Skip to main content
Darth Vader at Star Wars Identities exhibition O2 Arena

Feeling the Force at the Star Wars Identities Exhibition

Han Solo can apparently fly successfully through an asteroid field at odds of 3,720 to 1. Coincidentally, that is also the same number of Stormtrooper children orphaned by a bunch religious insurgents who destroy a legitimate government installation when they cruelly blew up a space station with an unfortunate sounding name, in a raid led by an orphaned boy who became radicalised after a military strike kills his family.Darth Vader at Star Wars Identities exhibition O2 Arena

All that was a long time ago, in a cinema far far away, when a film came to town and was a new hope to millions of kids across the galaxy who had queued around the block to see this epic space opera, breathing fresh life into science fiction. With my Wookiee in tow, sorry, I mean my wife, we’ve come to the O2 arena, currently a sacred site for Star Wars fans to see the Star War Identities exhibition for 200 props, costumes and other pieces on display and to build our own Star Wars identity.

Select your species, sex and a few personality traits.

On arrival we are given an earpiece and an interactive wristband to use at various points through the exhibition. This helps to build your Star Ward Identities as you journey through the light side to the dark side and you start by selecting your species. I’ve been called an inhuman monster many times, so I chose something that I thought represented me, a thick skinned reptilian, a grumpy Trandoshan.

GGWWWRGHH!

As you walk to each point, the earpiece plays automatically with information on the props, concept art or costume with some science thrown in on alien bio-diversity, genetics and choices while contrasting and comparing Luke and Anakin Skywalker.

Ralph McQuarrie concept art

On the way round you can marvel at an impressive amount of original items. A bygone age of detailed model building has been replaced by CGI, so it’s great to be able to see some of the original spacecraft models used for the original trilogy. The hulking great mass of a Star destroyer, X-Wings, Snow Speeder, TIE Fighters, Mon Calamari Cruisers are displayed in large glass cabinet complete with sound effects and lighting to mimic the jump to light speed.

Boba Fett and Stormtrooper outfits

The original concept art by Ralph McQuarrie is fantastic, with additional drawings of the young Chewbacca displayed with information on how George Lucas originally wanted to explore Chewbacca’s home planet. Turns out that Chewie was modeled on his own dog Indiana and the original costume is made from Yak hair. Yoda also made the transition from garden gnome to the little green fellow we see today. The severed head of Jar Jar Binks is a welcome sight and perhaps the only way he should be seen.

Then, after standing standing in front of the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, I’m tempted to ask him some questions, what’s it like managing a large team of people on a busy Death Star, is the Death Star canteen any good? He’s certainly got presence, iconic, towering, intimidating, enough so that I’m convinced enough to be on his side. At this point we then head to the final interactive point to receive our Star Wars Identities which you can see below.

Alas, it’s over after about 90 minutes, so we punch in the coordinates in the navi-computer, or Google Maps as some call it, and head to Docking Bay 94, or The Tube as some call it. If you’re a Star Wars fan, then head to the O2 as the Star Wars Identities exhibition is the one you’re looking for.

 

NICHOLAS

MALE TRANDOSHAN

I was raised on the ice planet Hoth, where members of my community made their living doing maintenance work at the Rebel Echo Base. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally race tauntauns across the frozen terrain.

My parents gave me independence and not much by way of support, but I suppose I did inherit my strong set of intellectual abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the great warrior Darth Maul, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a bounty hunter.

I remember this one time when I was attacked by a wampa and badly injured. I didn’t let this affect me too much, though; instead I worked tirelessly to protect wampa habitat to avoid future attacks.

People often tell me I’m a generally organised and prepared person, I also tend to be adventurous and curious. But the most important thing to me is self-direction: I believe that living in a free world means we all have the right to choose.

I have only a low sensitivity to the Force, but the Emperor saw potential in me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I leapt at the chance and turned eagerly to the dark side.

 

SAMANTHA

FEMALE RODIAN

I was raised on the desert planet Tatooine, where members of my community made their living extracting water from the air on moisture farms. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally flock to the cantinas of Mos Eisley.

My parents required discipline from me but gave me support when I needed it, and I inherited my strong set of creative abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the brave Wookiee Chewbacca, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a bounty hunter.

I remember this one time when I won a Podrace, and my reward was my freedom from slavery. I didn’t let this affect me too much, though; instead I struck out in my X-wing to explore the edges of the universe.

People often tell me I’m a generally altruistic and accommodating person, I also tend to be adventurous and curious. But the most important thing to me is universalism: after all, as they say, equal rights for all and special privileges for none.

I have no abilities whatsoever with the Force, but the Emperor took an interest in me anyway. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I fought the urge to join him and his evil minions and rejected his offer.

 

Nick Cook

Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.

One thought on “Feeling the Force at the Star Wars Identities Exhibition

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: