Star Wars Flashback: A Naboo Starfighter Lands at the Smithsonian
Many franchises such as Jaws and Transformers have made appearances in museums as exhibits, but I'm convinced that few have done it as much as Star Wars. I've seen two exhibits devoted to Star Wars at the Smithsonian in Washington DC: Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, which was on display from 1997 to 1998, and Star Wars: The Art of the Starfighter, which was on display in 2001. Both exhibits went on tour to other museums after their initial runs in DC.
I went with a friend to see the opening of the Art of the Starfighter exhibit, which featured a full-scale, 35 foot model of the Naboo starfighter that was used in the making of The Phantom Menace. The starfighter was flanked by two interactive kiosks. One kiosk featured a documentary video from Lucasfilm about the history of starfighter designs in the Star Wars franchise, while the other kiosk featured a preview version of the Star Wars: Starfighter video game that was later released for Playstation 2, Xbox and PC. I got an autograph from one of the starfighter special effect folks who was present at the opening (see above), although I don't remember his name and his signature doesn't provide many clues. (I think it was John Goodson, Model Shop Project Supervisor at ILM, but I'm not sure.)
Of course, plenty of Star Wars fans were at the exhibit's opening; click below to see some of the photos we took of the exhibit and the costumed fans. You can also go to TheForce.Net, Clevescene.com and The Stanford Daily for more information about the Art of the Starfighter exhibit.