11. November 2017
Costumes from a galaxy far, far away…
Culled from the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Star Wars and the Power of Costume is a partnership of the museum, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Lucasfilm. George Lucas imagined and created a fantastical world filled with dynamic characters who told the timeless story of the hero’s journey. The costumes shaped the identities of these now famous characters, from the menacing black mask of Darth Vader and the gilded suit of C-3PO, to the lavish royal gowns of Queen Amidala and a bikini worn by Princess Leia.
“Craftsmanship and artistry in costume design are valued creative components in the Star Wars saga,” said Lucas. “The detailed precision of a design can be as bold a measure of storytelling as words on a page, leading to truths at the core of a character, situation or shared history. From initial concept drawings to complex physical constructions, the costumes featured in this exhibition serve to further define crucial aspects of worlds created to move, educate and entertain us—to inspire the imagination.”
“Star Wars is an important cultural touchstone across generations, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to present the artistry of these costume designs at the MFA,” said Executive Director Kristen A. Shepherd. “Design is a critical element in narrative art forms, including film, and these are some of the most significant costumes in film history,” Shepherd added.
The exhibition will take visitors inside the creative process by showing how designers interpret and translate George Lucas’s vision for the iconic Star Wars characters into reality. Concept drawings and actual costumes will be on view, so visitors can explore the process of their creation and enjoy the sheer beauty of both.
Presenting more than 60 of the finest hand-crafted costumes from the first seven films in the Star Wars series, the exhibition uncovers the challenges, the intricate processes and the remarkable artistry of Lucas, the concept artists and costume designers. The costumes reflect an eclectic mix of cultural, historical and mythical sources that add rich texture to the story. Through nine presentational “chapters” – Introduction: Dressing a Galaxy; Jedi versus Sith: Form, Function and Design; Concept and Design for Royalty and Beyond; Symbolism and Military Power; Outlaws and Outsiders; All Corners of the Galaxy: The Galactic Senate; After the Throne: Padmé’s Journey; Darth Vader: Iconic Villain; and Droid™ Design—visitors will explore the creative process from Lucas’s vision through concept drawings by artists such as Ralph McQuarrie and Iain McCaig, to the final costume designs of John Mollo and Trisha Biggar, among others.
Images: © & ™ 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
C-3PO , Star Wars™: The Empire Strikes Back, R2-D2, Star Wars™: A New Hope; Senate Guard, Star Wars™: Revenge of the Sith; Stormtrooper, Star Wars™: Return of the Jedi; Concept Art, C-3PO and R2-D2, Star Wars™: A New Hope;