We finally made it to the Powerhouse Museum for the Star Wars Identities exhibit! I’m pretty sure it’s been open for the last 6 months. And every week for the last 6 months we’ve been like, “Oh hey let’s see Star Wars!” and every weekend passed without us going. Until this weekend, which coincidentally was its final weekend. Nothing thrills us like a deadline, so on Sunday we booked tickets and headed out.
It was really cool – the exhibit was 10 interactive modules where you customised your own Star Wars character by choosing what happens to them from birth to adulthood. It was based on the stories of Anakin and Luke Skywalker – two Force friendly heroes who grew up poor and fatherless on Tatooine, and how the choices they made led them down different paths. Each choice you made for your character was recorded on a digital wrist band, and at the end your information was downloaded and you were presented with your fleshed out character. In between the modules, you got to see heaps of original props, costumes, story boards, and concept art for the movies.
I ate that shit up.
It was dark and crowded with mostly underwhelmed kids and their overwhelmed parents and Very Serious Star Wars fans standing RIGHT in front of the props dissecting each and every atom of the display, so it was a little stressful, but it still heaps of fun. And because it was dark and crowded, I felt super self conscious while taking pictures. So here’s a smattering of not very good photos:
While we waited in the que, we got to check out all the Star Wars toys on loan from collectors. My brother Shayne had this Dewback.
I read this and thought I was having a stroke; quickly realised it was in Yoda.
A promising beginning. Also the most crowded parts of the entire exhibition. Because it was dark and crowded and I felt Seen, I didn’t get many pictures of the first two steps to creating my character.
The first part had us choose our Species. Joel chose Mon-Calamari (squid man), and I chose a Kel-Dor (looks like a predator). Each part of the exhibit had original concept art for different characters.
including these cantina guys. They spent a lot of time creating individual alien species that would reflect how ginormous the universe is.
Step two had us choose our genes: Are we social and charming? A natural leader? An intellectual? Super strong? How in touch with the force are you? I chose a natural born leader with strong Force handling abilities. Why not? Also, Army Of One – made me chuckle. Also, also, BOBA FETT.
concept art for Jar Jar Binks
Maybe if he looked like this, he wouldn’t have been *so* annoying
the lesser droids
and the most famous droids (looking kinda hunched over and sad, btw)
This exhibit went way more Intro to Psych than I expected. We had to chose between the four parenting styles to determine how we were raised. I was raised with un-supportive, un-demanding parents, because I watch too much Teen Mom.
Parenting on Tatooine
And what was perhaps the MOST CROWDED PART EVER, because you not only got to choose your home planet, but also your name. This area was crawling with kids, and parents reading each. and every. screen. to them, and begging them to come up with a name. You could feel the force draining from all of them.
The monitor we were working on had some glitch – both of our names were finalised before we were finished typing, and Joel’s home planet and activities were chosen for him. So his was more destiny than mine. And he ended up coming from Daegobah. (womp womp)
RAIDERS AND JAWAS
Oh hi Han
I sure don’t
Jaba is a mood
The portion where you chose your mentor was way too stressful. It felt like choosing a major all over again.
VERY HARD TO CHOSE. But I chose Leia. Probably should have gone a bit more chaotic neutral, like Han Solo.
Hangin with Han
I love story boards
yeah you will, Luke
concept art for Yoda, aka David the Gnome
and Lady Yoda?
Enjoy this Rebel Fighter costume, complete with wooden buttons. Ah, the 70’s.
OH SHIP! I love these models
This was a game of chance – I ended up with “your ship crashed on a desert planet.” As a result, I learned how to tell stories and entertain raider camps for a living. So I’m something like an orator-Leia Democracy Groupie-Force-Handler.
Leia and Lando
Chewy and Han
my soul mate
Once again, another stressful moment.
I was torn between Jedi and bounty hunter, but ended up choosing bounty hunter. Maybe I would have been a Jedi if I had more supportive parents. So now I am a orator-bounty-hunter-Leia Groupie-Force-Handler.
Queen Amidala Fierce
Most of the kids at these stations were like “what the fuck?” as you were given 5 situations based on predominant character traits, and you had to choose on a sliding scale how extreme your behaviour would be for each one. It took me a while to think what a hang-gliding orator-bounty-hunter-Leia Groupie-Force-Handler from Endor with absentee parents and plane crash PTSD would feel.
ohhh Anakin. I love Anakin Skywalker (in principle. I love a tragic figure)
I chose power. After all, my past as a desert entertainer/bounty hunter would make me think nothing less. Leia is disappointed. That’s a conflict I’ll always carry. But also I look like a mother fucking PREDATOR.
Joel chose “universalism” and 5 seconds later I heard “oh no, I’m with the hippie storm troopers.”
Jedi warriors (you can tell by the cloaks)
Lucas was toying with how to make Palpatine as evil as possible. His original ideas for him included giving him a secret lair literally in a flame filled pit with demon droids, so he was basically Satan.
annnnd my fave: Lord Vadar
And so, as my journey through Star Wars came to an end, I was poised with the age old question: Do I join the dark side? Do I honour my mentor, Leia? Or do I crave even more powers to add to my knowledge of the Force?
Not today, Satan.
Enjoying the views of my home planet while my character loaded.
There I am! I told you, PREADATOR
I wanted to name my character Snoop, but the afore mentioned monitor advanced without my consent. But you can see my home of Endor; Leia, my mentor; my ship crash; my force abilities; my bounty hunter job; my sex (thanks for the chesty armour plate); although you can’t see my years as a desert orator, and notably – you can’t see my parents BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T THERE. Snoo is a little dysfunctional by this.
Joel’s glitch named character was Qui Tg, a Mon Calamari bounty hunter from Dagobah, who trained with Boba Fett. He’s a world-class fighter pilot who is strong with the force and whose parents were very supportive. I guess you have to stick together if you grow up in a swamp.
Much fun was had. And on a fun, sentimental note, it was cute to go back to the place where Joel and I had our first “date” waaaaay back in the day. He was horribly sick that day but powered through it so we could hang out (awwww). And in History Repeats Itself for $500, Joel was once again pretty unwell but powered through so we could hang out.
On the way home, we took The Goods Line, which is like The High Line in Brooklyn, but like, not.
I promptly came home and started Googling when the next Star Wars movie is coming out.