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'Star Wars' exhibit lives up to imagination

Sarah Carlson/TimesDaily
Young visitors to the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit look at Luke Skywalker's original speedracer used in “Star Wars,” on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. The traveling exhibit is open through Sept. 6.
By Sarah Carlson
Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.

Leaving a darkened theater into the bright sunlight one afternoon in 1997, I contemplated the film I'd just seen — “The Empire Strikes Back.” And then, my 12-year-old self made Carlson family lore by saying this thought out loud:

“The third one makes more sense now.”
My parents cracked up, and still laugh about the line today, as we exited the screening of the classic 1980 film. But it was true — I'd largely skipped over “Empire” as a child in favor of the Ewoks in '83's “Return of the Jedi.” And these were the glory days before the prequels, which I'd rather not discuss.
Seeing the reissued film that spring helped form my love for the ultimate sci-fi series, a love my parents gained firsthand in 1977 with the release of “Star Wars” and one subsequent generations have found, usually as kids: “Star Wars” is just fun.
I couldn't help but revert back to age 12 recently as I toured the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” traveling exhibit on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. Walking through the exhibit with members of the press and their friends and families last weekend during its opening, we all reverted to children as we gawked at some of the original scale models and costumes used in the series. We managed to refrain from pushing kids aside to play with the interactive features, though.
The traveling exhibit was produced by the Museum of Science, Boston, and Lucasfilm Ltd., “Star Wars” creator George Lucas' production company, and its stop in Huntsville is the first in the Southeast. Tickets for the exhibit are selling well, said Amy Dawkins, of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and advance sales for this holiday weekend predict busy days.

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