Star Wars Identities Exhibition is currently open at the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. It features over 200 props, costumes, original sketches, and models from the Star Wars franchise and is aimed at long-term fans and also newcomers to the movies.
Entry to the Star Wars exhibition is timed (allow 90 minutes) however you can also explore the rest of the Powerhouse Museum which includes lots of hands-on exhibits (Space, Transport, The Wiggles), so allow a full day to explore everything.
See the original model of the Millenium Falcon. Image by Jade Jackson.
Whilst any fan of the Star Wars franchise will relish seeing The Millenium Falcon, Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter suit, or Darth Vadar's menacing outfit; the exhibition also has an intriguing interactive feature which is surprisingly educational.
See Darth Vadar's costume at Star Wars Identities. Image by Jade Jackson.
As you enter, each potential Jedi is handed a magical wristband and headset. This automatically turns on as you face monitors throughout, as if by use of the force. As you scan the wristband at each of the ten stations (and answer questions), you'll create your own unique Star Wars identity. Whether they will use those identities in a future movie, one can only hope.
Each visitor can learn more about their own personality based upon values, life experiences like parental upbringing, friendships, and occupation. Clips from the movies shown cleverly showcase Star Wars characters with similar traits.
Consider it a Star Wars personality test to see who your kindred intergalactic friends might be. I imagine this would be of particular interest to young teenagers, just discovering their place in the world. Although it seemed an odd fit, amongst all the props and costumes.
I attended the exhibition on a rainy day in the school holidays which unsurprisingly meant it was busy with large groups. The longest wait time at any station though was only 5-10 minutes.
Create your own Star Wars Identity. Image by Jade Jackson.
Despite the interactivity, there's lots of reading at each station and some of the vocabulary (e.g. benevolence, neuroticism) was above the young kids in attendance. That's not to say they won't enjoy it, as the exhibition has purposefully been created to suit a wide audience.
As a Star Wars fan, it was fascinating seeing early sketches of iconic characters, and wondering how different the series could have been if Yoda looked like a garden gnome, or if Jabba the Hutt had legs.
Some of the costumes I'd seen elsewhere, but the kids I took, enjoyed the magic of the wristband and feeling immersed within their own Star Wars world.
Darth Vadar's Star Destroyer. Image by Jade Jackson.
They especially loved seeing the original robots C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB8, alongside models of Darth Vadar's Star Destroyer and Tie Fighters—all used in the films, however, everything is behind glass or ropes and there is no touching of any props permitted, so no pew pew'ing down the corridor or lightsaber duals allowed.
Original models of Jar Jar Binks. Image by Jade Jackson.
You can of course, purchase a lightsaber from the gift shop, alongside a catalogue of the exhibition ($21.95), a t-shirt (from $30), a key-ring ($9.95), and posters ($12) as well as books, toys, stationery and other unique Star Wars emblazoned paraphernalia. Guests are permitted to wear their own costumes, however, weapons of any kind will not be permitted in the exhibition. For last minute Cosplay ideas, (or recipes) head to StarWars.com
The Star Wars Identities Exhibition may be the closest you'll get to appearing in a Star Wars movie. It's on now until Monday, June 10th (Queens birthday public holiday). Book your tickets online to grab the best time slots.
Worth noting is that Disneyland is busy adding Star Wars themed attractions in their parks around the world. In Shanghai Disneyland the Star Wars Bay allows you to sit in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, meet a moving talking R2-D2 or BB8, have your photo taken with Darth Vadar (and yes he'll do the force choking pose) along with Storm Troopers, and there's a speeder bike you can sit on. Start saving because after this exhibition, you'll want to experience more of the real deal.
See Storm Troopers the Star Wars Identities Exhibition. Image by Jade Jackson.