities exhibit…and it is so worth seeing!

Produced by Montreal’s X3 Productions in cooperation with Lucasfilm Ltd., the exhibit premiered in Montreal this year, where it will run until September 16th before moving on to Edmonton’s Telus World of Science, the second of twelve stops worldwide over the next 6 years. The exhibit is really two activities in one: the display component plus an interactive character-building activity that allows participants to build their own Star Wars hero based on a series of questions that address the forces in our lives that shape us.

While the interactive portion had a certain high-tech appeal to it, in retrospect I would have preferred to spend more time on simply enjoying the displays rather than waiting in line for and/or fighting my way through the crowd to get at the terminals. Part of the problem seemed to be cramped quarters, which made for poor flow. I’m not sure if this issue was related to the exhibit layout itself or simply the venue, but traffic congestion made me quite claustrophobic at times, and I ended up rushing through the last few displays just so I could get clear of the crowd. I was also quite disappointed in the final product of the interactive portion: a static display of the character I had created just seemed so…uninspired after all of my hard work. (It didn’t help that, in the chaos, I missed the terminal for entering my email address in order to have my character’s profile sent to me.)

These minor shortcomings aside, however, I stick with my original verdict: awe-inspiring. If only for the fact that I stood, for a moment, so near the products of such genius.

Note: to view the photos full-size, click on the first one to open the gallery.






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