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Star Wars Smithsonian Exhibition Delves Into The Costumes Of Far, Far Away

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SW1With new Star Wars movies on their way to theaters beginning later this year, many fans are diving back into their love of a franchise the prequels may have tarnished, or just embracing it with even more excitement and enthusiasm. Well, in between Rebels marathons and reading the comics and novels, now you can explore Star Wars’ history courtesy of a new traveling Smithsonian show focused on the franchise’s amazing costumes.

From Darth Vader’s imposing silhouette to the Rebel pilots’ orange jumpsuits or the elaborate garb of Queen Amidala, Star Wars’ costume design has been an integral part of making George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away feel rich and detailed and real. An exhibition entitled “Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume” opened in Seattle on January 31 and will remain on display at the EMP Museum through October 4, 2015, after which it will travel to 11 more as-yet-unannounced cities. The show is a collaboration between Lucasfilm, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

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Star Wars, Planet Of The Apes, And Forbidden Planet Costume Test Images

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ApesIn this digital age, it’s easy to take for granted how simple it is to dig into the behind-the-scenes stories of pretty much any project you can think of. Special edition sets come packed with insightful commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, and photo galleries. Websites and forums are often able to show you far more about any upcoming film than the filmmakers would ever prefer. So there’s something cool about making-of material from earlier decades when the wall between creator and consumer was a lot more daunting. These images from various sci-fi movie costume tests are pretty straightforward, but there’s still something charming about getting a look into a past when, for the most part, nobody outside the production would get to see this stuff until it was done. Especially when, as in the picture up top, they look like a mug shot from a DUI bust on the Planet of the Apes.