It’s time to dust off an old post that happened a long time ago in a city far, far away… That is, it was three months ago, in Edmonton, Canada, not too long before we left for our trip to Scotland.
It’s not too often something like Star Wars Identities is showcased in Canada before it hits the rest of the world, and it’s even less often that Edmonton is near the top of the tour; in this case it was only preceded by Montreal. That’s why we felt we would be remiss if we didn’t go see it before we left the city. In fact, a lot of people in the city were excited to see it.
Who wouldn’t want to go see original props, costumes, and drawings from one of the most pervasive blockbuster series in cinematic pop culture? And who wouldn’t want to create/become a character with roots in that universe?
Become a Star Wars Character
Star Wars Identities is a a museum exhibit that steps you through many of the iconic props and costumes of the Star Wars universe, all the while giving patrons the chance to build their own character, RPG-style.
At the entrance to the the exhibit you are given a headset and a wristband with an RFID chip embedded inside, used to store the choices you make as your character develops, eventually cumulating in the creation of a fully formed, adult whatever-race-you-chose. The headset is used to pick up spoken audio when you are within range of certain information stations scattered throughout the winding corridors.
Each station gives an educational spiel about one of the physical or sociological facets of character development that occur in real life. You are then given the opportunity to choose which path to take. The early choices you are given include name, gender, location, and race – choices, ironically, that we are not given in life. Later choices involve questions of morality that shape your personality, eventually leading to the ultimate question that permeates the Star Wars universe: Good, or evil?
Props, Costumes, and the Cutting Room Floor
Some of the more famed Star Wars props that are displayed in the Identities exhibit include the carbonite casting of Han Solo, full size figures of R2D2 and C3PO, and a fully robed Darth Vader. Of course, these are exciting to see, and knowing they aren’t replicas makes it that much more exciting. But maybe more interesting is seeing the early concept art of some of the characters before they made it to the big screen.
One of these changes is the progression of Yoda from some sort of woodland Gnome to his present day appearance as the sage of the universe. The early style looks like it belongs more to a fantasy realm (The Hobbit, anyone?) than sci-fi, which is probably one of the reasons it never made it too far.
“What Forces Shape You?”
After walking past the props, through the exhibit, and making lifestyle choices that will shape the outcome of your alter-ego’s future, you are given the opportunity to view an image of yourself projected on the wall before the exit to the gift shop. You are also able to have them email you a link to a biography of the person you have become. Miranda AKA Mirandaitis, was a female Rodiann from the planet Dagobah, and I was Dylanitis, a male Bith from the same planet. Maybe that’s where we met.
Feel free to check our characters out, and if you have the chance to go yourself, share the link in the comments below. In the mean time, here’s the trailer to get you all excited and stuff.
Where is Star Wars Identities Going Next?
The exhibition will be “presented in 12 world-class exhibition venues over the next six years.” It started in Montreal, then headed to Edmonton, and it is currently showing in Ottawa (all in Canada, in case you aren’t up on your Canadian geography). Eventually it will move into Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific region, so if you’re not from Canada and are patient, you may have a chance to see it yourself.
A few more pics before we end this thing:
What character would you create, good or evil?