Star Wars

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The last stop took us to the Franklin Institute and a galaxy far, far away ....

Could cars that hover above ground be the mass transit of the future? Will we ever have droids like C-3PO in real life? Fantasy and reality join forces in Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, coming February 9 - May 4, 2008 at The Franklin Institute. This is the first exhibition to showcase costumes and props from all six Star Wars films while exploring cutting-edge research and modern technologies that could one day make the fantasy world of Star Wars a reality.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination invites visitors into a unique, immersive exhibit environment where they will be absorbed in hands-on experiences to discover how robots and landspeeders exist in the world of Star Wars, and learn about the important roles that imagination and science play in the creation of increasingly sophisticated machines. In two large Engineering Design labs, visitors get to use the knowledge gained in the exhibit to create and test their own speeders and robots. May the Force be with you!

So here's Philadelphia's Franklin Institute all dolled up for a Star Wars exhibit.  Say, what's the deal with the steps?

Oh, I get it.  You have to step on Darth Vader's face to get in.

There's Bill with a storm trooper.  But what's the deal with the storm trooper's mask, anyway?  He doesn't look like a REAL storm trooper.

That's Peg with a REAL storm trooper. 

There's Bill again, and this time a REAL storm trooper.

That's Darth Vader with the Philly Phanatic!

Bill found a Jawa.

The exhibit was filled with the actual models used in the movies.  There's Porkins in an X-Wing.

Or maybe it was Luke himself.  That sure does look like Artoo stuck in the top.

Luke's land speeder.  Wonder what he ran into?


Luke's ride was a mess.

Hey, it isn't just a movie prop!  This thing has controls!

Don't stand back here when Luke's burning rubber.

You mean it's NOT the real thing?

There's little Ani's pod racer.

Don't stand here when Little Ani's burning rubber.


Anakin and Obi Wan costumes.

That looks like the Millennium Falcon!

It is!  It is the Millennium Falcon!

Han Solo and Chewbacca costumes.

Yoda and a Mace Windu costume, along with that nasty little sphere from the first movie.

This is where the Wookies live.

Princess Leia's costume

Artoo!  Is it really you?

And C 3PO too?

Yep, it's them all right.  Look, sir.  Droids.

Here's what Threepio looks like with skin.

And here's what he looks like without.

There were lots of robots in Star Wars

Some were pretty stupid.

Hey, that's one of those big battle thingys.

Oh, yeah, I recognize these from the Battle of Hoth.  Big and mean-looking, but practical?  I don't think so.  Wrap a cable around those legs and see what happens.

I think that's Anakin and Obi-Wan again.

Oooh, look.  It's a real size Jawa and a pint size sand crawler robot collector garbage truck thingy.

It's little Ani!  I hate that kid.

Mr. and Mrs. Tusk N. Raider

Ve haff vays to mek you talk, Princess.

Lose a limb?  No problem with this guy around.



An elegant weapon from a more civilized age.

Oooh...a double-bladed light saber.

Don't lean on the glass.

You might get fried.

Jango's son sure didn't learn to take care of his weapon.  Kids.

Hah hah, a Stormtrooper blaster.  Like it ever hit anything.

Yeah, I'm talkin' about you.

Hey, it's the big guy.

The original costume from the first movie.

The inner helmets for the fellow who was more machine than man.  Ooooohhhh.

Blockade runner.  I know that because this is one placard I can read.

And that's a Naboo Royal Starship.

And that's the backside of a blockade runner.  The models are impressively detailed.

Is that the Imperial warship from the first scene of the first movie?  I think it is.

But it seemed physically a lot longer in the movie.

Looks kinda stubby from this angle.

Still, I wouldn't want to get in its way.

Padme's costume

That's a Wampa.  He's bad.  And cold, too.

Here's a stormtrooper from Hoth.  I think.

A tie fighter.

And here's the star of the show again.

Still terrifying after all these years.


We had a fine time in Philadelphia.  If you're a dyed-in-the-wool Star Wars fan and you don't live too far from Philadelphia, like Gumby or even Anne, I'd say it's worth a day trip, especially if you eat a cheesesteak at Pat's.  Oh, go on.  Do it.   You know you want to.


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