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"I have a strong feeling about interesting people in space exploration.... And the only way it's going to happen is to have some kid fantasize about getting his ray gun, jumping into his spaceship, and flying into outer space."

George Lucas
Creator of Star Wars

The "Star Wars: The Magic of Myth" exhibition closed at the National Air and Space Museum on January 31, 1999. This online exhibition will remain available for an indefinite period of time.
For over 100 years, science fiction stories and films have stimulated the imaginations of many scientists in the forefront of discovery, encouraged young people to choose the sciences as a career, and shaped our visions and expectations of future space travel. Among all of these science-fiction tales, the Star Wars film trilogy has proven to be a very special inspiration.

Star Wars is especially memorable because its story of spacefaring pilots and their daring escapades is based on an ancient form of mythology--the "hero's journey." Underneath the flash and dazzle of special effects is the magic of myth, a shape-shifting realm where heroes, monsters, wizards, and magic talismans dwell in labyrinths of discovery. This exhibition examines the mythology beneath the Star Wars story, a hero's journey that takes place "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away...."

Star Wars: The Magic of Myth was inspired by Joseph Campbell's story of the "hero's journey" presented in Hero With a Thousand Faces, and by comments on the Star Wars films in the book and video series The Power of Myth.

Message from the Director

The National Air and Space Museum preserves and memorializes our nation's aviation and space flight heritage. Occasionally, we use one of our nearly two dozen exhibition galleries to highlight works of art and popular culture related to air and space flight. Our look at the Star Wars film trilogy is such a venture. We hope you enjoy Star Wars: The Magic of Myth and explore some of our other galleries as well.

Donald D. Engen, Director
National Air and Space Museum


The exhibition is made possible by Bantam Books
A division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

Promotional sponsorship is provided by WestPoint Stevens Inc.

All artifacts in this exhibition on loan from the archives of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Audio clips excerpted from the Interactive Tour Produced by Visible Interactive

Star Wars properties 1997 LUCAS. All rights reserved.



(Rev. 11.22.97, web)