SC Exhibitions Magazine 2016 51 How has Star Wars inspired you I have to admit that as a kid I didn t really get into Star Wars at all When I started at X3 Pro ductions I went to see the exhibition in Montreal and I got pulled into the universe of Star Wars and was very impressed by the way the design team used the characters to explain fundamen tal facts about identity Seeing all the artefacts and the clips of the movies in the exhibition I ve started to become a fan of the work of George Lucas and realised he is a real pioneer in terms of movie making and special effects It is also really amazing to realise how powerful these stories are and how universal the love for this saga really is Do you have a favourite object in Star Wars Identities And if so why is it your favourite It is hard to have only one favourite object from the 200 artefacts in the collection I really like the Millennium Falcon model just thinking that with that miniature model George Lucas and his team created these cinematic action sequences on the movie screen It is a testament to movie making Also I have to say Anakin Skywalker s life sized Podracer is the exhibition s largest and most spectacular object It is also interest ing to see all the original Stormtrooper helmets from Episodes IV V and VI as well as the original X Wing Pilot helmets in the same display Are there any objects from The Force Awak ens We ve just added three objects from Episode VII The Force Awakens So our already impres sive 200 object collection now includes a Re sistance Pilot Helmet the complete costume of a First Order Stormtrooper and the lovable new droid BB 8 which will surely become a visitor favourite as well The exhibition uses Stars Wars to educate visitors about personality and identity How did you decide on this theme for the show The Star Wars films have engaged several gen erations of fans and many more are sure to fol low The iconic characters are now part of global pop culture and this is what has inspired us Ba sically to look at these characters and the fact that we recognise ourselves in them brought us to the main subject of Star Wars Identities which is What makes us who we are Ques tions like these are often at the heart of story telling and mythologies where archetypes are central They let us explore and try to better un derstand the components of personal identity both that of our favourite fictional characters as well as our own It is part of the human quest to try to understand who we are Are our par ents responsible for our choices Do our genes incline us towards certain types of behaviour How do our friends peers and mentors influ ence the paths our lives take These questions are timeless and universal both for those of us in the real world and for the fictional characters of Star Wars How did young Anakin Skywalker become the infamous Darth Vader Or what in fluences and choices made his path diverge so markedly from that of his son Luke Skywalker Once the theme was decided what happened next We then built the story of the exhibition with the help of a scientific committee in order to Taking Star Wars Across Planet Earth Garry Shaw talks with Sophie Hénault manager in charge of the Star Wars Identities exhibition tour establish what the components of identity are and built on that with the rich content of Star Wars So visitors to Star Wars Identities de velop a better understanding of what makes the characters of Star Wars who they are and at the same time explore their own identity with one question at once simple and profound What forces shape you We also wanted to make sure that the visitor could participate ac tively instead of passively interactivity is the key element in all our exhibits This is why we included the interactive identity quest here in which each person answers a few questions throughout the visit in order to create their own unique Star Wars inspired identity Once the theme had been chosen what chal lenges did you face when developing the ex hibition Well as you can guess this is one of the biggest brands in the world So just taking this in brings a lot of pressure Also a person cannot do what they want with this brand it is successful be cause it is fiercely protected So getting accus tomed to very strict guidelines was challenging at the beginning We transformed these restric tions into a creative challenge that we believe exceeded the expectations One of the biggest challenges was to make sure that we respected what it is that the Star Wars fans love about it because the fans are the ones keeping this brand alive They are so very important we wanted them to be happy with what we had done And once the first fan reviews came in we realised that we d passed the test Any other challenges Another important challenge was to try and bring in something completely new to Star Wars As you may know this is not the first Star Wars exhibit and so we wanted to not only differentiate ourselves from the others but also to bring in something completely new in the context of an almost 40 year old franchise That was before the Disney acquisition And so this is what we did Literally we give the vis itor the opportunity to create their own unique Star Wars character Sophie Hénault is the General Manager of X3 Productions a Montreal company specialised in creating major travelling exhibitions founded by L Équipe Spectra gsmprjct and Bleublancrouge Sophie started her career at the internationally renowned Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and went on to work for various companies including Indigo the first French pay per view channel in Canada Later she joined gsmprjct where she was involved in the development of X3 Productions She has been working in the touring exhibition industry for the last three years representing X3 Productions major projects Star Wars Identities and Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology both produced with Lucasfilm Ltd Sophie Hénault speaking at TEM 2015 in Istanbul R ain er Ku rze de r

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