Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#StarWars Identities Exhibition London: Episode One #scifi

This weekend we made a family trip up to the O2 in London to visit the Star Wars Identities Exhibition, a 'Get to know the characters of STAR WARS™ on a whole new level. 200 original costumes, props, models, and pieces of artwork are yours to discover up close' event. And it was awesome!

I wasn't too sure what to expect after hubs read out mixed reviews to me, but myself and the three monsters (aged 9-14 and with varying degrees of devotion to the fandom) spent an hour and a half inside without realizing, and certainly weren't bored. As well as following and focusing on the similar upbringing of Anakin and Luke and yet how they made different choices, there's a big interactive element. You wear a bracelet and visit ten different stations to build your own unique Star Wars character profile, listen to various talks that delve into nature vs nurture in the SW universe as well as exploring the range of genetics, culture and physiology of various races, and surviving props, artwork, and costumes from the first six films, as well as a handful from the newest ones.

Sketches of characters suggested for the Cantina scene in New Hope.
Not all of them made it from this 'audition' to manufacture.
One of the few surviving character props from New Hope -
one of the 'ugly twins' who assault Luke in the Cantina

Character profiles that didn't make the films

Building their SW character profile was the favourite bit for my monsters, and what won the edge on this exhibition compared to Star Wars Celebration Europe for my older two. It also meant they were occupied while I took 115 photos - and that wasn't even of everything there, just the things that most took my interest - but particularly of some of the costumes. For example, they had Luke's black Jedi outfit from RotJ which I've always wanted to do, so I took particular interest in that. There was also Leia's bronze slave bikini (slightly blurred, and looking incredibly uncomfortable to wear), three of Padme's outfits, Anakin's Jedi outfit (which I've done a version of so have a soft spot for it), and one of Han's outfits (my next planned cosplay). One thing that really stuck out to me was how shoddy some of them are in real life! Or maybe that's because some of them are now thirty years old or more...
Mace Windu beside RotJ Luke
The notorious bronze bikini
Han's Empire costume
Jedi Anakin
The exhibits were also accompanied by interesting facts and figures from the films. Like Lucas debating changing his hero to a heroine halfway through, and ending up using both - Luke and Leia. That Yoda's eyes were meant to belong to the wisest being in the universe - Albert Einstein. That all that remains of the original Jabba the Hutt puppet is its eyes. Or that the face and hands for the carbonite Han belong to Harrison Ford but the rest come from an unknown donor!
Concept art for the final scene in Empire

What could have been - 'Luke' reimagined as 'Leia'
Scary happenings - my camera informed me the subject blinked
after taking this shot!
So who donated the rest of Han's 'body'?!
While we did experience some of the reported issues with the audio - an earphone is provided that only activates when you're within range of the signal for the relevant video accompaniment - I think that was mostly down to a low battery on my youngest's set, so I swapped with him and remembered to keep an eye on my 'on' status. Otherwise, I would say this is a must see exhibition for any Star Wars fan, particularly the serious geeks and the cosplay enthusiasts. At the end you get the full character profile that you've gathered throughout with a fantastic large than life screen display and the option to have it emailed to you to keep forever. So I'll introduce you to my Star Wars Identities family (pssst, I'm Jaya), and a promise to post more photos next week. Extra photos of the costumes will eventually go up at my Tumblr blog - several are blurry but might provide useful details for fellow cosplayers at a future date.
FYI, you can visit the Exhibition store without going into the exhibit itself, and they have store-wide discounts for the whole of the month due to May the Fourth. I treated myself and eldest to something. I'm not a huge fan of big fashion perfumes, but this one smells rather nice. *reads it back* that sounds sooooo weird...
Status Update
I'm so close to done on the edits for Reunion I feel like I might explode! That, at least, should be off to my editor in June even if I still feel like Revived will never make it, and Unexpected is still in need of some work to complete it. Keir's Shadow is still growing so it doesn't seem like I'm getting anywhere (I'm at 32% on revisions) but that tends to happen when you're adding pages. It's now standing at 88K words after being a completed draft originally at 75K. I haven't yet started the Witch-king cosplay.

Right now you can stock up your e-readers with some stellar free scifi romances by going HERE.
And if you're not superstitious, you can pick up a thirteenth bonus freebie HERE.

For my fifth anniversary as a published author, as of the 7th, I'm running a special giveaway for a pair of custom-made crocheted dragonscale gloves in Keir blue, created by Hoot and Luna. This is open internationally but PLEASE BE AWARE - any import/shipping taxes will be the responsibility of the recipient as these cannot be paid in advance by the sender.

There will be two more SFR events later this month so stay tuned!

No chook pics again, I'm afraid, as I'm out celebrating my wedding anniversary, but I promise to have some next week.


  1. This exhibit looks amazing! I'll have to see if it's going to be anywhere close by. Looking forward to more blogs about it.

    1. I was kind of worried if the kids would be bored but they weren't. It was cosplay heaven for me, although I have lots of spaceships to post next week! The trailer says 'coming to a city near you' so I'm assuming it's going to travel around and not just sit in London, although it's there until September I think.

  2. That would have been seriously fascinating. I suppose exhibitions like this are the up-side of your part of the world, as opposed to mine. I doubt if we'd get something like this even in our big cities.

  3. Definitely an upside. I've thought about it a lot recently while looking at emigration plans. The UK has a serious amount of cons, and a lot of the big ones are in London, which is less than an hour by train for me, so makes me super lucky (although I can't always afford to go to many). I would totally miss that. >_<


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