Saturday has been our Star Wars day. We got tickets for the earliest showing of The Force Awakens and considered setting the mood by visiting the Star Wars Identites exibition at the MAK (Museum of applied arts) here in vienna.
We arrived an hour early and killed the time by strolling through a bookstore where i got a Force Awakens Stickerbook (well, one that i don’t already have) and there was a toystore on the way which i knew from my childhood, but changed places since then, where i got a 3,75 inch BB-8 and Jakku Scavengers figure set cheaper than at the big toystore i use to visit.
One could call this a primer, but nonetheless, i was looking forward to visiting the exhibition.
Visitors are led into the showrooms in small groups every 15 minutes. At the first waiting area you are greeted by a banner with a Stormtrooper-Helmet made up of individual Imperial personal printed on it.
The first few minutes of the exibit consist of being handed a rubber braclet that most likely contains an RFID-chip which enables you to create a Star Wars character by participating in certain acitivites throughout the exhibit.
In addition to the bracelet, visitors also get a small audioguide, that thankfully allowed vistors to listen to an english audio feed. In the waiting area sounds from Mos Eisley were sent to the devices, which is a charming primer and excitment enhancement. In the exhibition area, the guides picked up feeds in a marked area around a screen on which an information movie or excerpts from the Star Wars movies where shown. A nice way to keep the setting “calm”.
The braclets are activated via a panel on a wall in the waiting area. At first i did not notice that the hands on display where not all human ones.
Before being let loose in the exhibition area, a short film is shown, setting up the mood of what is to follow.
One might think that the Identites theme might be a nice addition to seeing some props, concept art and costumes, but the information material that accomplishes each of the ten stations sometimes seems too sophisticated for younger visitors, delving into the topics of genetics or how our upringing forms our character.
But after the movie it we were let loose among the exhibits.
Altough i am aware that everything shown is just made up, the context it inhabits in my favourite piece of fiction gives it a weight, an importance. Seeing Yoda caused me goose bumps because he is not just a puppet, but an avatar of wisdom.
I will let the images speak for themselves without further comment.
A kid bid his farewell to the Dark Lord of the Sith with a short “Bye Vader!” which was the most adorable thing.
Given the large number of kids among the visitors, some of them of a very young age, we were amazed by how silent it was and that the adults had less manners.
The shop at the end dissapointed me. A few stuffed characters, lots of paraphernalia and t-shirts, but nothing that grabbed my attention.
I can recommend the exhibiton to every Star Wars fan. It is well made, the make-your-own-character feature is more enjoyable than anticipated there is enough space between the exhibits to allow a fairly easy movement between them. But then, we visited on a saturday at 10am, so your mileage may vary.
pt.2 will feature a spoiler free review of Star Wars – Epsiode VII: The Force Awakens
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