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Star Wars Experience – Star Wars L'Expo - Paris, France
by Joris De Smet

October 2005 - August 2006

Entrance | Prequel Tatooine | Naboo
Coruscant | Geonosis | Mustafar | Death Star | Hoth
Classic Tatooine | Endor | A Disturbance in the Force | Blueprints
Blue Screen | Toy Shop & Expo Exclusive

From October 2005 until August 2006, the "Cité des Sciences" in Paris, France run an exposition about the art of Star Wars. On display were a countless amount of movie props and paraphernalia.

Now, I don’t know how ideas such as the one for the Star Wars Expo are born, but I always imagined it went something like this...

It’s a sunny afternoon and George Lucas is sitting behind his desk in the Lucasfilm offices. A co-worker walks in and says:
"Mr. Lucas, we have a storage issue! There’s so many props, costumes, concept art drawings and sculpts that we’re paying a fortune just to store it in a hangar! We have to do something about it!"
Lucas thinks for a second, chin resting in his hand, then says...
"What if we we’d organise some art exhibitions? Like that we can actually ask people money to enter the places we use at the same time to store our stuff under the best of conditions?"
The employee’s eyes widen and he answers:
"The Force is truly with you, Mr. Lucas! You are a genius!"
"So I am, buddy, so I am... "


Well, it probably went a little different, but it’s what I always thought.

But let’s stick to giving you the tour of the Star Wars Expo...

The Paris exhibition hall was divided up into nine rooms, which represented each time one of the planets from the Star Wars universe. The movie props and costumes would then be arranged and displayed according to this setup. Next to the actual props, little screens would display bits and pieces of "making of" movies to explain how the props were used or how they were made. And so the exhibition took us from Prequel Tatooine to Naboo, Coruscant, Geonosis, Mustafar, the Death Star (close enough to a planet), icy Hoth, Endor and Classic Tatooine again.

I’ll give you the highlights of the little wee facts that I still learned about my favourite universe when strolling around the exhibition:

Entrance

As soon as you came in, you were greeted by the comical droid duo that has almost become as much a symbol of the movies as bad-ass Darth Vader. They were accompanied by two towering overgrown Ewoks as you can tell. Even knowing that they are uncannily tall, I was still awed by their height. It’s probably all the fur that does the trick...
001enter 002enter 003enter 004enter
005enter 006enter 007enter 008enter
009enter 010enter


Prequel Tatooine

As it seems, the crowds that attended the Boonta Eve race were all cotton tips; each one of them dipped in another colour all right, but cotton tips nevertheless. How they managed to have the cotton tips cheer so loud is still beyond me.

Besides that, the main arena building sported some funny visitors … I swear that was an X-wing pilot there, standing next to a Jedi Luke and a Gamorrean Guard!

There was also an interesting little piece of concept art to be marvelled about: Anakin riding the Eopie with all sun screens deployed; which is not something we got to see in the movie. Last but not least, you can see here in this section that the organisers didn’t even forget about blind fans. Indeed, the two gold plaques in the pictures are Braille … a very funny kind of Braille of course, if you watch closely.
011ptatooine 012ptatooine 013ptatooine 014ptatooine
015ptatooine 016ptatooine 017ptatooine 018ptatooine
019ptatooine 020ptatooine 021ptatooine 022ptatooine
023ptatooine 024ptatooine 025ptatooine 026ptatooine
027ptatooine 028ptatooine 029ptatooine 030ptatooine
031ptatooine 032ptatooine 033ptatooine 034ptatooine
035ptatooine 036ptatooine 037ptatooine 038ptatooine
039ptatooine


Naboo

In this area, especially the scale models of the houses were the most impressive. Even at this scale, you still need a heck of space to allow a city being made on a film set. Does anybody know why a translucent version of the Opee Sea Killer was made, by the way?
040naboo 041naboo 042naboo 043naboo
044naboo 045naboo 046naboo 047naboo
048naboo 049naboo 050naboo 051naboo
052naboo 053naboo 054naboo 055naboo
056naboo 057naboo 058naboo 059naboo

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