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© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

Star Wars Surprises At The O2

Star Wars is possibly the world’s most talked about, written about, and documented film franchise. So exactly how does an exhibition about the world’s favourite dysfunctional family bring something fresh and new to the table – while delivering a fan-pleasing event? The answer is with both style and substance.

STAR WARS Identities – currently at London’s O2 Arena – was developed and produced by Montreal’s X3 Productions in collaboration with Lucasfilm. The exhibition makes use of an extensive archive collection from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to explore the science of ‘identity’ using Star Wars characters. While the collection of some 200 props, models, costumes, and artwork from the original Star Wars films are sure to please visitors, what makes Star Wars Identities so memorable is the unique approach taken by the exhibition developers.

© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

Using groundbreaking interactive technology, the exhibition feels like a huge RPG with visitors creating their own character based on decisions they make as they work through the exhibition.

The science is very much edutainment – with clips from the whole Star Wars franchise used to explain concepts such as how we are born, and how people, places, cultures, and events shape our personalities. At the same time, we can also learn about the forces that shaped Luke and Anakin Skywalker and how similar backgrounds could have given birth to such very different personalities.

“This exhibition offers a fresh perspective on the beloved characters of Star Wars,” says Jacques-André Dupont, President and Executive Producer of X3 Productions. “We get a deeper understanding of their identities, and, at the same time, we get a deeper understanding of our own. The collection, the interactive components, and the scientific content work hand-in-hand here to create a seamless and exciting experience for our visitors. It’s a character-driven adventure into identity.”

© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

Working with the Montréal Science Centre and a committee of scientific advisors, exhibition developers of STAR WARS Identities divided the study of identity into three major themes: the origins of the characters, the influences that shape them, and the choices they make during their life. Within these three themes, ten components of human identity are explored: species, genes, parents, and culture in Origins; mentors, friends, and marking events in Influences; and occupation, personality, and values in the final zone, Choices.

These components form the backbone of the exhibition, exploring the complex notion of identity both in the real world and in creative fiction. Original content throughout the exhibition also sheds light on each of the components of identity with “making-of” featurettes exploring the stories behind the development of many iconic Star Wars characters, showing how different creative choices could have made them different characters altogether.

© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

At the end of the exhibition, visitors will get to see the character they have ‘made’, with a digital copy available to take home and keep.

The Star Wars universe as always been one that embraced differences. In today’s political climate, it seems especially timely to remind people that no individual or group is ‘born evil’. We are the product of what life throws at us. We have the potential to embrace the light and reject the dark. In a Galaxy far, far away, characters we know and love have already made their choices – and formed their identities. Given the same choices, what sort of person will our avatar become? Find out at Star Wars Identities.

STAR WARS Identities will be at The O2 until 3 September 2017. For complete schedule and ticket information, visit, www.theo2.co.uk/starwars or www.starwarsidentities.com.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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