Oh, my skies: Star Wars invades CA science center

So – I’m by no means an avid Star Wars girl. In fact I might be the only girl on the planet to never have seen a Star Wars movie. But – like so many things I never thought I’d do before having children – I was set on taking the kid to see the Star Wars exhibit at Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. The short-term display features real-live Star Wars memorabilia (costumes, models, puppets), mixed in with hands-on science experiments relating to similarly galactic concepts.

B with our favorite Wookie

Though B has never seen a Star Wars movie either, he does have a Millenium Falcon playset, and the Wookie book that came along with it. He also received a light saber for his birthday. In my eyes, he’s practically a fanboy already.

Despite my lack of knowledge about Star Wars proper, there were a number of things at the exhibit I definitely loved: the chance to design our very own light sabers, the opp to build our own R2D2 robot, and tons of costumed characters mixing with the crowds. I also loved being that close to costumes and models that had actually been used in such an iconic film (or series of them).

There were also some things I didn’t love – first and foremost being the price tag. Even with a fan day discount (free admit for a child wearing Star Wars garb), we were down about $40 plus lunch for the trip! There were also tons of lines (and a bit of confusion surrounding them) because of the fan-day crowds.

Costume = discount on Star Wars fan day!

Additionally, the much-hyped “Millenium Falcon” experience, which allows visitors to sit in the MF cockpit (and requires an additional admit fee to enter) was also a bit of a letdown. The experience was only about 1 minute long, and there was no chance to explore the cockpit once the video presentation was over.

Dino-plex @ Discovery Science Center

Even though it was a bit pricey, I’m hoping to check out the Discovery Science Center sooner than later for its regular exhibits, which seem incredibly rad and varied – ranging from a real-live (climb-able) Zamboni and hockey locker room, to a dinosaur exhibit, and an actual climbing wall. Though we explored all of them quickly, I would love to have more time to eek out some science discovery goodness.

Official mama assessment: super fun adventure, perhaps a bit “too old” for a 3-year-old not yet versed in Star Wars lingo – but super informative for a mama who grew up in the Star Wars age. Top things I learned:

  • Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are brother and sister (what?????)
  • No two light sabers have the same handle
  • Darth Vader’s name used to be Anakin Skywalker (totally explains the Anakin character pictured at the back of Blake’s book!)
  • The Millenium Falcon breaks down *a lot*
  • Amputation is a big part of SW films! (And there was a very graphic prosthetic arm – once belonging to Luke Skywalker – on display to prove it!)


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