The Star Wars franchise — a vast universe in which thousands of beloved characters and their stories reside. And now, you could potentially add yourself to that list when you pay a visit to Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition.
The exhibition has been touring globally for six years, visiting places such as Paris in France and Utrecht in the Netherlands. It now lands in Singapore as its final stop, with the ArtScience Museum the location where it will call home for the next few months.
Star Wars Identities isn’t your typical exhibition. While the attention will undoubtedly be on the 200-odd Star Wars related items on display, there is a degree of interactivity that will be personally customised to you.
You’ll be able to form your own character within the Star Wars world as you go through the exhibition, complete with name, backstory and motivations to boot. This isn’t just about discovering what makes the identity of the iconic characters you know and love; it’s about finding out yours as well. Hence the name — how very clever from the organisers.
Before you experience the exhibition, you’ll be given a wrap to wear around your wrists, of which it’ll have an RFID tag embedded underneath. This wrist tag is how you’ll be going about building your unique Star Wars identity, where you’ll be scanning in your choices at various points stationed throughout the experience.
The start of the Star Wars Identities exhibition is a preview of how your choices might play out, showcasing an introductory video featuring two of the franchise’s most well-known characters — Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker. They are both cut from the same cloth, but their choices have led to a wildly different outcome.
You’re greeted with your very first choice swiftly afterwards, choosing what race your character will be. There are 15 different races to choose, from the adorable Ewoks to the perhaps infamous Gungans. Decide which race vibes with you most and lock in your pick scanning your RFID tag at the specific scanner.
The other decision points lay deeper down the pathway, in between them, you’ll also get to geek out at the various Star Wars exhibits on display! These are plucked from Lucas Museum of Narrative Art archive and include many things used in the making of the Star Wars movies.
Beloved characters like C-3PO and R2-D2 are of course, bound to make their appearance here as well.
These are the original costumes used in the movies, and you’ll be able to admire the work the costume designers have put into them up close!
The Stormtroopers differ no less, and you’ll also see the subtle differences that they’ve made to their armour for the different movies, such as the additional thickness on the boots and the refreshed look to the helmet design for the Stormtroopers in the newer films compared to the ones featured in the original.
Seeing the costumes up close, you might be keen to learn a bit more about the iconic characters inhabiting the costumes. But no need to whip out your phone to Google!
Stationed at the exhibits are helpful information podiums that tell you all about the character, from their race, all the way to who they allied within the course of their story within the movies.
Beyond costumes, puppets are also used to portray certain characters, with none more famous than Jedi Master Yoda.
The diminutive mentor of Luke Skywalker also makes his appearance at Star Wars Identities, where you can find him in his own exhibit. While his design evokes a wise, old being — Albert Einstein to be exact! — the puppet itself doesn’t look to have aged a day.
But costumes and puppets aren’t the only features in Star Wars Identities! The exhibition has also managed to procure rarely seen concept art done during the making of the various films, with many of them coming from the Illustrator’s genius behind the original trilogy — Ralph McQuarrie.
His work has played a big role in helping to realise the magic of the world and its characters, and you’ll be able to see how his initial concepts have evolved into what millions of people know today.
And finally, the epic space battle between the Imperial Starfleet and the Rebel Alliance is lovingly recreated here in the exhibition as well!
Both sides are featured on opposite ends to imitate the feeling of battle, but more importantly, you’ll get up close and personal with some of those iconic ships, like the mammoth Star Destroyer.
Star Wars Identities was indeed a fun look into the series, and having gone through the exhibition, while I did see the many of the iconic characters up close, I also got to learn much about their backstory.
The lore would influence my choices at the decision points mentioned earlier, as I went ahead to create my Star Wars character.
And of course, all that was left was a final choice — would I resist the allure of the Dark Side and stay noble, or will I gleefully embrace it?
Alas, though the temptation was there, it would prove to be not strong enough, and I locked in my final choice to reject the offer. And that concluded the story arc for my character in the world for Star Wars.
At the end of my experience with Star Wars Identities, I can now say that I am part of the Star Wars franchise! Once you’ve completed your character, the exhibition can also send you a more detailed list of your backstory from the various choices you have made, and you’ll be able to read it at any time you want; neat!
So what character will you be? Go ahead and make your choices at Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition and get inspired by the tons of Star Wars goodness within!
Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition
- When: 30 January to 13 June 2021
- Where: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands
- Tickets: S$25 for adults, S$20 for seniors and children (ages 2 – 12), S$80 for families (two adults, two children) [SingapoRediscovers Vouchers redeemable!]
- Availability: On sale at the Marina Bay Sands box office and online
Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC Team.