Alien identities

Of all the exhibitions I went to so far, Star Wars: Identities is probably my favourite. It’s chock full with all kinds of costumes, models, props and even artwork, conceptual and otherwise; complete with descriptions which contain trivia you never thought you wanted to know. But what makes this one really special is that it’s interactive. As you stroll through the corridors wearing the magic wristband the staff gives you at the entrance, you yourself become part of the universe.
What species are you? What’s your name? How were you raised? These are the questions that accompany you as you walk past the various exhibits. The cleverly designed path guides you not only through the making of the movie and series, but also through the ontogeny of your very own Star Wars alter ego with a mix of real world science and lore from a galaxy far far away. I visited it twice now (once in Cologne and once in Vienna) and will probably go there at least a third time. The interactivity ensures that it doesn’t get old fast.

I greatly enjoyed reading the captions – especially the following, because they describe why I love Star Wars really well.

Being (an) alien is relative.
Being (an) alien is relative.

SW: Identities obviously isn’t aimed at roleplayers – while you can choose from a wide variety of species they only offer a few well-known planets from the movies to make your homeworld. That makes recreating existing characters (from SWTOR for example) a little bit tricky, but I still had a blast doing it. The characters you create enter their database, and you can even get a summary mailed to you if you want to.


My additions are the following:

AyyAyy
Female Twi’lek

I was raised on the city planet Coruscant, where members of my community made their living wherever they could in the crime-filled streets. On holidays my best friend and I would traditionally celebrate in the streets of the entertainment district.
My parents gave me independence and not much by way of support, but I suppose I did inherit my strong set of intellectual abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the one and only Darth Sidious, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a bounty hunter.

I remember this one time when I won an entire city in a game of chance. This had a pretty big influence on me, I guess, because after that I revelled in the prestige and borrowed liberally from the city coffers. People often tell me I’m a generally energetic and social person, I also tend to be relaxed and imperturbable. But the most important thing to me is self-direction: I believe that living in a free world means we all have the right to choose.

I have no abilities whatsoever with the Force, but the Emperor took an interest in me anyway. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I leapt at the chance and turned eagerly to the dark side.”


VurenVuren
Male Twi’lek

I was raised on the city planet Coruscant, where members of my community made their living working desk jobs for the galactic government. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally abandon the city for the shores of the artificial Western Sea.
My parents required discipline from me and had little warmth to give, but I suppose I did inherit my strong set of muscular abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the wise Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a Jedi Knight.

I remember this one time when I won a Podrace, and my reward was my freedom from slavery. I didn’t let this affect me too much, though; instead I struck out in my X-wing to explore the edges of the universe. People often tell me I’m a generally altruistic and accommodating person, I also tend to be organised and prepared. But the most important thing to me is benevolence: after all, helping is its own reward, as they say.

I have pretty strong powers with the Force; I guess that’s why the Emperor came looking for me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I decided not to answer. You can’t get into trouble if you keep quiet.”


StarWarsIdentities_lyn-freykaa_56eec2efc74ad“Lyn Freykaa
Female Twi’lek

I was raised on the gas planet Bespin, where members of my community made their living working as engineers in Cloud City’s reactor core. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally relax in the luxurious floating spas.

My parents gave me independence and not much by way of support, but I suppose I did inherit my strong set of intellectual abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the wise Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a Jedi Knight.

I remember this one time when I won an entire city in a game of chance. I found it very hard to deal with this; actually, after it happened I became overwhelmed by the responsibility and hired someone else to do the work.

People often tell me I’m a generally adventurous and curious person, I also tend to be organised and prepared. But the most important thing to me is self-direction: I believe that living in a free world means we all have the right to choose.

I have pretty strong powers with the Force; I guess that’s why the Emperor came looking for me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I leapt at the chance and turned eagerly to the dark side.”


StarWarsIdentities_inun_56fe7d140650bInun
Male Twi’lek

I was raised on the desert planet Tatooine, where members of my community made their living collecting scrap metal for trade. On holidays my best friend and I would traditionally catch a show by one of our favourite local bands.

My parents raised me with a mix of independence and support, and I inherited my strong set of perceptual abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the brave Wookiee Chewbacca, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a merchant.

I remember this one time when I took down an enemy command station in a single shot. I found it very hard to deal with this; actually, after it happened I retreated from the pressure of fame and the spotlight and lived out my days as a hermit.

People often tell me I’m a generally organised and prepared person, I also tend to be altruistic and accommodating. But the most important thing to me is security: after all, better safe than sorry, as they say.

I have only a low sensitivity to the Force, but the Emperor saw potential in me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I fought the urge to join him and his evil minions and rejected his offer.”


It’s a really, really well done exhibition and I can recommend it to everyone who likes Star Wars. If it’s in your city or anywhere near you, GO THERE. Here, I’ll even show you the few pictures I took this time:

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sally e. goldfinch

Level 24 biologist. Has a weakness for non-humans, beer and voices lower than a 100 Hertz.

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