A LONG time ago in a galaxy far, far away... well, back in 1977 (and not too far away really), the latest blockbuster to hit cinema screens was a ‘space western’ called Star Wars. It was the start of a phenomenon that, to this day, boasts one of the most active global fandoms ever.
Star Wars was something special. Different in scale to anything that had gone before. Creator George Lucas captured the imagination of everyone who saw his film... except one, me. I’ve never seen Star Wars. Well, not all the way through anyway.
I tried watching the original when it came out on video... and fell asleep half way through. I dipped in and out of The Phantom Menace too, many moons later, but by then there was too much backstory to catch up on.
Which makes Star Wars Identities, currently running at London’s O2 until November, a tempting prospect.
The Exhibition explores the amazing nature of human identity through the magic of the Star Wars universe and its characters.
Take two heroes, sharing the same genes and from the same planet... What makes Luke and Anakin Skywalker so different?
Star Wars Identities follows them from their origins on Tatooine, allowing visitors to meet their friends and mentors and to explore the choices they make that will define them as adults.
Explaining the concept of the exhibition, Lucas said: “Since Star Wars takes place in a fantasy world, the characters need to be identifiable so that the audience can connect to them.
“These larger-than-life characters come complete with friends, enemies, values, and beliefs.
“This exhibition examines how the Star Wars characters are like us, what we may have in common, and what makes up our individual identities.”
A highly interactive, character-driven adventure, visitors to the O2 will rediscover favourite characters in a whole new light, developing a better understanding of their own complex identity.
Through the magic of cutting-edge multimedia, there’s even a chance to create your own Star Wars character, combining elements of yourself with those of a favourite fictional hero.
Of course, no Star Wars exhibition would be complete with out a display of props and costumes.
For Identities, a collection of more than 200 original Star Wars costumes, models, props, and artwork spanning all six movies and the television series The Clone War have been brought together.
These include BB-8, R2-D2, Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon and even an AT-AT.
Other favourites, like Yoda, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, stormtroopers, and Darth Vader, are also on display. Many more objects are being exhibited for the first time.
Heading to London soon? Then pop over top the O2 and may The Force be with you.
Star Wars Identities schedule and box office information can be found at www.theo2.co.uk/starwars