Star Wars exhibit draws thousands 



By Ellie Price

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Well actually, it's now and not so far.

Hoosiers can see the science behind the technology in the Star Wars films at an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum.

"Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" - the largest traveling exhibit in the museum's history - will stay in Indianapolis through Sept. 2.

The exhibit explores all six Star Wars films, the science behind them and the research involved. The exhibit displays more than 60 props, costumes and models from all of the movies.

"I think the most interesting part for me and for a lot of our visitors is to get to see these props and costumes up close," said Traci Cromwell, the museum's director of collections. "You see them in the movies, but you don't get to see the details then."

Tickets to the Star Wars exhibit are $10 in addition to the general admission price. A combined adult ticket costs $19.50.

click to enlarge Visitors to a Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum can see props and costumes used in the movie and learn about the science behind the story. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. - THESTATEHOUSEFILE.COM
  • Visitors to a Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum can see props and costumes used in the movie and learn about the science behind the story. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
  • TheStatehouseFile.com


Cromwell estimated 3,000 or 4,000 people attend the exhibit weekly.

"We're getting a lot of new people just for the Star Wars exhibit, big fans that are traveling from around the Midwest," she said.

The exhibit will travel to California after the Indiana State Museum hosts it. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, will later open a museum that includes the artifacts.

Genevieve Giguere traveled from her home in Quebec to check out the Star Wars exhibit in Indianapolis. Giguere previously visited a different exhibit - Star Wars Identities - in Ottawa, Ontario but she said she also wanted to see the Indianapolis exhibit.

"We love all of the Star Wars movies," Giguere said.

The state museum also offers Star Wars fans the opportunity to ride in a replica of the Millennium Falcon. In the dome theater, visitors sit in seats that are copies of the cockpit of the space craft from the movies. The droids made famous in the movie - C-3PO and R2-D2 - narrated the 5-minute movie with information about the galaxy and what it would take to exceed the speed of light.

Tickets to the theater cost an additional $5.

"You can be Han Solo and Chewbacca for the experience," Cromwell said.

Eli Groves, 10, came to see the Star Wars exhibit from Yorktown, an hour away from the museum. Eli, who said he has always been a Star Wars fan, wanted to experience the Millennium Falcon.

click to enlarge Visitors to a Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum can see props and costumes used in the movie and learn about the science behind the story. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. - THESTATEHOUSEFILE.COM
  • Visitors to a Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum can see props and costumes used in the movie and learn about the science behind the story. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
  • TheStatehouseFile.com


"They have projectors that make it look like you're going into hyperspace," Eli said. "You just sit down and watch and enjoy the show. That's pretty much it."

In addition to enjoying the Millennium Falcon video, Eli said he liked looking at the models of the droids. He said it was hard to pick his favorite aspect of the exhibit.

"There are just too many good parts," he said.

Eli's father, Jeff Groves, who builds scale models, said the details in the artifacts fascinated him.

"Just from an artistic standpoint, these models are beautiful," he said. "They're masters."

Jeff Groves said the highlight of his visit was examining the actual models and seeing the details up close.

"I really like what the museum has done with tying in present technology to the Star Wars universe and making it educational for the kids," he said.

The exhibit is divided into two themes: "Getting around" and "robots and people." Engineering design labs allow visitors to learn about real-word technology as it relates to the science fiction film.

"I think it's cool that there's something for the Star Wars geeks and non-geeks," Jeff Groves said. "They have stuff for everyone here."

Ellie Priceis a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.

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