The Force is strong in Wichita.
Not only is May 25 the 35th anniversary of the release of the first star wars film – A New Hope.
It is also the day before the much anticipated exhibit – Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination opens at Exploration Place.
The 10,000 square foot exhibit is the largest Exploration Place has ever hosted, it features more than 80 props, costumes and models from all 6 of the films. Including a multimedia presentation experienced from a replicated Millennium Falcon cockpit.
Exploration Place President Jan Luth says the exhibit appeals to all kinds of people because the films were released over the course of almost three decades.
“Everyone related to them in different ways, so it cross cuts all kinds of demographics,” says Luth.
“And then there is just a real pop culture phenomenon associated with Star Wars that is going to capture a lot of people. And then you’ve got people that just love science fiction, you’ve got people that love science, and there is great science in this exhibit too."
The exhibit’s main focus is transportation and robot human relations says Christina Bluml, Director of Marketing for Exploration Place. But also explores lived environments.
“It talks about Tattoine and what it took to be on that planet and how we as humans are adapting ourselves in different ways to places like Antarctica,” says Bluml.
“Having special costuming and special suits to deal with those extreme temperatures. So it is that same kind of idea, how is the science that you see in the films being applied in real life? What are some examples of those? And, is it possible and could it ever be possible?
Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination includes many interactives, a hallmark of Exploration place exhibits, including a Robot Engineering Design Lab and a hovercraft vehicle that will let visitors experience what it is like to float on air.
Luth says these hands on that really make the exhibit dynamic.
“Everybody learns in different ways, some people learn by seeing, some people learn by reading, lots of people learn by doing,” she says, “and interactives enable you to do and learn, and also for people to work together and have conversations while they are learning. Parents and children, grandparents and children, husbands and wives, etc.
Luth says the exhibit is a great project for the museum, Wichita and Kansas. she expects it to draw Star Wars fans from throughout the state and beyond.
Bluml says opening weekend will include a chance to see the official Lucasfilm costuming group, the 501st Legion –also known as the Stormtroopers.
And likely, lots of fans dressed as their favorite Star Wars character.
The Star Wars exhibit; along with a new planetarium show and a new live science show opens to the public Saturday.