Sunday, 21 June 2009

WeekendNotes - A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away

The Star Wars film franchise may have come to an end but that doesn't mean it's going away any time soon. The huge popularity of those movies has allowed fans to revisit those far, far away worlds again and again through the likes of toys, books, comics and animated series. Now you can revisit them once more at this hugely successful museum exhibition.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination starts a six month tenure at Melbourne's Scienceworks museum this month, after successful stints in both Sydney and around the US. It's a fanboy's dream come true, with costumes and props from all six films including light sabers, the Yoda puppet, the three-section Darth Vader helmet from Revenge Of The Sith and a full-size model of Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder. There's nothing here that couldn't be described as iconic.

But the main focus of the exhibition is on the science behind the films' mythology. You'll find more detail here than you could possibly need about the spaceships and robots that feature in the films. As you're going through it may be hard to remember that it's a fictional world they're describing. But the point here is more than pure entertainment - it's also to compare science fiction with science fact.

Using Star Wars is a neat way to get both children and adults interested in and learning about the real life science that both inspired and was inspired by the Star Wars films. The exhibition is divided into two sections. The first, called 'Getting Around', looks at the various planets featured in the films and compares them to environments on Earth. Enter a kiosk here and you'll find yourself on Tatooine. It also looks at the transport used to get to those planets and get around on them. You can put together your own hover vehicle, or have a go at driving an 'air chair'.

The second section 'Robots and People' features many famous costumes such as Chewbacca's fur ensemble and Darth Vader's still intimidating armour. But the focus here is more on the robots and how we are slowly edging towards our own versions of R2D2 and C3PO. You can even have a go at building your own droid.

The exhibit is more than just an enjoyable trip down memory lane - its a glimpse of our future as well.

Why? Science has never been so interesting.

WHEN: Until November 3rd, 2009.
WHERE: Scienceworks, 2 Booker Street, Spotswood, VIC 3015
COST: Adults $18, Concession $8, Children (3-16yrs) $6
MAP: click here