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In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Geek Out Freak Out (Pic of the Week)

A boy moves tiles that represent spaceport buildings.
(Click any pic to enlarge.)

The Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History wasn’t like a convention at all. The crowd resembled the folks seen at church, the mall, downtown, or at the office. Only a few kids were dressed up like characters from the movies.

Had we been there the day before, at the costume contest, it would have been a different story.

As it was, we were there with mostly the casual fans, and apparently we were one of the few couples who didn’t bring along the kid(s). It was funny to see the fathers failing miserably to keep their fingers out of the activities geared toward children. They could program their own robot similar to R2-D2, build and manage their own water collection station or Jawa village.

In that spirit, Shannon and I each rode the land speeder simulator.

Speaking (again) of the activities aimed at the kids… um, would you let your child watch a movie that prominently features the severing of a man’s arms and legs? How about one that shows a man being cut in half? At what age would you permit this viewing?

Just curious, because all of the above appear in the recent Star Wars films.

But back to the fun, lighthearted part of all this.

If you get a chance to see this exhibit near you, it’s worth the $15. We could have spent three hours in there had we listened to every minute of every short documentary covering everything from maglev rail systems to harsh filming conditions of the first Star Wars movie (about 145 degrees in the Tunisian desert, apparently).

Several of the items on display were actual models used in the films. Many of those appear in a little slideshow I created just for those who, like I, lean more toward the geek side of life. There are two versions — the kind where you click a thumbnail to see each photo, and the kind where you push play, sit back and enjoy the show.

Upfront warning: the music video version is loud right out of the gate.

UPDATE: I added a video (not just another slideshow) that I uploaded and just forgot to add to the page. You can hear some commentary and see some of the things I described above but didn’t include in the photos.

8 Responses to Geek Out Freak Out (Pic of the Week)

  1. As for what age would I show a kid things… well, I guess I’d explain to my child about special effects, even going as far as showing how a few of them are done.
    Explaining how almost everything seen in movies is not real, just a story being told.

    It all depends on the child too.. how much they understand about real and not real.

    BTW, did you get my email Mark?

  2. Looks like a great exhibit that my kids and husband would love. We went to a traveling exhibit in London that they loved. Who doesnt love Star Wars? :)

  3. Great pics and slide show. Anna’s got it right with her last comment: who doesn’t love Star Wars? I mean… really?!

    jealous –> Simon

  4. Star Craft in the Star Wars universe with holographic/hands-on controls?!?! I’m on my way to Fort Worth, brother!

    My favorite part of the video, though, is the sad look on all the kids faces while the guy who is obviously too big for the hover-toy hogs all the play time and threatens to break the thing before they even get to ride. I would say, “Shame on you…” but I’d have been pushing those kids down to ride the hover toy…so I won’t judge.

  5. Like MG said, that holographic version of StarCraft in the Star Wars universe had me drooling from the beginning. I’m glad I don’t have that available here… I might spend less time with my wife and kids.

    “Just a couple more hours, Honey! As soon as I wipe out another Tusken Raider village, I’ll make Padawan level! Why can’t you understand the significance of that??”

  6. Ok you can count me in as a total geek. This is too cool. What an adventure.

    Start Ben on the original movies and move him to the new ones later. He will hear about them soon enough.

  7. That looked like fun to me. You’ll be proud to know that I watched even the 4 minute video. I retract what I said about making it a feature attraction of your “15 year weekend.” It looked pretty well worth it.

    For just a second, I thought that one kid was trying to replicate Luke Skywalker getting his arm hacked off by Darth Vader when he was sticking it out there while Shannon was riding the simulator. Nice brains on that kid…geez. I can see that one YouTube now…”Arm lopped off at Star Wars exhibit.”

    Those models had amazing detail. I noticed you were intrigued by that as well.

    GREAT job of capturing it. For those of us who will likely never see it, I sort of feel like I saw it for free.

  8. What kind of host am I? I didn’t reply to ANY of these comments yet.

    Dave – Got your e-mail. I replied shortly after seeing the above.

    Dave and Mike – Thanks for the tips on deciding when a kid is “ready” to view certain movies. I’m still waiting, but when I show them to Ben, I definitely will start with the first one (by date of original release), because that’s how I started (in the theater, way back in 1977). I know for sure my parents would not have taken me when I was four, so that’s probably a good guide.

    Anna – I’ll bet the exhibit in London was huge. With so many countries so close, it must have drawn quite a diverse crowd.

    Simon and MG – I never got into video games where you build your own villages, send battalions out to fight, etc. But, if I could do it like those kids were at the museum that day, it might be pretty cool.

    MG and Charles – The hover craft part of the video was funny. The woman running that ride (glorified carny?) had to knock the kids back a few times.

    Charles – I am proud you watched it. I was trying to make it like one of those specials on the History Channel, except obviously much shorter and without a nifty voiceover to maintain continuity between clips (probably my next step in home videos).

    You got me laughing about that kid reaching out to touch the craft. Where exactly were the parents? Oh yeah, playing the Star Wars holographic world simulator.


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