The Fans Strike Back – New York, Episode I (Gallery)

A couple months ago I stumbled upon an online ad for a Star Wars exhibit here in New York. It was being billed as “The Largest Star Wars Fan Exhibition”, which sounded cool, but I promptly forgot about it. As I tend to do when I see ads. Because I hate ads. Then in the waning days of April I happened to see something about it again. My wife and I already had plans to head into the city one day for a Rangers Playoff game. So I thought, why not make a full day of it and see what this exhibit was all about? And I bounced the idea off of my wife. She’s not a Star Wars fan, but indulges my various fanaticisms.

The day in question, May the 5th. Cinco de Mayo. Or, to hit a little closer to home. Revenge of the Fifth.

The Fans Strike Back

Venue and Ticketing

There were a couple of surprising things about this exhibit. First, was the location. I noticed immediately after buying our tickets, that this event was being held in a place that seemed a bit odd for something as big as Star Wars. Generally, events like this are held around high tourist draw locations such as the Times Square area. I’ve been to a handful of similar events around the 42nd Street area. But this exhibit is being held downtown, in the Chelsea/West Village area. On West 14th Street. Not exactly a hike, but still, strange. If it were being held around Union Square(E14th St. Much more touristy), I wouldn’t bat an eye. But the corner of 6th and W14th?

The second surprising thing was that, with the exception of the goods being sold at the gift shop, there was a complete lack of the “Star Wars” brand name anywhere on the event space. I half expected to see those titular words all over the event space. But they were not. Outside the venue, aside from the images of some of the most famous characters on the windows, the similar typeface for the event’s name wordage, Yoda’s famous quote, and the use of the word ‘saga’, this didn’t seem all too… official.

As it turns out, it was not official, at all. They make it so known on the website and in the event space. Even the music they were playing all day in the exhibit is not from Star Wars. At least nothing I recognized. I’ve never seen most of the animated stuff(because I hate the animation. I am an animation snob), so maybe it was from there? No, I doubt it.

Rather, the music appeared to be Star Wars inspired. Never once did I hear the great John Williams’ Star Wars theme. Or any of the themes we’ve come to recognize with these images and characters, for that matter.

The background music constantly playing throughout the event space worked however, and did provide a good atmosphere.

We were the first ones inside when they unlocked the doors. This was because our train put us into the city about 45 minutes prior to opening. After walking around 14th Street for a bit we lined up at around 9:50am, and a very small line formed behind us in the minutes prior to the 10am opening. Once inside, we passed a simple security checkpoint(a check of our bags and a reminder that masks are not mandatory, but encouraged) then walked up to the ticket counter. I presented our digital tickets to the staff, that I had purchased online via their ticketing partner And we were immediately met with a problem.

The tickets weren’t being accepted. And when the staff person tried to manually enter the information into their system, it was producing more errors. We were politely asked to step aside while they waited on assistance, and proceeded to help the following guests. Whom did not pre-purchase their tickets.


While we were waiting, I took a look around the entryway hall. There was starship-esque walls and some digital displays showing things like a 3D rendered Death Star. But, it was here that I was starting to feel a little put off by this whole thing. From the outside, to our current location, all of the atmospheric things I was seeing looked… generic to me.

I mean, there was a legitimate balloon Storm Trooper “guarding” the entrance to the main hall. One that you can get at Party City by the dozen for your kids birthday party. If you look closely, it appears to be anchored in place by what appears to be a tape measure. The whole not-official vibe was picking up steam, and was leaving seeds of “You wasted your money, guy!” in the back of my mind.

After about five minutes, the staff took my name, email address, and ticket receipt number and gave us admission. Turns out the problem was on their end. My tickets were fine. For whatever reason, their system was not agreeing with their ticketing partner. They were very courteous the entire time.

I had pre-purchased VIP tickets for us. Because, why not? They weren’t too much more expensive than regular tickets. These tickets came with a VIP lanyard, a free touristy green-screen picture, and a free poster. It also included head of line privileges, but there were no lines inside. So that was a bust. The lanyard placard, poster, and photo are pretty cool though. For two people I paid $84.80. That included all taxes and fees. Not bad, for New York City. All things considered. Also, those touristy green-screen photos generally cost a pretty penny. So I don’t think it was that bad of a price.

Very similar to convention placards.
You get your photo and poster at the end of the exhibit, in the gift shop. I chose Yoda and R2.

The Exhibit

[Note: Landscape images are cropped by the gallery view. All images are clickable and will open in a new tab, to better appreciate the details. Enjoy]

Once you make your way past the watchful eyes of the inflatable storm trooper guard, you are met by two familiar characters. The only two characters to appear in all 9 of the main movies. R2-D2 and C-3PO. Both appear to be in low power mode. On the opposite wall is information about the benefactor of this exhibit. A life long fan from Madrid named Daniel Prada. Mr. Prada and his colleagues collected and/or made all of the exhibits collection. Impressive. The exhibit itself, for the most part, is broken up into trilogies. Which makes sense.

First up are the Prequels that everyone loves to hate.

Episode’s I, II, III

Once you round the corner you are met with a display of statues and figures neatly arranged in lighted display cases. These display cases house almost all of the pieces in the exhibit. It was here that you get an idea of what your are about to see. A lot of really cool figures and displays with a lot of detail. Seriously, some of them were epic. I was already starting to feel a bit better about all this.

In an adjoining room was one of the largest displays in the whole exhibit. A look back at Episode I and Anakin Skywalker’s pod race, in 1:1 scale. You also can see Watto in 1:1 scale.

The next area continued with the prequel trilogy, offering many smaller scale statues. The ranged from small busts, to action figures, to larger statues.

Around the next corner we get our first look at Anakin’s next form. Darth Vader. A perfect segue to the next area. The original trilogy.

Episode’s IV, V, VI

The tour continues on downstairs. On a landing halfway down the stairs you are put face to face with Emperor Palpatine. Or more notoriously known as, Darth Sidious. When you reach the base of the stairs you find yourself on the bridge of a Star Destroyer with various spacecraft in the windows. I didn’t recall seeing any Tie Fighters. Which was a little odd, with that many Rebel craft floating about.

We now find ourselves deeper into the original trilogy. This is where we start to see a lot of the handmade stuff, like diorama’s that were created by the owners of all of this great stuff.

The sands of Tatooine(or just sand) are included in the next displays. In both 1:1 scale and small scale.

For reasons beyond my comprehension, there was a full sized statue of Kylo Ren in the hall between the Episode IV area and the Episode V area. I still feel like I missed something there. It is a neat statue though. You can almost sense that hate and discontent emanating from it.

Or not.

At this point we are just about at the halfway point of the Fan’s Strike Back exhibit. And I am enjoying it. I’m glad my ill feelings from back at the beginning were quashed. I broke this up into two parts because It would have been massive as one pic-dump.

In Part 2, we will continue on through the exhibit; with Episode V and beyond.

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


All of these are true except for one:

Robert is: a Hobbyist, a Music Lover, an RPG Gamer, a Mustard Lover, Chaotic Neutral, a Japanese Speaker, a Veteran, an Otaku, a Table Tennis Player, an Anime Fan, an Aviation Professional, a New York Rangers Fan, a Chaos Lover With Loyalist Tendencies.

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