Mack made it easy on me to plan his birthday outing this year – he’d said from the beginning that all he wanted to do was check out the Star Wars Identities exhibit at the Telus World of Science. We’re both fans of the films, and had heard that there were quite a number of props and costumes worth seeing.
The bikini heard ’round the world
What we didn’t know too much about was the “identities” portion of the exhibit. We knew we’d come out with some sort of character, but weren’t sure how this would happen. Turns out, it was quite seamless, and well-integrated with the displays.
We chose to head to TWoS early last Saturday afternoon, probably a mistake in hindsight. Parking was a nightmare, and the facility itself was quite busy (though not as busy as later that day; rule of thumb: the earlier, the better!). We had to queue up for at least twenty minutes before we were permitted inside the exhibit, located in the newest wing of the building. While waiting, we were given a rubber bracelet and an audio set.
The bracelet enabled us to create our character by choosing from different options at ten stations located throughout the displays. From mentors and personality to values, we would help define our Star Wars self. The creators also made sure the selections were placed at a height accessible to young children – everything proved to be deliberate and well thought-out.
Make your choice, padawan
The audio sets worked within certain ranges of displays or video screens, helping to keep the noise level to a minimum. Mack and I wondered why more galleries haven’t adopted systems like this – I have to say I much prefer listening to a narrative clip to reading a placard.
As expected, the costumes, models and sketches on display would make any Star Wars fan excited. I particularly loved seeing several of Padme’s costumes, while Mack jumped at the chance to pose with Darth Vader.
Millenium Falcon model
Han in carbonite
The highlight for me was actually watching the brief videos detailing how the two Skywalker men, Anakin and Luke, could veer off into such different paths in spite of their similar roots and trajectories. I guess I never really thought about their characters in such an in-depth way, especially about how the their parenting influenced each of them so profoundly.
Watching one of the videos
The last identity option participants could choose from was whether or not to accept The Emperor’s offer to join the dark side. Mack chose to succumb, while I held out.
The final part of the exhibit allowed us to project our character onto a screen, and e-mail the character to ourselves for online sharing.
Our Star Wars selves!
Before heading out, we checked out the newly renovated environment gallery. The spherical projection screen was pretty cool, and the aquariums added some visual appeal. But as a whole, I was disappointed at the amount of text screens versus hands on displays. It doesn’t help that we were exposed to Calgary’s Spark last year, which features a wonderfully interactive environment gallery.
Spherical projection screen
Too many words!
If you’re a Star Wars fan (or even just a fan of filmmaking in general), make sure you head to the Telus World of Science before the Identities exhibit closes April 1, 2013.