If you want to meet the major and minor characters of the Star Wars films, then Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition, the blockbuster show at the Powerhouse, is the place to be. If you want a lesson in human development thrown in, then ditto. A curious combination to say the least, but the movies as seen through the prism of Luke Skywalker’s childhood and maturity, as well as that of other characters such as Darth Vader, it isn’t as preposterous a suggestion as one might think.
Add to this peculiar mix your own interactive journey of identity discovery and it can be a quite fun, slightly silly experience. Alongside hundreds of artefacts from the Lucasfilm archives there are 10 stations where the visitor, via a techie wristband, builds his or her own Star Wars identity: Species, planet of origin, culture, values and other personality markers. All stages are highlighted with clips from various films, illustrating biology, psychology and the like. At the end of a leisurely meander (allow at least two hours, possibly much, much longer for major fans), the visitor is presented with a digital representation of an identity, such as a bounty-hunter Wookie from a planet in the Star Wars universe.
A bit geeky, yes, but also crammed with fascinating details about the effort and imagination that went into creating that universe, from life-sized Storm Troopers and a quite terrifying Darth Vader. There’s even Jabba’s creepy eyes to gaze into (apparently the rest of his latex body melted). But will you choose the Dark Side? Tempting, no? Imagine Yoda saying that and if that appeals, finding your identity, at least for the day, a hoot should be.
Until Jun 10. Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo. $23-$36+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.maas.museum
Reviewed by Olga Azar.