“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Wait … oh … sorry. I was reliving a piece of my childhood. And a piece of a galaxy … err … childhood that the Exploration Place has brought a little closer to home.
But don’t wait too long, “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” is only at Exploration Place until September 3rd where it will then travel to the Orlando Science Center in Orlando, FL on October 13, 2012.
[Note: To read Part 1 of our Exploration Place experience, click here]
The approximate 10,000-square foot exhibit encounters the fantasy technologies depicted in the Star Wars films and investigates the real science behind them, as well as the current research that may someday lead to remarkable real-life versions of the technologies seen in the film series. It is there where you can see more than 80 props, models and costumes actually used in all six of the films. Graphics Manager, Alan said that it was the largest exhibit they’d ever had.
Items on displays include a variety of costumes worn by characters such as Chewbacca, Han Solo, C-3PO, R2-D2, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Guests will be able to view models of ships such as the Millennium Falcon, an Imperial TIE fighter, the Imperial Star Destroyer, and the X-wing starfighter. All of which I could not get over how small they were. They seem so large in the movie but I guess when you shoot them at different angles and distances, you get different effects. And most of the artifacts look to have been through a battle as they looked worn, dinged, and scratched – especially Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder. It was “stuff” that I couldn’t help but smile about. I remember each piece from the films and what happened during the movie. It’s an amazing exhibit.
The exhibition was created by the Museum of Science in Boston in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., with support from the National Science Foundation and even has a hands-on areas that allow visitors to make a robot walk, sit and drive a hovercraft device, and experiment with magnetic levitation (or as our four-year-old called it … “magic”).
For an additional $3, you can take a seat inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. It’s a 4 ½ minute tour of space narrated by none other than C-3PO, showing planets and stars blurring into bluish streaks as the ship speeds up making the jump to hyperspace all while giving some astronomical instructions along the way, ending up amid leftovers “from the Big Bang.” It’s not a ride … but it sure felt like it.
All and all this was a great bonding experience for my husband and our four-year-old. Afterall, my husband was about his age when the first movie came out. My toddler was a little scared of the life-size Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon as it’s pretty loud, but other than that, he did really well. I highly recommend making a trip for this exhibit. Just make sure to bring a light jacket or cardigan as the exhibit is set at a cooler temperature to accommodate the exhibit’s artifacts.
The cost for non-members is $19.50 for adults; $13 for youth (ages 3 to 11); and $16.50 for seniors. Children 2 and under are free, and Exploration Place members receive a discount.
With paid admission to the Star Wars Exhibit is a Live Show, the Dome Theatre, and the Planetarium. While my four-year-old would’ve enjoyed one of the many shows the EP had to offer as well as the Planetarium, it made me claustrophobic to think about being in the theatre with my squirmy toddler and a room packed full of people. So we chose to bypass those. But my husband and I made a promise to each other to come back and do both of these when we have the opportunity to again. And if you get the chance – DO IT. I heard wonderful reviews about them from guests while we were there.
If the Exploration Place and the Star Wars exhibit still doesn’t wear your child (or you) out … and if the weather permits, you can always take up a round of miniature golf on the 18-hole course nestled alongside the Arkansas River (with extra admission). Although, I know for a fact where our balls or clubs would end up – and it wouldn’t be at the 18th hole.
If you’d rather stick to a smaller budget, there’s always Exploration Park – a great place to sit back and relax while soaking up some sun (as long as it’s not 140 outside). It’s free anytime so if you’re looking for free things to do in Wichita, Ks – consider this for the kiddos. It’s a great place to release some energy, observe Kansas’s wildlife in the rain garden, dig in the giant sandbox, or scale the community built structures.
Next Stop: the Orlando Science Center in Orlando, FL on October 13, 2012 until April 2013. Don’t miss out!
“May the force be with you!”
Disclaimer: This was not a paid post. My family was provided the Galaxy Pass from Exploration Place. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.
Photo credit: Exploration Park provided by Wichita.gov (The City of Wichita)