I’ve just passed Darth Vader and have moved on to his master, Darth Sidious. Just like in Return of the Jedi, the emperor is looking for a new apprentice, and he’s asking whether or not I want to join the dark side.
I’m in Montreal at the new Star Wars: Identities exhibition (which is coming to the Telus World of Science – Edmonton in late October) and this is just one of 10 questions I must answer to find out my Star Wars character. The exhibit shows the many components of human (or Wookiee) identity while guests wade through troves of props, models and artwork from all six films.
Visitors are given individual headsets and can listen to audio commentary as they check out more than 200 treasures from the Lucasfilm archives, including the earliest sketch of Yoda (in which he looks more like a garden gnome). Stormtrooper helmets from Episodes IV, V and VI show the progression of their design from film to film and have never been on display before.
What truly sets Star Wars: Identities apart is its interactive component. The exhibit is organized into 10 different sections, exploring 10 aspects of identity. Within each section, guests visit a station where they must choose their Star Wars species, friends and values, and answer some personality questions. These responses are stored in a bracelet that is given out at the start of the tour. At the end of the exhibit, each guest’s responses combine to reveal his or her very own Star Wars character.
The whole thing is the brainchild of Montreal’s X3 Productions. After touring its collection of Star Warsmemorabilia throughout the U.S. in the 1990s, Lucasfilm wanted to come up with a new educational exhibit for fans. Drawing on the richness (and sheer number) of Star Wars characters, X3 proposed an exhibition that explored the theme of identity then teamed with experts in genetics, neuropsychology and psychology.
The exhibit has more than 50 million character outcomes—everything from a Boba Fett bounty hunter to a musical, evil Ewok. The latter is what I ended up with when I reached the end of the exhibit. Yes, I chose the Dark Side, because, well, “Hard to see, the Dark Side is.”
The exhibit runs in Edmonton from October 27 to April 1, 2013. ($26.50)