From tomorrow, 30 January 2021, you can step into a galaxy far, far away as STAR WARS Identities opens at the ArtScience Museum. Running till 13 June 2021, Singapore is the final stop of the exhibition’s global tour. It was meant to open in April last year but has been delayed till now because — well, you know why.
Anyway, if you’ve been waiting (and binge-watching all nine movies in preparation for this) your patience can now be rewarded. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual movie goer, there’ll be something in this interactive journey through the Star Wars canon to make your heart beat a little faster. No, not just Darth Vader, though he will, he will.
Original Star Wars Artefacts on display
The exhibition showcases some 200 authentic props, models, costumes, and artwork from the Star Wars films. And in case you were thinking of skipping it, know that this is its final stop before all the items return home to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art archive in Los Angeles for good.
Gawk at Princess Leia’s iconic bikini, do your best Wookie wail at Han Solo’s form immortalised in carbonite, and play spot-the-difference with the Stormtrooper iterations from the movies. Go eye-to-eye with Jabba’s… eyeballs, one of the very few remaining pieces of the enormous puppet built for Return of the Jedi.
One exhibition highlight is the massive showcase of a space battle featuring 13 ships from the shows. It’s worth lingering a while to absorb the full experience, complete with light and sound effects.
You won’t see the Millennium Falcon in it though. This “hunk of junk” that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs has its own special showcase. Get up close and see if you can spot the bullet holes and the oil stains on it. Apparently George Lucas was adamant about adding these details to the ship to make it look more realistic.
Fun fact: The Falcon’s unusual shape was inspired by Lucas’ favourite food — a burger — with an olive on the side.
The Art that Launched the Movies
While it is easy to be distracted by the bigger, flashier exhibits, do make time to observe the artwork as well. Pay homage to the Ralph McQuarrie painting of R2-D2 and C-3PO leaving the pod in the desert. This is the concept art that helped George Lucas get the first movie financed. Without it there may have been no Star Wars at all.
Gasp, as we did, at the early influence for Yoda. Not gonna spoil the surprise here, but you will be amused.
And did you know that Frank Oz, who gave Yoda his voice, also voiced Miss Piggy, and the Cookie Monster? Or that designer Stuart Freeborn based Yoda’s face on his own and Albert Einstein’s (though the crazy hair was definitely inspired by the latter)?
Find your Star Wars Hero Identity
Unlike typical exhibitions, STAR WARS Identities is an interactive journey. If you’ve ever fantasised about being part of the Star Wars world, you’ll have the opportunity to find out where you belong in it — and maybe even discover something about yourself in the process.
Scan your RFID wristband at the interactive stations throughout the exhibition, and follow the prompts to make the decisions that will shape your final identity.
The exhibition has three themes — Origins, Influences, and Choices — and you begin by choosing your hero’s species. Along the way you will select the planet you came from, find your mentor, and determine your heart’s desire. And because, at its core, Star Wars is also a story about family and relationships, there’s even a station on parenting style!
(See also: 10 Tips for Dads-to-be, from Dads-who’ve-been)
We see Luke being raised by relatives in Tatooine. We see the strength of the single mother in Shmi Skywalker, who raises her precocious son in slavery. We see the pain of estrangement as Leia and Han watch their son turn to the dark side. We see Rey, fighting for her own survival alone in the Jakku desert. How did their upbringing influence their identities?
How did yours?
Discover this and more, you will, at STAR WARS Identities at the ArtsScience Museum.
(See also: Surviving the First Weeks with a Newborn)
STAR WARS™ Identities
STAR WARS Identities is on at the ArtScience Museum from 30 January 2021 till 13 June 2021, 10am — 7pm. Tickets ($25) are on sale at Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. It’s best to pre-purchase tickets online prior to your visit, due to limits in venue capacity and timed entry to the exhibition.
Tip1: You get more time to visit on Fridays and Saturdays with the ArtScience Museum’s operating hours extended till 9pm (last admission at 8pm).
Tip2: You can redeem your SingapoRediscovers Vouchers for the exhibition.
Featured image: Lucasfilm Ltd.