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27 May, 2007
Star Wars Redux
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I have a confession to make: I never saw the original Star Wars Trilogy. Ever.
No, I didn't recently wake up from a coma. Just never got around to seeing it. This was partially intentional on my part: after all these years, it would only look dated and cheesy to me instead of eliciting oohs and ahhs like it did from the generation which saw it on the big screen for the first time and many times after that, thereby making George Lucas a disgustingly rich man.
Take for instance our friend J. The movies obviously made an indelible impression on him growing up because his birthday wish was to see the Star Wars Exhibit at the California Science Center last month, on this 30th-year anniversary of the original movie.
Although I was the lone passenger from the Planet Clueless on that day trip, how can I say no? In our circle, the birthday celebrant always gets what he wants. Always, even if it meant going to a Wizard of Oz singalong at the Hollywood Bowl (I'm looking at you, K.G.!) which D. tried erasing from his memory with a bottle of merlot, but I digress. Truth be told, I wasn't that clueless about Star Wars. I did see the second trilogy, which I liked in spite of Jar Jar Binks and big and little Anakin Skywalker.
The exhibit itself was more enjoyable than I expected, even though taking photos was a challenge with all the people milling around. There were lots of costumes, props, weaponry and starship models from all six movies. I especially liked the Millenium Falcon, the Droideka and of course, Darth Vader. Noticeably missing was a likeness of Padme Amidala, although there was a lifesize cutout of a midriff-baring Natalie Portman as Padme over the gift shop near the exit.
There was nothing cartoonish or hammy about the exhibit at all which was a good thing. It certainly went a long way in erasing memories of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special for me.
It was also a smart move to host the exhibit from February to April. It gave us Angelenos the chance to enjoy it in peace before things got crazy this month, starting with the unofficial Star Wars Day on May 4th -- get it? May the 4th be with you? -- and culminating in the 5-day Star Wars Celebration IV which ends tomorrow.
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