I was born on the 4th of May so Star Wars – ‘May the fourth be with you’ – has always held a special place in my heart. It is in fact one of my top 10 favourite films.
George Lucas, the creator of Stars Wars, was greatly influenced by Joseph Campbell, a world-renowned mythologist, who studied and identified the universal themes and archetypes that are present in mythical storytelling. He believed that there was really only one story called the ‘monomyth’ – one single great story – the hero’s journey.
His seminal work, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, outlined this journey which I often reference in my work as a coach and as editor of Psychologies, so perhaps it’s no surprise then that I’m a Star Wars fan.
I was therefore delighted to be invited to the new STAR WARS Identities: The Exhibition at the The O2 in London, which explores the nature of human identity through the magic of the Star Wars universe and its legendary characters.
According to George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, ‘Since Star Wars takes place in a fantasy world, the characters need to be identifiable so that the audience can connect to them. These larger-than-life characters come complete with friends, enemies, values, and beliefs.
‘This exhibition examines how the Star Wars characters are like us, what we may have in common, and what makes up our individual identities.’
The exhibition was smaller than I thought but packed full of 200 original objects from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art so if you really are a Star Wars nerd, you can spend plenty of time getting excited about getting up close and personal with R2D2 or seeing the of Jabba the Hut’s evolution from the first pencil drawing to his full slimy suit plus Lucas’s original prototypes for Yoda, Han Solo and Luke.
But what was really fascinating to me was the interactive ‘hero’s journey’ – we each had to go on over our 90 minute experience, which helped you understand ten components of what makes up our psychological and social make up – our species, origins, parents, culture, mentors, friends, occupation, marking events, personality and values.
Clips from the films were shown where we could see Luke, Hans Solo and Anakin making choices based on their upbringing and genetics and then you are challenged to make your own choices so you can develop your own avatar, which is then beamed up on screen at a touch of a button at the end of the tour.
It’s a fun afternoon, but educational too for kids and adults alike. And you will finally discover if you really might be tempted by the dark side. I was delighted to have confirmed what I knew all along. I am a Jedi.
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