We took a trip to the preview of STAR WARS: IDENTITIES at the O2 Arena and it was incredible. Watch our sneak peek video and find out why you should go buy tickets now!
If you want just a hint of what to expect from the exhibition, watch the video. If you don’t mind spoilers, watch the video and read our review!
Doesn’t Star Wars: Identities look amazing?! That’s because it is. If you want 200 props from the films, along with a fresh new way to view them and a great narrative running through it all, then this is the exhibition you’re looking for.
Star Wars fans are invited to see stunning costumes, props, creatures and artwork, while learning about themselves and what their character would be in the Star Wars universe. While the props are jaw dropping, amazing and make you say “AGH I LOVE FILM HISTORY”, they are there to complement the main narrative and theme of the exhibition: identity and subculture within the Star Wars universe. Specifically looking at how Anakin and Luke’s destinies were different, although their journeys were quite similar. Also, can we just take a minute to marvel at the insane artwork that’s been used in the branding of Star Wars: Identities? It is astounding!
These are the props you’re looking for
There’s something for every Star Wars fan in this thing. From Jabba the Hutt’s eyes, to sketches of Luke Skywalker as a female lead, from the Millennium Falcon to the R2-D2 model used in A New Hope, there really is something for everyone. Even Jar Jar Binks has an ENTIRE display to himself. Yup, the character that many see as a massive bum note for the franchise has multiple sketches and models, plus an audio track to go with it. I found myself saying “Damn it, Jar Jar. Get out of my head!” more than once when the audioguide sensor went off.
The Prequels get as much attention in Star Wars: Identities as the Original Trilogy does. While some might be a bit apprehensive about this, it fits well with the narrative of the exhibition. Although the props aren’t necessarily as intriguing and exciting as the practical effects used in the Original Trilogy, the costumes on display are stunning: that’s some fancy threads Amidala’s got there!
The interactive element is what makes Star Wars: Identities different from anything I’ve been to before. Visitors are given an audioguide and wristband, they’re not clumpy or heavy to lug around. The audio guide has just one earpiece and a dial on the device. When the wearer is within distance of a certain exhibit or screen, the audio plays and explains what the viewer is looking at. The sound can be a bit jumpy or crackly if you’re only just within range. It’s not a problem, so long as you can get closer to the exhibit without covering up the audioguide. Similarly, the sound will play again if you come in contact with a previously seen exhibit, but this can be solved by simply putting your hand over the guide to block the signal.
I LOVED having the audioguide, as it meant there was no loud background noise or audios for other exhibits playing while I was concentrating on one. Sure, there were a few TIE Fighters flying past every now and then and some pew pews, but that only added to the experience when I wasn’t looking at one particular thing. Everyone could experience Star Wars: Identities at their own pace, which is really handy if you’re like me and take a little longer to read things!
Search your feelings
There are 10 stages of the exhibition. Each one poses a question for visitors to think about and answer based on their own thoughts and experiences. For example, how were you raised as a child: in a strict environment with rules and not much freedom, or in a relaxed and more carefree one? Or what would your career be in the Star Wars universe?
The wristbands are used to answer these questions by touching your chosen answer with the band. Your answers are logged throughout the exhibition until the end. Here, your character is projected onto a giant screen, showing your race, (you picked whether you wanted to be Human, Wookie, Gungan, etc at the start), backstory, who your mentor is and what your role in the Star Wars universe is. Pretty cool, huh? After you’ve finished gushing over your seriously awesome character (unless you’re Jar Jar), you can have it sent to your email to share with your friends, so they can see how awesome you are (unless you’re Jar Jar).
Jess the Jedi
I was raised on the ice planet Hoth, where members of my community made their living breeding and selling tauntauns. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally race tauntauns across the frozen terrain.
My parents required discipline from me but gave me support when I needed it, and I inherited my strong set of creative abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the legendary R2-D2, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a Jedi Knight.
I remember this one time when I watched a cruel despot destroy my home planet. I didn’t let this affect me too much, though; instead I began training an army of Rebels and hatched a plan to bring the despot down.
People often tell me I’m a generally organised and prepared person, I also tend to be energetic and social. But the most important thing to me is stimulation: I believe that life is adventure or nothing at all.
I have pretty strong powers with the Force; I guess that’s why the Emperor came looking for me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I fought the urge to join him and his evil minions and rejected his offer.
I’m happy with it. Plus what is cool is that there isn’t really a way to cheat the system so you can’t steer it towards a certain character. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Star Wars: Identities for a second time now and switched up some of my answers. This resulted in me being a Fighter Pilot from Coruscant. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally take in a show at the Galaxies Opera House, because I’m one fancy-ass pilot.
Star Wars: Identities is an incredible, immersive and creative exhibition that makes you think more about the history and psychology of the beloved characters of the Star Wars universe. Visually, it’s stunning. The props, although fantastic on their own, are made even more impressive with captions explaining the story of each object. The way in which they’re displayed with clever lighting and attention to detail is brilliant. It took about two hours to walk around the entire exhibition and that was with lots of ooo-ing and ahh-ing at everything. Without a doubt, Star Wars: Identities is one of the best exhibitions I’ve been to all year.
Tickets for Children are £15 (under 5yrs is free), Concessions are £18 and Adults are £25. Star Wars:Identities will be on at The O2 until 3rd September 2017, so plenty of time to go visit! Have you already been to the exhibition and what did you think of it? If you’re planning on seeing it, what are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
GS Blogger: Jess Hawke