Posted by Dustin on June 4, 2006 at 05:55 PM CST

I was on able to attend the midnight grand opening of Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination last Friday night at COSI in Columbus Ohio. The staff and volunteers truly went above and beyond to create what I feel is the best interactive kids of all ages exhibit to date!

The night began with 100 VIP contest winners being allowed early access to mingle and rub elbows with celebrity guest Jeremy Bulloch who as always is a pure delight. After a drink and some hor's doeuvres, the festivities began with a few words from the designer of the exhibit Ed Rodley, and Jeremy Bulloch. Soon after the cake was cut and we were soon allowed access to the exhibit.

There was no mad dash or long lines, the ticket system they've incorporated into the exhibit allows staggered access to attendees so it doesn't get too crowded. Once inside it is quite the sensory over load. There seems to be so much going on and so much to see and do that you just don't know where to start! I suppose the best way would be to purchase the audio tour PDA so you can follow the pre designed exhibit path. But I didn't have time for that! I wanted to see Luke's land speeder, and medical droid FX-7! Oh What about the Wookiees!? Then there's Darth Vader too! I guess I'm going to have to go back and do the audio tour another time! Which is fine because the exhibit runs June 3rd - September 4, 2006.

There is more to the exhibit than just Star Wars. For kids in particular this is a great way for them to become interactive and get involved in learning about how things work. What better way to capture their imagination than through the wonderful world of Star Wars?! The exhibit twists and turns, has many interactive areas mixed in amoung the Star Wars displays, and manages to create a well balanced dose of science and Star Wars for kids of all ages!

There are two multimedia presentations within the exhibit itself. One presentation is disquised as a Jawa Sandcrawler! Once inside you're entertained by C-3PO and robotics engineer Cynthia Breazeal debating the merits of R2-D2 and how researchers try to duplicate traits such as mobility, perception, and cognition.

The other multimedia presentation involves the Millennium Falcon! As you enter, a walkway designed to give the look and feel of the interior of the Millennium Falcon guides you to the cockpit where you and three other participants get to take in a presentation that explores what we know about our own galaxy in a breathtaking journey to the edge of the Universe.

Now of course most of you are probably asking, "Are there any exclusives?!" No thank god, but there is plenty of event branded merchandise that it's hard not to take home a few trinkets to remember the experience. I grabbed a pin myself, how about you?

The bottom line is if you live anywhere near Columbus, Ohio You've got to stop by and check this out! No scratch that, if you live anywhere near Ohio, this is something you have to see for yourself! You can find out more about the exhibit by visiting the COSI website right here.

You also might want to check out the exhibit schedule below to see if there is a stop closer to your own home on the tour that might better accommodate! Remember the exhibit is at COSI in Columbus, Ohio until September 4th 2006. Then it continues at the next facility in line below, and so on, and so on.

  • Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Portland, OR, October - December 2006
  • California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, February - April 2007
  • The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, June - August 2007
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, September -- December 2007
  • Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, Fort Worth, TX, February - April 2008
  • The Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, June - October 2008

    To everyone involved from COSI, thank you for bringing Star Wars to mid Ohio! Hopefully this will lead to other great events in the future. Also thank god for the 501st, and Rebel Legion! Without the fans themselves volunteering to partake in the event by adding that little extra dash of Star Wars enthusiasm it just wouldn't be the same great exhibit! Thanks guys and gals, I had a blast! I hope to see you all again real soon!

    Also don't forget to read Sean Baker's review of the exhibit while it was at the Boston Museum Of Science that was recently posted at Rebelscum. Here are some other photo galleries available for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

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  • David Ireland's gallery