Hey guys, hope everyone’s doing well during the pandemic. There’s been a lack of updates due to obviously being stuck here with nowhere to go; I’ve made a few small walks around but nothing worth writing about. However, I finally found something worth writing about recently, and it’s about one of my obsessions since I was a kid: Star Wars.
Recently rolling into town is the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, on the last stop of its world tour. I actually could have visited this 2 years earlier when it was in Tokyo, but decided to pass up on it to hang out with my Tokyo-residing friend. I was pretty excited for this as this was the first Star Wars related exhibition in Singapore since 2005, but I held back on visiting so soon as I expected there to be quite a crowd when it first opened. One month later and I decided I couldn’t wait any further.
Selecting your characters species
A list of mentors to choose from, complete with quotes from the movies.
And a range of occupations to choose from. Having a musician as one of the choices is a fun touch.
A very fun mural about personalities, as depicted by stormtroopers doing various stuff
One of the numerous videos about each station
My final appearance
So what is Star Wars Identities? The general theme of the exhibition is to discover what you would be if you were a character within the Star Wars universe, hence the theme “Identities”. There are stations scattered throughout the exhibition that let you generate your “identity”, ranging from those as simple as selecting your species and home planet, to deep-delving ones such as situational decisions and personality quizzes. The stations that determine your personality are pretty fun; I particularly enjoyed the mural of Stormtroopers depicting various personality types that you are supposed to choose from.
A paper wristband will be given before you enter, which can be scanned at each station to eventually generate your character. At the end of the exhibition, you will be able to see what your character looks like, as well as email yourself a detailed rundown of your choices in a story-like setting. One particular station requires you to scan your wristband with a friend, so it’s best to bring one along, but if you’re alone like me, skipping that station doesn’t prevent you from finishing the exhibition, so you’ll have fun either way.
Of course, what is essentially a glorified personality test is not what the entire exhibition is about, that’s only a portion of it. The bulk of the exhibition, and obviously the main attraction, is the stuff that are on display, ranging from concept art to props and costumes used during filming. The stuff displayed is very focused on the prequel and original trilogies, with only 2 items directly related to the sequels which has been widely panned, so I think so-called “sequel haters” will actually have a pretty good time there.
Some of the various racers, though I only remember seeing some of them through the game
Ebe Endocott. Shades of the beast titan from Attack on Titan here.
Teemto Pagalies, one of my favourite racers in the game due to his pod's unique design
The puppet of Sebulba, the big bad of the racing scene
The puppet of Ody Mandrell, whose pod was destroyed by his own pit droids
The puppet of Dud Bolt, honestly don't remember seeing much of him in the movie
One of my favourite exhibits is a huge throwback to my childhood, showcasing the models of the aliens involved in the huge podracing scene in Ep 1. There was a whole video game dedicated to this scene in the past, and having spent countless hours of my childhood playing that game, I knew most, if not all, of the characters by heart despite them not being introduced properly in the movie, so it was pretty cool to see some of these characters fleshed out as 3D models. What was also interesting was that not all of them were CGI characters; there were three full sized puppets that were used during the filming on display. I get using Sebulba as a puppet as he was the main villain of this part, but the other two were minor characters that had only a couple of seconds of screen time, so I wondered why they would use puppets for them. Unfortunately there was no model of any of the podracers; I found it in the official exhibition guidebook in the shop so I guess they just didn’t bring it over for this stop.
B-Wing. Learnt from the exhibition that this did not appear in the movies as the slim design made it hard to see on screen.
Snowspeeder famous for taking down the AT-AT
Slave I, the uniquely designed ship flown by Boba Fett
The Imperial Star Destroyer. Darth Vader's TIE Fighter in the background for scale to show how huge this display is
The TIE Fighter and TIE Intercepter
One of the most iconic ships of the series, the Millennium Falcon
Concept art and design of the Falcon. Even drawings are so highly detailed
One of the biggest centerpieces of the exhibition is the display of various ships flown in the original trilogy, such as the TIE Fighters, the Y-Wing and A-Wing, and even the land-based AT-AT. Weirdly there weren’t any prequel era ships but that didn’t really bother me as the OT era ships were easily the most iconic among all the Star Wars ships. Most impressive was the huge Star Destroyer which easily covered nearly half the length of the entire display; the model was so detailed that I wondered how long it took to craft that abomination. The Millennium Falcon deservedly took a single display to itself, being one of the most famous ships in science fiction, and the detail on that was incredible as well, even down to the burn marks on the hull. The X-Wing was conspicuously missing though, despite it being one of the most recognizable ships from Star Wars, which was a disappointment as I was a huge fan of the design.
Luke Skywalker's pilot outfit
The suit of Chewbacca, which is really really huge
Leia's Hoth outfit
This should be Han Solo, although I don't recall this outfit from the movie
The infamous Slave Leia bikini
Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
Some of the numerous outfits worn by Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala
Obi-Wan Kenobi as seen in Episode III
Closeup of Jedi Master Plo Koon. Really detailed head sculpt there.
Closeup of Jedi Master Kit Fisto
Of course, this sort of exhibition will not be complete without some showcase of some of the costumes worn. Various iconic outfits worn throughout the prequels and original trilogy are on prominent display, such as the suit of the feared bounty hunter Boba Fett, the standard issue Stormtrooper suits, the revolving wardrobe of Padme Amidala, the robes of various Jedi in the prequels, the outfits of the heroes of the original trilogy, and even the infamous slave Leia outfit. The Chewbacca suit in particular was really impressive; I knew he was huge, but seeing the actual suit really puts into perspective how small a normal person is compared to him. My only gripe is that the mannequins not looking similar to the actual actors is kinda disconcerting to me. I don’t even need a similar face, just a similar hairstyle would make a lot of difference for me.
The bounty hunter Boba Fett
The OG and First Order Stormtroopers. The new one is sleek but I still prefer the original
C-3PO, slumping down and looking like it's been deactivated
On top of that they also had models of some droids like the battle droid and the adorable BB-8, as well as the suits of the iconic duo C-3PO and R2-D2 (or at least I think the R2 one is the suit they used to use). Some pretty cool stuff all around. They had some other droids like the battle droids from the prequels and one or two droid bounty hunters, but somehow I came back with zero pictures of those, can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of those.
Darth Vader in all his Imperial glory, complete with imposing backdrop signifying the light and dark in him
Close up of his helmet
Another close up of his mask without the top helmet part
The final showpiece of the entire exhibition, and understandably deserving of its own display by itself, is of course the suit of Darth Vader, easily one of the most iconic villains in movie history. It might just be the design of the area with the Imperial March blaring in the background, but even with just the suit I could feel how imposing and fearsome he is. I can’t imagine in-universe how fearful the characters are standing before him.
Early draft models of Jar Jar Binks
Ponda Baba, one of the aliens famously appearing in the Mos Eisley Cantina in Ep IV
A Tusken Raider that lived on the desert planet Tatooine
The old Jedi Master Yoda, as he appeared in Ep V in the swamp planet of Dagobah
A miniature model of the gangster Jabba the Hutt
Models of Clone Wars Anakin and Ahsoka. They used figures like this to determine how lighting affects shadows, which they then apply to the animation.
The helmets of the rebellion pilots.
Concept art of Tatooine
Early drafts of Luke Skywalker, apparently he was planned to be a female at one point.
A mural about the legend of the Sith.
Apart from these, there are a bunch of smaller showcases showing concept art, models and props of various characters and scenes throughout the series, such as the gangster Jabba the Hutt, the comedy relief character Jar Jar Binks, the big bad of the series Emperor Palpatine and the wise old Jedi Master Yoda. They even had a small section dedicated to the animated Clone Wars series. There were also plenty of little tidbits of information about a lot of the displays; for example the models of Clone Wars Anakin and Ahsoka were used to determine how lighting affects the shadows on the characters, and the animators then apply this information into the actual animation. Pretty interesting stuff, though if there’s anything I’d complain about it’s the lack of any mention of lightsabers, probably the most defining feature of any Star Wars film.
The exhibit is open until June, so there’s still plenty of time if you’re considering going. I’ve seen some people lament the lack of lightsabers as a huge disappointment, and I sorta agree with that, but there’s quite a lot of other props, models and concept art that we normally get to see, and for that I think it’s pretty worth visiting. Tickets are available from the ArtScience Museum website (not a paid promotion).
May the force be with you, always.