Guest post by Julie Van Rosendaal
We live in a very Star Wars household. This was the case before my son arrived – my husband grew up with Star Wars, and I confess when we bought our first house, I had to limit the number of Star Wars action figures that made their way into our bedroom. (He has since upgraded to larger figures, and sneaks another shelf in occasionally.) So when we heard that Star Wars Identities was coming to Alberta, he was justifiably ecstatic.
The travelling exhibition is at the Telus World of Science in Edmonton until early April.
The exhibit is interactive, allowing guests to accompany Luke and Anakin Skywalker from their origins on Tatooine, to the friends and mentors they meet during adolescence, through the choices they make that will define them as adults. We’re invited to do the same, strapping on wristbands that activate computer chips at 10 stations throughout the exhibit, allowing visiting families to explore the idea of identity, and how components – from birth and environment to choices we make along our life journey – help define who we are: species, genes, parents, culture, mentors, friends, events, occupation, personality, and values. The concept was developed by the Montreal Science Centre along with a team of scientific advisers, to illustrate the process of developing fictional characters, and how similarly the events and factors of your own life make all of us who we are.
But beyond, that the exhibition was stunningly cool for those of us who grew up with the Star Wars trilogy (and beyond) – Yoda was there! Vader was there! Princess Leia in her iconic bikini (from the scene at Jabba’s palace) and Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
You could see everything up close, checking out the sometimes hilarious simplicity of the costumes (often made out of pieces of cardboard, metal washers and the like) and the amazing intricacy of the ships – the actual models are there as well. So that it’s not too crowded, they start groups at 20 minute intervals, ensuring there aren’t great lineups in front of each display case or at each computer station. It’s a great way to enjoy the exhibit without the crush of crowds.
At the end, the character you developed along the way is presented to you – and emailed as well, if you choose. The kids loved this part.
Julie is the writer and photographer for her popular food blog, DinnerwithJulie.com. She is also the best-selling author of One Smart Cookie, Starting Out and Grazing. She is the food editor of Parents Canada magazine, the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One and co-host of It’s Just Food on the Viva television network.