The “Star Wars” exhibit at the Orlando Science Center shows how one man’s dreams have inspired generations to believe in a world where “wookies” and “Jedi knights” rely on good old fashion labor and futuristic technology to fight the forces of darkness and live in peace.
Disney World has just recently purchased Lucasfilms for $4 billion in cash and stock, reported USA Today, making plans for the next movie to hit theaters in 2015.
“It’s been the year of ‘Star Wars’ in Orlando,” said Mark Schaub, Valencia alumnus and host of the touring exhibit.
“We have the ‘Star Wars’ week in May, and in August there was the ‘Star Wars’ celebration.”
Generations of sci-fi fans will be able to immerse themselves in the lore of the previous series through a tour in the exhibit, while imagining what the next three films might add to the story.
Luke Davids, who was led through the exhibit by his friend Kelly, said, “Ever since I was about seven or so, I’ve been into ‘Star Wars.’
“My dad and I used to watch the movies together and since my name is Luke, you know, I’ve had the joke hanging over my head my whole life.”
Children can build their own magnetic levitation vehicles while parents revel in the view of the actual T-34 landspeeder that Luke Skywalker drove in the 1977 film.
Kids were skipping about the exhibit, from the build-your-own droid station to the maglev center. Others took an interplanetary journey to Hoth, watching videos of the frozen wasteland ruled by the “Rebel Alliance.”
Alongside a virtual reality console where visitors can build their own moisture vaporator farm, the costumes of “Chewbacca” and “Han Solo,” from “Star Wars IV: A New Hope,” can be seen encased in mint condition.
Not only does the exhibit bring the worlds to life, the real-world implications of such devices featured in the films are also on display.
Visitors can imagine what it would be like to drive their very own hovercraft, when they strap themselves into a vehicle which uses air propulsion to lift the driver off the ground.
A model of the Daedalus rocket — tiny fusion reactions propel it through space — shows us how humans can experience deep space travel. The capabilities of the human genome, when paired with the innovation of science can be seen here at the “Star Wars” exhibit.
There is also an entire section devoted to the history and development of prosthetic limbs, which the Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, wears as a permanent part of his persona.
In all six movies, Vader communicates through telekinetic commands sent directly from his mind to all those who oppose him. This technology is becoming a reality as brain implants enable people with quadriplegia to issue commands to a computer by simply thinking, so they may check their email and surf the web.
George Lucas brought his ideas for repulsorlift hovercraft and prosthetic limbs to the public in his 1977 film “Star Wars” and now, 35 years later, visitors have the chance to explore these technologies as a part of their everyday experience.
The “Star Wars” exhibit gives all six films a permanent place in history, while encouraging future generations to become part of the cult following to ensue as a result of the next three films.
Influences inspired by the franchise can be seen all over Orlando, from Disney to the Science Center, almost as if there were evidence of this other world lingering around every corner in our own home town.
This is also the birthplace of virtual reality military training made possible by Intelligent Designs Inc.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the “Star Wars” epic or you’re interested in seeing real-world implications of future technologies, the Orlando Science Center encourages you to wonder about the possibilities of life beyond our present means.
“Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” will remain open to the public until April 7, 2013. Tickets are $27 for adults, $26 for students, and $20 for kids.
Previously published in the Valencia Voice.
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