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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Long Time Ago... An Art Exhibition.

I actually went to this Art of Star Wars exhibition in early April, so this is a little old. Still, I absorbed the entire exhibition into my head only to throw up the best, puke-y bits for your reading pleasure. Just for you, my friend.

Know what immediately struck me at the entrance? No, not the Empire. It's that plasma screen on the right, playing an endless advertisement loop about Singapore Airlines.

Which is rather strange.

Appropriate because they provide luxurious business class seats with more space? On board service that is out of this world? With smiles twelve parsecs wide of the Kessel Run?

OK I'll stop.

Once inside I was informed by the staff that only non-flash photography was permitted. Which was fine by me, because I have a superb Sony 6MP with Zeiss lens and low light capability. Hah! Actually I laughed too soon. The lights were rather dim.

The first model that appeared was the venerable Star Destroyer. Ominous and imposing with its sleek, wedge shaped hull. What really impressed me was its incredibly layered appearance. From the side it looked much like a stack of Kueh Lapis, a popular Indonesian layered cake made from an impossibly large amount of egg yolk. Which is so wrong... yet... Yum!

The entire exhibition was organized into sections by Episodes, in historical rather than narrative order. So we went from Episode IV to V and so on. I took many photos, but I'll just show you the ones that mean a lot to me. Just like Han meant a lot to Boba.

Remember when you were a kid, and first saw the Imperial Shuttle? Do you recall thinking how much its blue engine glow resembled the glow of a fluorescent tube?

Turns out... *gasp* You're right!

There is actually a U-shaped fluorescent tube in this model. Not that this sort of shocking detail would even be mentioned in their information panels, no siree.

Now you know that the Shuttle Tydirium not only spreads fear and tyranny throughout the galaxy, it also makes your face look hideous in a bathroom mirror! Those imperial bastards!

Ah yes. The hands of C3PO. I don't need to tell you how much effort went to make it look weathered and realistic. But I will tell you how much those hands resemble the hands of a partially decomposed human cadaver.

Why do you need to know this? Why am I so evil? Why were you eating while reading this?


Now I make no secret of my disdain for Episodes I-III, but the prop work here by itself is really good.

Take for example Bail Organa's hand blaster. The quality of the machining work is exemplary. This is a lot of effort for a prop that appears in the background for only a few seconds.

The substance of its design, however, is almost a microcosm of Ep I-III. This blaster has a rectangular pistol grip, which isn't exactly ergonomical. It has a huge trigger with no trigger guard to ward against accidental discharge. Lastly, it doesn't even have a muzzle! An elegant piece of art-deco fluff. Just like this blog!

And now we come to the Man himself. This full-size setup of Darth Vader is supposed to look tall and imposing. The Dark Lord who dispenses death on his whim.

But look closer.

Is ol' Ani slouching? Years spent flying in podracers and TIE fighters has taken a toll on Vader's posture. I'm sure the Dark Lord's nurses would have mentioned this to him if not for the fear of a cold asphyxiating death.

Well, you can't have everything. Meh.

Did I mention nurses just now? Ok, I won't go there. Not today anyway. But just in case my detailed analysis of this exhibition gave you a bad impression of me, I must stress that I do have a life.

In fact, just to prove it to you, I give you this picture of a random babe roaming in the gallery.

Sort of like the sweets you get after a Japanese tea ceremony. Ha ha ha ha!

OK, so it's too late. Whatever.


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