Anyone who knows me well knows about my lifelong love for Star Wars. As quite small children, my brother and I were bought the VHS boxset of the original trilogy by my older cousin and we’ve been big fans ever since (let’s not talk about the prequel trilogy). So, you can imagine my excitement for the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Whilst in New York and counting down the days until I got to see the new film, someone on Times Square offered me a voucher. Normally I just go “no thanks” and keep on walking, but this time something made me look at what they were holding in their hand, and I saw the instantly recognisable Stormtrooper helmet…. a day later I’m queueing for the “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibition ticket booth at Discovery Times Square with my 20% off coupon, having had no idea before the trip that this exhibition even existed. Here at Travel Tea Tv, we like to plan so Lord knows how I missed that one!
I have always loved film, and one of my favourite aspects of film is costume design, so an exhibition dedicated to the costumes of one of my most favourite film series (2nd only to Lord of the Rings and followed closely by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy), was the perfect way for me to spend a rainy December morning in New York City.
The exhibition was amazing, filled with costumes and props from the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy and Episode VII. To say my nerdy side made an appearance would be an understatement. I loved learning about all the stages the team went through to create the costumes, from taking inspiration from Mongolian Royalty for the Queen Amidala costume to sourcing fabric for the Jedi Knights to the many tests and trials of the Stormtrooper armour.
Fun fact: nearly half of the £90,000 costume budget for A New Hope was spent on creating the Stormtroopers!
Arguably the most recognisable costume in not only Star Wars but film in general, is Darth Vader. Artist and designer Ralph McQuarrie’s original sketches and paintings of George Lucas’ concept for Darth Vader are essentially what helped sell the film to 20th Century Fox executives in 1975! You can’t have such an iconic villain with a shoddy costume so of course they went all out on this one. Seeing this costume in person did send my nerdy side into overdrive and I couldn’t resist snapping a few selfies. No shame.
(Just look at the droids! Who doesn’t want their own R2-D2?!)
I loved Episode VII, (despite the depressing backstory of Han and Leia but we can discuss that another time). And I adored the new characters that were introduced. Costumes are such an important part of bringing a story and its characters to life and I’m so excited to see how the characters of the new trilogy progress as the films are released, the designers always paying homage to the original, iconic costumes of IV, V and VI.
So if you are in New York City over the next few months, and you fancy a change from the bright lights and the skyscrapers, have a visit to Discovery Times Square and the “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibition. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Juniors restaurant is a very short walk from Discovery, pop in there for the best red velvet cheesecake you will ever taste in your life.