Finding the Force…Awakening An Empire

June 15, 2024 – November 3, 2024

Since the debut of George Lucas’ “Star Wars: A New Hope” on May 25, 1977, the “Force” has grown stronger through the iconic characters, costumes, and content of each subsequent Star Wars movie, creating an empire of distinctive storytelling, collectibles, and audience appreciation.

Finding the Force…Awakening an Empire, a Star Wars exhibition, brings together a unique presentation of the history, the costuming, the creatives, and the characters, highlighting the legends and legacies of this storied franchise, and providing insight into the elements that have consistently connected us to a galaxy far, far away for over 45 years.

Though “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” brought audiences back to the theater in 2015, it had been 10 years since the Resistance had faced off with the First Order.  Fans discovered, however, that the same “Force” which guided the now legendary cast of characters through an original storyline of balancing the showdown between good and evil had channeled their legacies into a blend of similarities and differences setting the stage for the introduction of new characters, deeper subplots, and even more intense intergalactic adventures.

The Upcountry History Museum, in partnership with Walt Disney Archives and private collectors across the country, will deliver a once-in-a-lifetime Star Wars experience through a 2000 square foot exhibition of original costumes, props, conceptual drawings, ephemera, and collectibles from the 2015 film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the Star Wars franchise.

Visitors will experience the Star Wars universe as characters are brought to life through a dramatic presentation of original costumes and film assets including Chewbacca, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Rey, Poe, Finn, Kylo Ren, and the notorious Stormtroopers.  Film assets will include beloved characters R2-D2 and BB-8.  Poe’s X-Wing fighter model, maquettes, concept art, and more, will highlight the creative process, encompassing the essence of Star Wars creator George Lucas’ vision and the exciting challenge of translating his iconic characters into a dynamic reality.

Additionally, the exhibit will explore how Star Wars impacted the 1977-1985 Kenner Toys, Star Wars toy line, changing the toy industry and creating the movie collectibles industry.  The Kenner Toys are as iconic as the Star Wars movies themselves.  The exhibit will feature a private collection that includes every action figure toy (over 200) made by Kenner Toys from 1978-1985 based on the original three Star Wars movies.

Star Wars is an important cultural touchstone across generations, and the Upcountry History Museum is proud to bring this Star Wars exhibit experience to the Carolinas.

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