Since the Millennium Falcon blazed through our screens 40 years ago, Star Wars has evolved into a pop cultural phenomenon, a cinematic landmark, and an extremely successful movie franchise that shows no signs of stopping. It is also leaving a legacy in other art forms and schools of discipline. One of them, the travelling costume and art exhibit, entitled "Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume," will open at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg in Florida on May 4, 2017 and be available to the publc until April 1, 2018.
Among the 61 handwoven pieces that museum visitors will get to see up close and personal are Queen Amidala's regal gown, the traditional garb of Jedi masters Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader's black armor, and Chewbacca's yak-haired costume. Rare art concepts that shaped the film franchise's design will also be in the exhibit. The production and wardrobe design of all seven Star Wars movies will be represented, to be arranged in "chapters" that elaborate on their symbolism, cultural roots, and the creativity of design that crafted a galactic landscape.
As reported by The Tampa Bay Times, the costume and art pieces come from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which was founded by Star Wars visionary George Lucas. The exhibit is a running tour that has been seen in places like Seattle and New York. It is currently based in the Denver Art Musem.
Lucas released a statement saying:
"The detailed precision of a design can be as bold a measure of storytelling as words on a page, leading to truths at the core of a character, situation or shared history."
Kristen A. Shepherd, executive director of the Museum of Fine Arts, recognizes the film's contribution to art and culture:
"Star Warsis an important cultural touchstone and we are thrilled to present the artistry of these costumes. The exhibition will take visitors inside the creative process by showing how designers interpret and translate George Lucas' vision into reality. . . . Design is a critical element in narrative art forms, including film, and these are some of the most significant costumes in film history."
Another kind of recognition has come to the saga recently: Star Wars' concepts are being explored in a one-day philosophy course in a Glasgow university.
The release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi this December and spin-offs like the Han Solo movie make it clear that the saga's legacy will be inhabiting our cultural consciousness for some time to come. It wouldn't be surprising to see more institutions honoring and/or exploring the events that happened long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
If you want to know more how Star Wars impacted our society, watch the video below.