Star Wars Identities exhibition: A fascinating inside look at the creative process behind the films

Teng Yong Ping
·Lifestyle Editor
·6-min read
Prop of Yoda made for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at  the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
A life-size model of Jedi Master Yoda, made for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

SINGAPORE — The Star Wars Identities exhibition opens at the ArtScience Museum from 30 January to 13 June 2021, marking the final stop of its global tour that has spanned several years.

Yahoo Lifestyle SEA was at the media preview of the exhibition to bring you this sneak peek of the showcase that features close to 200 original items from the Lucasfilm archive.

Produced in collaboration with Lucasfilm, the production company that made the Star Wars films, this exclusive showcase includes original props, models, costumes, and artwork from the films.

The collection draws from the six films in the first two Star Wars trilogies; the first film in the most recent trilogy, The Force Awakens; as well as the Clone Wars animated series.

It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind the iconic science fiction franchise.

For example, did you know that George Lucas originally developed the Luke Skywalker character as a female character?

Or that art director Joe Johnston created hundreds of early designs for Jedi Master Yoda within a single month?

You’ll get an inside look at these and more through the treasure trove of artefacts in Star Wars Identities.

Tickets, which cost S$25 for Singapore residents, are available at Marina Bay Sands’ box offices and website.

We give you a snapshot below of what to expect at Star Wars Identities, but trust us when we say that our photos don’t do full justice to the experience you’ll get at the actual show!

Acrylic painting of droids R2-D2 and C-3PO by Ralph McQuarrie at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Acrylic painting of droids R2-D2 and C-3PO by Ralph McQuarrie at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

George Lucas hired Ralph McQuarrie to create concept art for the first Star Wars film, A New Hope. The above image of R2-D2 and C-3PO leaving the pod in the Tatooine desert, dated January 1975, was the very first painting that McQuarrie created for Star Wars.

Prop of Han Solo in carbonite from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Prop of Han Solo in carbonite from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the original prop of Han Solo preserved in carbonite from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Early artworks of Yoda designs by artist Joe Johnston at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Early artworks of Yoda designs by artist Joe Johnston at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

These are some early artworks of Yoda designs by artist Joe Johnston. Johnston created hundreds of designs for Yoda in February 1978 for the movie in which the Jedi Master first appears, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Model of Imperial Shuttle, Star Destroyer and TIE fighter at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Model of Imperial Shuttle, Star Destroyer and TIE fighter at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

These are props of the starships in the Imperial fleet. You’ll marvel at the level of detail in the model for the Star Destroyer, the Empire’s enormous signature vessel.

Model of the Millennium Falcon starship made for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Model of the Millennium Falcon starship made for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the original model of Han Solo’s iconic pirate freighter, the Millennium Falcon, used to film the acrobatic stunts required of the ship in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Wookiee costume worn by Peter Mayhew at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Wookiee costume worn by Peter Mayhew at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the actual Wookiee costume for Chewbacca, worn by the late actor Peter Mayhew. You’ll get to see up front just how tall the Wookiee (and Mayhew) was!

Early concept art of Han Solo and Chewbacca by Ralph McQuarrie at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Early concept art of Han Solo and Chewbacca by Ralph McQuarrie at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is early artwork of a bearded Han Solo and Chewbacca. They look very different from how the characters eventually turned out!

Prop of frieze in Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's antechamber in Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, depicting battle between Jedi and Sith, at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Prop of frieze in Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's antechamber in Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, depicting battle between Jedi and Sith, at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the actual bas-relief mural seen in Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s antechamber in Revenge Of The Sith, when he tries to tempt Anakin Skywalker to the Dark side of the Force. It depicts an epic battle between the Jedi and Sith. An Easter egg in this frieze that you’d probably never notice in the movie is the aliens in the background – they are an homage to the aliens in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 movie, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Lucas and Spielberg were good friends.

Costume of Darth Vader worn by David Prowse at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Costume of Darth Vader worn by David Prowse at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the original costume of the most iconic of the Star Wars villains, Darth Vader, worn by actor David Prowse.

Rebel pilot costume worn by Mark Hamill playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Rebel pilot costume worn by Mark Hamill playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the Rebel pilot costume worn by Mark Hamill playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope. That’s a pretty sexy pose, we have to say...

Costumes of Boba Fett and Stormtroopers at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Costumes of Boba Fett and Stormtroopers at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

These are costumes of bounty hunter Boba Fett and the Stormtroopers.

A user-created Star Wars character using interactive RFID tags at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
A user-created Star Wars character using interactive RFID tags at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

At the end of your tour through the showcase, you’ll get to see your very own Star Wars character that you create through your interactions with the exhibits using an RFID wristband. This is the character I created, based on the Mon Calamari species.

Early models of Gungan Jar Jar Binks at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Early models of Gungan Jar Jar Binks at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

These are models showing early designs for the character Jar Jar Binks.

Prop of astromech droid BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Prop of astromech droid BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

This is the adorable astromech droid, BB-8 from the most recent Star Wars trilogy.

Props of droids C-3PO and R2-D2 at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Props of droids C-3PO and R2-D2 at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

These are BB-8’s droid predecessors from the early movies, C-3PO and R2-D2.

Early concept art of a female version of the character that became Luke Skywalker at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)
Early concept art of a female version of the character that became Luke Skywalker at the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Singapore at the Artscience Museum. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping)

Yep, George Lucas originally wanted a female protagonist for his films. These are early designs for a female “Luke Skywalker”. Lucas eventually created twin protagonists, one male and one female – Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.