Sunday, July 19, 2009

Star Wars - Scienceworks

In a galaxy far far away...

Well, actually it's just over the West Gate Bridge - the Scienceworks museum is hosting an exhibition showcasing more than 80 costumes, interactive displays, models, and props from all six Star Wars films.

Giant R2D2
Preep too peeep

The exhibition features authentic costumes and props from the entire Star Wars series, such as Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder – used in Episode IV A New Hope.

Landspeeder
Cut through M1 traffic hassles easily

The hero's journey has been a staple of tales throughout the generations (trying to recall my Joseph Campbell Humanities 101 here). Perhaps that's why the Star Wars saga has had such a long life. It's incredible to think that back in 1977, we were bundled into a theater like Rex or Cathay by our parents to watch A New Hope, and now in 2009, our two kids cannot get enough of Star Wars.

R2D2
He's bigger in real life

The props were quite attractive in their intricate details. Running your eye over the Millennium Falcon, you could just image Han Solo and Chewie providing covering fire for Luke's final attack run on the first Death Star, or serving as Princess Leia's escape during the Battle of Hoth.

Millennium Falcon
Kessel Run here we come!

We currently have four lightsabers, and this display had the kids riveted. We literally had to drag them away. It would have been great to have a short documentary playing that showed how they made the lightsaber fight scenes in the movies.

Light Sabers
You can't just have one

There were countless display figures distributed around the exhibit. A friend told us that during the school holidays, they actually had actors dressed up in Star Wars costumes walking around, no doubt thrilling the kids to bits.

Stormtrooper
Feels like someone's watching me

Hosting a few hands on exhibits was certainly one positive thing. Kids of all ages had fun learning about how robot vision worked, experimenting with magnetic levitation, or learning the basics of robotics by putting together a miniature R2D2.

Mini R2D2
Hands on fun

Luke Skywalker spent his early years living on a moisture farm on Tatooine. Moisture farms harvest water vapor from the atmosphere, and used to grow crops in underground hydroponic labs.

Moisture Farm
Future for Victoria?

The kids very much enjoyed the animatronic C-3P0 display. This educational display helped explain the different roles robots currently play and the challenge scientists face trying to give them human traits such as mobility, perception, and cognition.

The Star Wars exhibit runs till the 3rd of November, 2009. Queues are incredibly horrendous, so we've been told, during the school holidays or weekends. We visited on a Friday and the crowds were not bad. The kids have already been asking when we'll be back! It's definitely worth a few more visits.

There's no denying the interest kids (and adults) have in Star Wars. You can download educational kits in preparation for your visit from the Sciencework's website. Click here for their operating hours and directions.