Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination
June 3rd, 2006 - September 4th, 2006 at COSI Columbus, Ohio.

The first exhibition of its kind “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” combines costumes and props from all six Star Wars films with real-world technologies, video interviews with filmmakers, scientists and engineers, and two large Engineering Design Labs, where visitors can build and test speeders and robots. Visitors will explore prototypes, learn about the engineers and designers who are creating new technologies, and discover intriguing similarities between how scientists and filmmakers think.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination explores the fantasy technologies in the Star Wars films, the science behind them, and current research that may lead to real-life versions of these technologies. Museum visitors can learn how technologies work in the Star Wars universe through film clips and props, models and costumes. Visitors will discover how ideas become technologies in real life through hands-on exhibits, immersive experiences, and cutting edge innovations.

There are two exhibits within the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit:

“Robots and People” Visitors Enter a large-scale model of the rusted-steel interior of a Jawa sandcrawler where you meet C-3PO and (via video projection) real-world robotics engineer Cynthia Breazeal, Director of the Robotic Life Group, MIT Media Lab. The robot and the roboticist debate the merits of R2-D2 and how researchers try to duplicate traits such as mobility, perception, and cognition.

“Jump to Lightspeed Experience” Four visitors at a time experience a full-size replica of the cockpit of Episode IV’s Millennium Falcon! Watch a 360’ viewable multimedia presentation that explores what we know about our own galaxy in a breath-taking journey to the edge of the Universe and back. Featuring a proprietary sound system from Bose Corporation, the recreated cockpit debuts the technologies of 3DSpace™ audio systems, providing visitors with a realistic three-dimensional audio experience. Sorry NO PHOTOGRAPHY in this exhibit.

I attended this exhibit on two occasions with my friends. I being a fan of Star Wars and props and costumes thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit. Being able to see some of the items used in the six Star Wars films was a real treat. Of course I have seen several of the items on display before from other shows and exhibits but seeing them again is always new. Plus getting to see some new items is always a treat. Among my favorites of this particular exhibit was Luke’s Skywalker full size Landspeeder, Sebulba’s Podracer model, Life size Destroyer Droid, Darth Vader’s Helmet from Episode III, and of course the Medical Units. I also really enjoyed looking at the model section of the Wookiee Planet. So much detail and effort went into this piece.

Also I ran into some of the members of the Ohio Garrison of the 501st. We got to talk about Star Wars. It was great to see their Clonetrooper costumes, Jedi costumes, Red and Blue Royal Guard costumes, ect. Kind of makes me wish I had brought a costume to dress up in. Oh well, maybe some other time.

If you missed out on this exhibit at COSI you still have a chance. I would recommend visiting this exhibit if you can.

Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Portland, OR, October - December 2006
California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, February - April 2007
Fort Worth Museum of Science & History Fort Worth, TX, June - August 2007
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Sept-Dec. 2007
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, February - April 2008
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, June - October 2008.