The Art of Star Wars, 20 Years Later

I am part of the post-Star Wars generation, being born just after the release of A New Hope. Star Wars has always been a very important part of my life, and it always will be. But I grew up when Star Wars was quiet. Nothing much happened between ROTJ in 1983 and the Special Editions in 1997. Yes, there was Star Tours. And the PC Games. And the start of the Expanded Universe in the early 1990s. But those were all personal experiences, without the social and cultural overtones that made the Original Trilogy so powerful to experience (so I hear). I didn't know what was going to happen to Star Wars at the cultural level. I certainly would not have predicted that my kids would have much more Star Wars in their lives than I did. I just continued to play John Williams pieces on the piano every year and worked to progress towards my personal goal of building a star fighter.

 
The Art of Star Wars. San Francisco. 1995.

The Art of Star Wars. San Francisco. 1995.

 

Twenty years ago, during my Senior Year in High School, I got to visit an amazing exhibit in San Francisco called “The Art of Star Wars”. My parents surprised me by taking me to the exhibit, and I surprised them by convincing them (Jedi mind trick) to buy tickets to the last-night-of-the-exhibit reception (thanks Mom and Dad!), which included appearances by Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, and a speech by George Lucas.

I don’t see this exhibit talked about much, and I just scanned in the photos a few weeks ago. 1995 was a slow time for the Internet after all. I think it’s a fitting May the 4th post, given that this is the 20th Anniversary of the exhibit. I was lucky enough to get to sit in the front row for George Lucas’ speech, and I don’t have much recollection of what he said, but it was so cool to be there.

I look at the events of 1995 as being the start of something big for Star Wars. The Special Editions came out a few years later, followed by the Prequels, followed by another decade of great content, soon to be followed by even more cool stuff. Happy May the 4th!

The Exhibit

These are the props from the Original Trilogy. I think this was one of the first times they were exhibited to the public.

The Reception

Amazing costumes. And the actual Bar.

The Special Guests

Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker were incredibly nice. Still one of my favorite memories. Galoob was handing out the just released Micro Machines sets.