A representative of the Smithsonian showed up on Tuesday, along with two more trucks full of crates – crates which are considerably larger than the ones we got in last week. All of a sudden, things got very crowded and very busy in Hall E.
Friday is looking to be the big day for the prep crew. That’s when LFL reps are set to show up and the Exhibits crew can get down to serious business. Right now, the murals are being put in place; anyone who hasn’t seen the expo elsewhere is going to be blown away by these incredible prints of Ralph McQuarrie’s design paintings. Some of them are up to 8 feet square. By the end of the day, the entire hall should look like a McQuarrie gallery.
The anticipation for SW:MOM is unbelievable. Two weeks ago, the Field held its annual Members’ Nights on the 8th & 9th. From 5pm to 10pm on each day, an estimated 12,000 families poured through the museum, which opened up its third and fourth floors (research and development) for teh members and their families to explore the institution from behind the scenes. Every department had demonstrations set up, from anthropology to interactive design to the print shop. But far and away the most popular display was the desk of Robert “Bob” Weiglein. You see, Mr. Weiglein is the designer in charge of SW:MOM. He had a small mock-up of what the entrance to the exhibit will look like, along with some photos from the Smithsonian’s setup as well a copy of the spectacular companion book to the exhibit. Not a groundbreaking display by any means; but I had a small lighting demonstration set up not to far away from his spot, and from where I was standing, I could see that as many as 60-75% of everyone who walked into the museum those two nights made sure to stop by Weiglein’s desk. That’s even more popular than the fox dissection they had going on down in Mammal Biology. Only SUE, on display in the main hall, received such a constant mob of attention.
Now for some bad news… due to conservation concerns, there are three artifacts from the original expo that are not included in the travelling exhibit. What makes things worse is that two of them were among the best photo-ops from when I visited the show in D.C. The third is a ship model that, while it’s impressive, it’s not exactly heartbreaking to learn that it won’t be showing up here. Anyway, here’s the short list of absentees:
- Jabba’s sail barge model
- Gamorrean Guard
- Sy Snootles
Like I said, it’s stinks that anything needs to be left out, but those last two will be extra-specially missed.
22 days and counting…
“This leash demeans us both.”
Two non-descript trucks rolled into the FMNH docks early this morning. I was informed just after they arrived that there wouldn’t be any artifacts in this shipment. What’s being set up over the next few days is the “pre-install”: mounts, reference photographs, Plexiglas cases and all of their bases (check it out; that kinda rhymes). The exhibit preps rolled them in all morning… one-by-one and two-by-two. At the time of this writing, the once modest Hall E has been almost completely transformed from a small underground corner of the museum into what can only be described as a shrine waiting to happen.
The hall looks like the scene of a very thorough crime. Scattered everywhere along both of the long, narrow corridors are small cylindrical columns, thick rectangular bases, and short odd-sided platforms; their brushed and pebbled copper finishes just as they stood in the Smithsonian (in design if not in placement.) Even though the mounts fill space in the hall, their presence without the artifacts in place creates an incredible vacuum. Imagine an entire art gallery full of empty frames.
I’m a rational guy. I’ve seen The Magic of Myth in D.C. I know that what’s coming here in just a few days is pretty much the same stuff I saw a few years ago. But walking into the hall this afternoon; seeing all those empty spaces and knowing what the place will look like by this time next month…
“Excuse me, I have something in my eye…”
Well, the future home of Magic of Myth is currently as empty as a Dean Devlin screenplay, which means that sometime next week, the wonderful prep boys (and girls) will begin construction of the dividing wall and start matching up colors for the paint and carpeting in the hall. Installation-wise, there’s not going to be anything terribly interesting to report on/brag about until the middle of June, but here are a few things of interest that have come up…
- Contrary to earlier reports, the original audio tour from the Smithsonian exhibit will be included with the tour.
- The case layouts I’ve seen haven’t shown any room for Episode I artifacts (I love using that word when talking about SW). However, I haven’t seen the layouts for the exhibit’s entrance, so it’s possible that the EpI additions will be located somewhere in or around the SW store.
- There’s no room for the massive Jabba diorama from the original expo, but most of the artifacts (there’s that word again!) from the display will still be included in the exhibit. These include: Leia’s slave costume, Klaatu, the Rancor model, and the skiff and sail barge models. I’m not sure if we’ll have Salacious Crumb on display anywhere. If we do, then the only thing missing from the original diorama will be the scaled down Jabba… which I wasn’t to hot on in the first place.
- Thanks to SUE the T-rex, we can expect longer lines than usual for general admission into the museum. I know, I know, none of us are strangers to waiting in line (“three hours… PAH!!”) but why wait if you don’t have to?! Here’s an obvious tip: if you can avoid it, don’t show up on weekends or Wednesdays.
As always, none of this stuff is set in stone and is subject to change without advance notice. For the museum’s official word on the exhibit — including opening and closing dates, admission prices, and museum hours — go to the Field Museum Website.
“Patience! For the Jedi it is time to eat as well.”
Update: Le Penguin writes in with this to say:
The Lucasfilm crates will begin arriving on June 13. I’m hoping to get a good look at what goes into the storage, transport, and mounting of stuff like Yoda and the vehicle prototypes.
To find out more, be sure to read part 2 of our exciting series.