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Star Wars as art

A couple weeks back, our family traveled to the distant land known as Denver to visit the Denver Art Museum. We'd planned such a trip in November but other events pushed it off our itinerary. What my wife and I hadn't realized this time around was the presence of a special exhibit: Star Wars and the Power of Costume.

Needless to say, I was one happy sci-fi guy.

It's one thing to see images on film or in a book of the iconic Jedi robes, stormtrooper armor, and X-wing pilot jumpsuits. It's an entirely different experience to be in the same room with actual costumes from the films.

There was plenty of exhibit space given over to the process of creating costumes. We found a re-created artist's studio, circa 1999, which featured sketches for The Phantom Menance and a desktop model of Queen Amidala's chrome-plated royal starship.

Had a good chuckle over the iMac on the corner of the desk.

I did shake my head at the sight of the iMac, very similar to the model i was using in 2003 at my newspaper job.

What struck me the most was the good shape the older costumes were in, such as Luke's Jedi robes and the Wookie suit. Of course, I also liked how the stormtrooper armor was dinged, dented, and dirty from rough use.

(Apparently the First order doesn't get nearly as scuzzy, because that suit of armor gleamed like a pristine restored car.)

There was a lot of space devoted to the ornate gowns worn in the Prequel Trilogy, but since I'm not much for dresses, I skipped most of those and went straight for the droids, armor, and Jedi.

Perhaps most fitting was the very last item on display - the Yoda puppet, encased behind glass. After all the crowds and excitement and bright lights, this small, subdued corner of the exhibit was the perfect ending.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have seen the exhibit in its waning days at Denver, perhaps the closest large metro area to our Buffalo, Wyoming, home. If you get a chance to see the exhibit somewhere else, I highly recommend you do so. And make sure to stand as close as you can to the costumes. You'll feel right at home.

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