Last Week to See Star Wars Exhibit

We all need a little Wookiee in our lives.

By Laura Dannen May 3, 2011


If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a bit of a nerd—which means I’ll willingly spend a Saturday afternoon at a Harry Potter or Star Wars exhibit. Do you know how many kids there are at Pacific Science Center on a Saturday afternoon, by the way? You’d think they were promising free monkeys with admission. But I braved it to catch Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination in its final week.

Admittedly, this traveling exhibit of movie props and costumes, straight from the George Lucas vault, is best for uber-fans and tykes. There are lots of model starships behind glass; games to play if you like magnets and you’re three feet tall; and Wookiees. Many Wookiees. But it’s the stories behind the making of Chewbacca, Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO and gang that excited this nerd more than anything else. Wonder how Lucas came up with a furry, 7’3" sidekick for Han Solo? He’ll tell you: “My dog Indiana used to ride on the front seat of my car. He was a big dog, and when he sat there, he was bigger than a person, so I had this image in my mind of this huge, furry animal riding with me. That’s where the inspiration for Chewbacca came from.”

Satisfying, eh? There’s more where that came from—view the slideshow for additional backstory on Star Wars, and some terrible photos I took with my phone. You might also be interested in the real-life technology on display alongside the Millennium Falcon: models of Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceship, or the Moller M400X Skycar, a next-gen aircraft meant to replace the car. It can go 375 mph and gets 20 miles to the gallon—or 750 miles per tank. If only we could all drive to work in Skycars and landspeeders…

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination is at Pacific Science Center through May 8. May 4 is ‘Star Wars Day’; guests who come in costume get $2 off admission. Hours are extended Wednesday through Friday, 10am–10pm, and then around-the-clock from 10am Saturday till the final close at 10pm Sunday.

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