So this weekend I went to Wondercon. I went on Saturday but by Sunday my sister’s back was bothering her from sitting all day and there weren’t a lot of panels that we were interested in seeing so instead we drove about 10 minutes to Santa Ana and checked out the STAR WARS WHERE SCIENCE MEETS IMAGINATION tour that was at the Santa Ana Discovery center.
The tour consists of an exhibit that mixes scientific displays & little areas where you can try out stuff and models, artifacts, props, and costumes from all 6 films. Outside there was a Millennium Falcon experience that was sadly, sold out.
We had to wait for our time to go in at 2PM after waiting FOREVER in line to get into the museum. I amused myself by shopping first. Then the exhibit. We were there on a busy Sunday and there were families and kids everywhere. When you’re going to a museum that’s specifically made FOR kids, you have to expect that they’re going to be running amok around you. Result, I really didn’t are much about the science parts of the exhibit since they were mostly overrun by kids…wouldn’t want to interfere with kids learning!
From the props standpoint the exhibit was a winner! I’ve been to two different STAR WARS exhibits in the past. One was “The Art of Star Wars” which was held at the Yerba Buena center for the Arts in San Francisco back in 1995. That exhibit was the first Star Wars props exhibit ever done. It did so well that from it the “Magic of the Myth” tour was born and all other traveling exhibits since then. The other exhibit I saw was the “Dressing a Galaxy” The Costumes of STAR WARS exhibit held in LA at the FIDM in 2005. I also got to see some costumes at the traveling “Music of STAR WARS” tour 2 years ago.
The first Art of STAR WARS exhibit was cool because it was made just before the prequels were announced and was 100% classic trilogy props. The Dressing the Galaxy exhibit was amazing because it was 100% costumes and showcased all of Padme/Queen Amidala’s costumes.
The “Where Science Meets Imagination” tour is a rather fun blending of the two exhibits. As one might expect, props that focused heavily on scientific interest were central to the exhibit. There were tons of ships: 2 different Millennium Falcon’s, a huge X-Wing, Imperial Star Destroyer, Sebulba’s pod racer, an At-At, and many other ships from the prequels. They also had Luke & Anakin’s robotic hands, FX-7 & 21-B Medical droids, “naked” C-3PO, and assorted cgi unpainted maquettes.
The costumes were a nice blend and representation from all 6 films, we got 2 Chewbaccas (A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith), 2 C-3POs (The Phantom Menace and Classic trilogy,) Leia’s classic white gown, Padme’s white Geonosis costume, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Mace’s prequel Jedi robes/outfits, Han Solo’s outfit, Male & Female Tusken Raiders, a Jawa, Anakin’s Tatooine slave costume, a stormtrooper, snowtrooper, Wompa, and Darth Vader. They also had the original Yoda and Landspeeder. Noticeably absent were any Luke Skywalker costumes, nor anything relating to the Fetts.
The exhibit was fun for people of all ages for fans and new fans alike. It will be ending it’s time in Santa Ana on April 15th and move onto Witchita Kansas and after that Orlando Florida. I wish that I could’ve spent more time looking over things more closely, but the exhibit really was crowded. Once I got my photos, I felt compelled to move on to allow others the space to view the pieces. Because everything is encased in glass, there didn’t appear to be any photo limitations, unlike at the FIDM where flash photography was forbidden, which was a good thing, because I photographed EVERYTHING!
I would love to see another exhibit get created, a rebirth of the idea of “The Art of Star Wars” and have it focus on 3 things: 1 the amazing pre-production artwork that went behind making the films from the movie drawing boards, to character/ship sketches, to matte paintings. Then they could focus also on maquettes and the amazing final work that went into the costumes and props. An exhibit that showed the birth of an item from sketches clear through final production piece would be amazing.
Anywhoo – here are photos from the exhibit! Enjoy!