A long time ago in a galaxy far far away ….

It is hard to believe that it is now over 40 years ago since the saga began.

Allocate lots and lots of time for this marvellous exhibition .It is huge and sprawling taking up enormous space on the ground floor of the Powerhouse Museum, with over 200 props ,costumes models etc. (Sorry no lightsabres permitted) .

Where do you come from? What makes you You? are questions this exhibition asks. Make sure you collect your wristband and ear piece as you need them to properly experience the exhibition. You step into the circle to listen to the audio explanationS,, and swipe your wristband on an answer or scroll through a menu with information about a character .It is divided into ten sections. Curated by theme ,this exhibition looks at what makes you individual and how we are all shaped and formed by not just our genes but also our environment , childhood , lifestyle, peers, friends and mentors and how major events in our lives shape us in sort of a psychological tutorial,

The various exhibits and the interactive instructive segments on the walls around them enhance our understanding of the background, motivations and forces that shaped the personalities of the famous characters we know and love, concentrating especially on Luke Skywalker and Anakin but also of course with many mentions of Princess Leia, Han Solo,  Chewbacca etc. Spreading across the galaxy ,issues such as biodiversity and xenophobia are raised.

The exhibition also asks how close droids have become to humans  (yes R2D2 and 3PO are there) and looks at medical advances .Also , importantly, don’t forget the tick at the bottom left of the screen where appropriate as you are required to complete all 10 interactive links to forge your own Star Wars identity.

Illustrations from the movie story boards and classic snippets from the movies are included .There are fascinating sections where you can follow how a character was changed and developed before appearing on screen (eg Yoda , Jabba The Hut , the annoying Jar Jar Binks) ,see various masks for assorted aliens .And you can admire some of the amazing costumes (eg for Princess/General Leia, and Luke’s orange pilot uniform).

Also there is a marvellous section where you can spend hours closely examining models of various starfighers and the Millenium Falcon – incredibly detailed.

Jedi master Yoda is dramatically featured – enigmatic ,composed , enlightened and gnomic. ( ‘Do or not do. There is no try’) .
In the penultimate room, with Darth Vader looming , one is given the choice of surrendering to the Dark Side – or not – and your character, villain or hero(ine) emerges on the wall with your name. (A great excuse for a selfie, and you can email the details to your friends) .
It might be advisable to make sure your credit card is topped up beforehand as you will probably want to seriously splurge at the gift shop at the end .

Most impressive it is. STAR WARS IDENTITIES ; THE EXHIBITION runs at the Powerhouse Museum until 10 June 2019.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum