After its European premiere in Paris, 'Star Wars: Identities' has landed in the French city of Lyon.
Featuring some 200 original costumes, props, models and artwork from the six films of the legendary saga, the exhibition puts the visitor at the heart of the action, creating a unique, interactive identity for each and every one.
Euronews attended the much anticipated opening of the show, organised by Star Wars director George Lucas’ production company Lucasfilm and X3 Productions, which creates innovative exhibitions that focus on new technologies and interactivity.
“This is my favourite part of the exhibition – it brings out the little boy in me,” says X3 Productions executive producer, Jacques-André Dupont. “We have the original vessels used for the films, the Rebel Alliance vessels here, facing each other, so you can feel this sort of confrontation between good and evil, and when you look at the detailed work that’s gone into these objects – they are true works of art.”
Among the impressive Star Wars artefacts is a life-size replica of Anakin’s podracer, which first appeared in the 1999 ‘Episode I The Phantom Menace’.
“This is actually form North Africa, from the Tunisian set. The actor, young Anakin – Jake Lloyd – sat in that cockpit, and the engines are huge. It’s really exciting to see the quality and the detail of a life-size artefact,” says Laela French, senior manager at Lucasfilm Archives & Exhibits.
“One of my favourite artefacts is Jabba’s eyes. It’s all that’s left of the costume. The costumes were created to last for the duration of a film, some didn’t last, and so they managed to keep Jabba’s eyes, which are amazing,” enthuses Jacques-André Dupont.
Yoda is one of the oldest and most powerful Jedi Masters in the Star Wars universe. He first appeared as a puppet in the 1980 film ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.
“There is something about Yoda that resonates with us to this day,” says Laela French. “He’s that wise advisor but at the same time he is a little crazy, a little quirky, and children love him, adults love him.”
The gentle, hairy, Chewbacca was inspired by George Lucas seeing his own dog sitting up on the passenger seat of his car: “Chewbacca – a favourite of course. His sheer size is impressive, and you find out that this character was based on George Lucas’ dog,” explains Jacques-André Dupont.
There would be no exhibition without the legendary Star Wars villain Darth Vader, originally a Jedi, who turned to the dark side of the Force and served the evil Galactic Empire: “I think the other thing that makes Star Wars so powerful as a film, apart from the great design and the great storyline based on mythology, was just this really great character of Darth Vader. He terrified us but at the same time we were so engaged by him, you know, and intrigued by him,” says Laela French.
Equipped with a smart bracelet, visitors are invited to explore the question of human identity through Star Wars characters. They’re asked to answer a series of questions that define their profile at interactive stations throughout the exhibition. Their smart bracelet records the answers and creates an avatar, which is revealed at the end of the tour.
‘Star Wars: Identities’ is on in Lyon until 19 April 2015 before moving on to other European cities.