Barbican Museum: The Art of Star Wars Page One

Trip to the Barbican Museum: The Art of Star Wars
by Narrative

As many of you know, I (Narrative) recently traveled down to London to meet up with some of the Mixnmojo team; James (Jamesh) & James (Spaff), for the ECTS 2000 computer games expo in London. While I was down in London, I also took the opportunity to visit something I had been meaning to go to for a long time.... The Art of Star Wars.

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Production painting "Tusken Raiders" by Ralph McQuarrie for A New Hope

The "Art of Star Wars" exhibition has been at the Barbican Gallery in London since April, and I got to visit it in its penultimate day before it closed on September 3rd.
After traveling a confusing path from the Barbican entrance to get the exhibition on the Third floor, I was greeted along the way by one of the many Naboo N1 fighters used for Episode I, suspended from the roof in the main foyer.
Then I waited in a queue for a short time while the released excited fans every 15 mins to control the amount of people in the exhibition.
While I waited, I read one of the exhibition leaflets being given out. As we waited, the fans got even more excited by reading claims of "250 genuine production paintings, concept paintings, spaceship models, costumes and props". They then released another batch of Star Wars thirsty fans in to the exhibition.

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The Boonta Eve Pod Racing Stadium model

Upon entering, I came across a huge video wall showing a 10 minute video of George Lucas talking through the process of concept production with commentary from Lucas & Production Artist Doug Chang.

After that came a large gallery featuring over 50 different paintings, all original paintings rather then prints.
Among them were original concept paintings by Ralph McQuarrie from the original trilogy along with production paintings from all 4 Episodes.

The paintings varied in size from one squared foot, to about 4 meters by 2 meters. Among them was a wonderful highly detailed painting of Coruscant produced as a production painting for The Phantom Menace which was bigger then my bed!

After that came about 20 different models used for filming in all 4 episodes. Among them were all the old favorites like Tie Fighters, the Millennium Falcon, X-Wings, Super Star Destroyer, Star Destroyers and the Blockade Runner.
Also there were some of the more familiar ships like the Senate & Nubian Cruisers used for filming the space sequences in Episode I- The Phantom Menace.

Most of these models were from 1-4 feet long, and were all superbly detailed. The gorgeous metallic Senate Cruiser looked fabulous when it was fully lit up.

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Dark Lord of the Sith Apprentice Darth Maul Costume & Lightsaber

Then you entered in to a main hall where Anakin's full size Pod Racer sat proudly. The full size pod racer was used for filming of Anakin up close and looked just like it did in the movie, although you don't appreciate until your up close to it that it is actually huge!

Along with the Pod Racer was a another video film about the making of the Pod Racing sequence effects.

Also in the same hall was a rather large model of the Federation battle tank with a exposed hole in it used for Episode I among various other small props like the Hand hologram projector and Jedi communicator.

After leaving the hall you then walked in to a room all about the Music & Sounds in The Phantom Menace and Original Trilogy.
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Full-size Naboo N1 Star-fighter craft at the Entrance & Foyer

Running on a huge Wide-screen TV was another interesting video film about the making of the Duel Of The Fates score among others themes from Episode I. The video followed with commentaries from John William's & George Lucas.

The video contained some very interesting facts about the score. For instance did you know that the Anakin's theme tune in the film was actually derived from the Imperial March score but was reversed?

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