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Wonder Woman and the Smithsonian

Posted on Wed, December 30, 2020
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*This blog contains spoilers for Wonder Woman (2017) and minor spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984. 

At the National Air and Space Museum, we spend a lot of time looking at and talking about the stars, but in June 2018, we were visited by a different kind of star. Parts of the superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 were filmed at the National Air and Space Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of Natural History, and other DC landmarks. 

In the film, Diana (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) visit Air and Space to catch Steve up on what he’s missed since his death at the end of Wonder Woman. (Yes, Steve Trevor is back — you’ll have to watch the movie to get the full how and why.) Since Steve died during World War I and was a pilot himself, we’re sure he was fascinated to learn just how much had advanced in aviation (and space!) since then. In a recent interview, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins shared that “the one stop that [Steve] would have to make was to check out the Air and Space Museum. It tells you everything about history, really.” Watch the full video below. 

Besides appearing in this latest movie, the Smithsonian has other connections to the history of Wonder Woman.  

Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet

On April 1, 2015, we put Wonder Woman’s invisible jet on display in our Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall for one day only, in one of my favorite April Fool’s jokes that the Museum has put together.

First Introduction of Wonder Woman 

The comic that introduced the character of Wonder Woman is in the Dibner Library at the National Museum of American History. Learn more about the introduction of Wonder Woman in this clip from Smithsonian Channel’s Seriously Amazing Objects: Trailblazers.

An article from Smithsonian magazine dives a bit deeper into the character’s history in The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman

New Interactive Educational Challenges

As its name suggests, Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in the 1980s, a time that brought major advances in programming and coding. In the film, Wonder Woman must harness the power of technology to restore balance to the world. In that spirit, the Smithsonian created two new Learning Lab activities inspired by the film and supported by Microsoft:

 

Wonder Woman Merch at National Museum of American History

blue lunchbox with Wonder Woman on it, against a black background

Wonder Woman lunch box in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

This Wonder Woman lunchbox and thermos are in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. They were manufactured in 1977, around the same time that the Wonder Woman character was “propelled into pop-culture fame through the 1975-1979 television series starring Lynda Carter.”

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