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Star Wars: Where Science meets Imagination

Star Wars Exhibition
Bad Nerd

Do you know the way to San Jose? Well, I didn’t. I was fortunate enough to just so happen to be in the right place at the right time. October 19th marked the last, first opening of the Star Wars: Where Science meets Imagination Exhibition at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. And it was glorious.

You are initially greeted by the OBISHWN, a tricked out, R2-unit sporting convertible. You gotta love fans. And there were plenty of fans. Opening day brought forth a great number of cosplayers, which filled the day with stormtroopers, Jedi, and rebel fighters alike. Once inside the museum, the most epic of all hosts awaits you, a fully functional R2-D2 operated by an official technician to the delight of many a child, whether they were seven years old or thirty-five. But Lord Vader was not far behind and he was not about to be upstaged.

The Exhibition itself was a veritable candy store of Star Wars memorabilia and history. And I was hungry for sweets! Ok. Terrible pun. Let’s move on, shall we? The first object to meet you inside is the backbone of the Rebellion, the X-wing. It weighs nearly 70-lbs and measures nearly four feet in length. It’s impressive. It’s more impressive that it was actually used in the filming A New Hope. There were several more models throughout the first section, including a tie-fighter, the Rebel Blockade Runner, and of course the infamous Millennium Falcon.

While there were plenty of costumes, models, and weapons to seduce your hours away like a Twi’lek dancer in a remote desert cantina, the true ambition of the exhibition is education. Throughout there are various stations that demonstrate how the things of imagination can and, in some cases have already become reality through the advancement in science. Advanced robotic engineering, magnetic rails, cybernetic prostheses, holograms and more are not only on display but are interactive, and, with time permitted, can ignite the flames of future science in the imagination of those in attendance.

Finally, it’s worth noting that, given the time, you should check out the Millennium Falcon experience, which allows you to experience what lightspeed would feel like in a simulator toward the tail-end of the exhibit. There’s also plenty of other great technological marvels to experience throughout the tech museum, as well. Stop off at the Workshop on the lower level and create something that literally takes flight with your imagination.

 So, while the exhibition is primarily from the original trilogy (and thank God for that), there are smatterings of the latest films in the franchise, as well as a few models from the Cartoon Networks Clone Wars. All in all, it was a great way to spend the day in a galaxy not so far away after all.

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The Exhibition will end February 23, 2014. Tickets are $22 for admission, plus $5 for the Millennium Falcon Experience. Price of ticket grants admission to the Star Wars Exhibition as well as the Tech Museum at large. For more information see the website below.

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