Fire up the old Millennium Falcon and make a stop at Star Wars and the Power of Costume, the Smithsonian’s travelling exhibition currently on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center this summer.
The exhibit features more than sixty hand-crafted costumes featured across the Star Wars saga, as well as myriad props and behind-the-scenes stories from the galaxy far, far away. Various displays reveal the challenges, intricate processes, and remarkable concept artistry that led designers to the creation of George Lucas’ vision.
Intrigued, I made the jump to light speed and headed for Cincinnati – the only Midwest city featured on the exhibit’s tour. My visit happened to be on opening day, which included a visit by Anthony Daniels, famous for his now iconic portrayal of C-3PO. While one may not find Daniels regularly at the exhibit, video footage of his appearance can be found next to the metallic gold outfit of his on-screen identity.
I then began my journey through this remarkable exhibit. Even though I have only seen a few of the Star Wars films, I had no trouble picking out the yak and mohair coat of Chewbacca, lavish robes of Padme Amidala, and the menacing black mask of Darth Vader, just to name a few of the many highlights. Short videos and plaques explained details of the creative process behind the costumes and played interviews with the artists, designers, and actors.
Behind me on the tour, two lifelong fans gasped at every turn, beaming from ear to ear and even tearing up with glee. They were mesmerized at the sight of the real costumes that their childhood heroes wore. I, too, found myself enthralled, drawn deeply into a connection with a universe that has defined American culture for decades and one that I now am a part of in my own way.
If you are interested in discovering the wonder of the exhibit for yourself, it is open now through October 1, 2017. The Cincinnati Museum Center offers a kids combo ticket that includes both the exhibit and entrance into the on-site Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Should you want experience more of Cincinnati while on your trip, the MLB offers a package with admission to the exhibit, a view-level ticket to a Reds game, and an exclusive Yoda bobble head.