From robotics to lightspeed, the Star Wars films are known for their creative presentation of possible future innovations. The exhibit Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, coming October 19 to The Tech in San Jose, California, explores the technologies of a galaxy far, far away, looking at the real science behind them and the research that might someday bring Star Wars technology to life.
Star Wars creator George Lucas said, "I'm happy that Star Wars can help to educate people about technology in an entertaining way. Technological innovation and filmmaking have a lot in common; they both begin with imagination and creativity."
The expansive exhibition includes authentic props, costumes, and models from all six Star Wars films, including the Yoda puppet, C-3PO, R2-D2, the Chewbacca costume, the three-section Darth Vader helmet from Revenge of the Sith, as well as the models of the X-wing and the Millennium Falcon. There are also costumes for Mace Windu, Princess Leia, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Stormtroopers, and lightsabers belonging to Luke, Obi-Wan, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku.
The immersive, hands-on experience in the exhibition's "Living on Tatooine" section features three augmented reality kiosks in which visitors interact with a simulated environment on a large screen. Visitors position physical props in order to complete tasks of increasing difficulty to build communities in the virtual environments.
Intrepid guests can hop aboard a full-size replica of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and a four-and-a-half minute "ride" -- with the requisite rumbling sound effects, fans, and lights -- as they learn about real-world space exploration from Anthony Daniels, the voice of C-3PO.
"Since 1977, Star Wars has sparked our imaginations about science and technology," said The Tech President Tim Ritchie. "How fitting to have the final showing of Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination in a place devoted to changing lives through science and wonder."
The exhibition's run at The Tech was announced yesterday at a press conference featuring Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo and Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams. This is the last chance to see the exhibition in its current incarnation following a tour that began in Boston in October 2005. Since then, more than two million visitors worldwide have seen Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.
Tickets for the exhibition are on sale now. For more information, go to http://www.thetech.org/plan-your-visit/special-exhibitions/STAR-WARS.