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Oklahoma museum plans grown-up 'Star Wars' fun
By Ken Raymond
| Published: February 18, 2013
A short time from now, in a museum not far away, the “Star Wars” universe will come alive.
Old resentments forgotten, Jedi knights and stormtroopers will bond over adult beverages in the Mos Eisley cantina. Greedo, miraculously reborn, may hang out with Han Solo, discussing who shot first (it was Han).
They'll watch lightsaber duels and participate in an experiment designed to see if anyone actually could survive being frozen in carbonite. They'll nibble on Wookiee Cookies, sip Yoda Soda and eat Obi-Wonton dumplings.
“Science of Star Wars” is an event almost certain to cause a disturbance in the Force — and it'll be for one night only at Science Museum Oklahoma.
“This is a new program I created just this year,” said Emily Rothrock, the museum's director of interpretive programs and events. “This is our second ever adults-only event” and the first to center on George Lucas' space opera.
“Costumes are encouraged but not necessary,” Rothrock said. “The point is to learn more about ‘Star Wars' science and celebrate fandom. It's not like a dance party or a club party. It's just a chance for people to get together and share their love of the movies.”
Members of Jedi-OKC and the 501st Legion will make sure everyone's favorite “Star Wars” characters are represented. The 501st Legion is a national costuming organization whose members identify exclusively with the evil galactic empire led by Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Jedi-OKC members dress up as heroes and villains, so expect to see Luke, Han, Leia, Qui-Gon Jinn and more.
Lighthearted science experiments promise to add to the fun. In an area devoted to Yoda's mucky planet of Dagobah, participants will learn to make “swamp goo.” They'll learn how to make giant smoke rings, utilize green screen technology, grow crystals and more. They'll even learn how to build $60 hovercrafts at home.
Would-be Jedis will duel with lightsabers atop a balance beam, and young Padawans, or Jedi trainees, will try to fend off a barrage of Nerf darts while blindfolded.
The cash bar, operated by Rococo restaurant, will look and sound like the Tatooine cantina near the beginning of “A New Hope.”
“You know that cantina band song?” Rothrock asked. “It sticks in your head. We're going to put that song on a continuous loop.”
The museum's in-house caterer is developing a variety of free hors d'oeuvres, including pita bread and hummus arranged to look like the Sarlacc pit from “Return of the Jedi.” (You remember the Sarlacc; it's that gaping maw in the Tatooine desert, a pit into which Jabba the Hutt planned to throw our heroes.) Arriving guests will be offered Darth Vader Jell-O shots.
At the end of the night, Rothrock said, “we will explode 1,000 Ping-Pong balls with liquid nitrogen. Whoever finds the special Darth Vader balls will get special prizes. Haven't determined what those are yet, but they'll get prizes.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. You must be at least 21 to enter. For tickets or information, call 602-3760.