Star Wars: Identities (O2 Arena London) - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
THERE’S a force to be reckoned with at London’s O2 Arena… and it’s called Star Wars™: Identities.
Boasting some 200 original costumes, props, models and pieces of artwork, this collection spans all six Star Wars movies as well as the ongoing television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and is truly an experience that’s not to be missed for any young, middle aged, or old Jedi masters or Dark Sith Lords in waiting.
Equipped with audio headsets and interactive wristbands, guests can look forward to eye-opening face-to-face encounters with dozens of character costumes and props, as well as original artwork and models, taking them behind-the-scenes of the movie-making process, while also exploring the science and ideology that informed the whole creation of the Star Wars universe.
What’s more, it invites you to discover who you would be if you were a character in one of the movies. As you tour the exhibition, you’ll be invited to answer questions that help to define your own personality, and enabling you to build your personal and unique Star Wars Hero.
As you leave, you’ll then be presented with a holographic artistic make-up of the character you’ve created, as well as an entertaining back story that you can take with you forever more (and which you can have emailed to your very own inbox).
It’s a nice touch that makes the whole adventure more immersive for visitors whether you’re a walking Star Wars encyclopaedia or a keen five-year-old novice just venturing down the path to Star Wars enjoyment… as my son discovered, excitedly brandishing his wrist-band like a young Anakin Skywalker, albeit guided by his father to stay away from the Dark Side.
And yet, in spite of such attempts, there remained something awe-inspiring about seeing Darth Vader at the end of the tour, as every youthful gasp from my own boy and other kids [of “wow, Darth Vader”] would attest. The Dark Lord remains a mesmerising presence throughout the exhibition and it’s a good decision to have left his appearance until the very end.
But there are so many more highlights just waiting to be discovered at Star Wars Identities, whether in the form of coming face-to-face with your favourite characters and robots (from Stormtroopers to R2-D2 and Chewbacca), to hearing anecdotes about the creation of the story and key personnel, or discovering the science behind the magic. A special showcase featuring the various space-craft is also well done, with a light show giving off the feel of entering light-space if you stand in the right place.
It’s a glorious trip down movie memory lane that only deepens your admiration for the continued appeal of this George Lucas created franchise.
If there are niggles, then the head-sets require a little patience to work properly (it’s a little too easy to find the audio suddenly disappearing), while some of the background lighting can make getting that perfect photo shot a little difficult (owing to background glare).
But such grumbles are a small price to pay for an exhibition that is otherwise worth every penny. For Star Wars fans, this is a slice of heaven.
Star Wars Identities will be at London’s O2 Arena until September 3, 2017.