It landed on Memorial Day weekend, and now Exploration Places Star Wars exhibit is getting ready to fly from our galaxy on Labor Day.
We expect a pretty big closing weekend. Its been a success for us, Christina Bluml of Exploration Place said of the largest exhibit ever to be staged there. Were very happy.
On Saturday, costumed Star Wars characters from the 501st Legion, 70th Explorers Garrison costuming group will be on hand to mark the closing weekend.
After it leaves Wichita, the exhibit will go to a museum in Florida and then to one in Indiana, then itll be off the market, Bluml said.
Exploration Place advertised the exhibit of 80 items that were used in the six Star Wars movies more widely than for anything else it has hosted. The museum also rebuilt floors and walls to accommodate it.
Attendance numbers wont be released until after the exhibit closes Sept. 3, but Bluml said that Star Wars attendance has topped the 2008 exhibit of plasticized cadavers called Our Body: The Universe Within for the time frame in which the two overlapped.
We have gotten people in from outside of our regular market, Bluml said. Star Wars is always such a draw and so permeated into our culture.
The exhibit, officially titled Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, features movie artifacts ranging from costumes to weapons to spaceship models. The items are tied to their real scientific corollaries on the planet Earth.
For $3 extra, people who have paid Star Wars or regular Exploration Place admission can have a 41/2-minute experience of virtual travel in a mock-up of Han Solos Millennium Falcon.
Jen Angel of Arkansas City is a member of the costuming group and has been at the exhibit often over the summer finding herself most popular when shes dressed as Princess Leia. She said shes met people who have come from Corpus Christi and El Paso, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York to see the exhibit.
In the middle of landlocked Kansas we met people from England, New Zealand, Germany its like wow. Even from Russia, she said. They were in town for other reasons visiting family or getting new jobs but this was one of their main stops in Wichita.
Members of the costuming group have had fun playing Star Wars trivia games with visitors to the exhibit, she said.
Its the little bitty kids that will tell you things you didnt know, she said.
Labor Day will not only be the last day of the Star Wars exhibit, it will be the last Monday that Exploration Place will be open for the season. Mondays will be back in the rotation in mid-March.
Exploration Places next traveling exhibit will be Videotopia: Its Game Time! featuring a history of video games and the chance to play dozens of restored and new arcade video games including Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger. It will open Sept. 29 and run through Jan. 1, 2013.