There is only one thing you need to know about the traveling exhibit "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination": There will be a real, functional hovercraft, and visitors can sit on it. And not too far away, the prop of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder will also be there. It's a perfect example of real technology catching up to our wildest imaginations. That is the beauty of this exhibit: It's cool that it brings impressive memorabilia from the Star Wars universe, but what's even cooler is that the exhibit also features real, incredibly advanced technology that will pave our way toward the type of gadgets Han Solo and Darth Vader would feel comfortable with. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader's lightsaber, R2-D2 and C-3PO's costumes, a Yoda puppet, Luke Skywalker's prosthetic hand, and lots of other stuff will also be on hand in this intergalactic Smithsonian. Real technology showcased includes a retinal implant system created by Doheny Eye Institute, which is being studied for its potential to cure blindness caused by pigmentosa, and the Cyberkinetics BrainGate system that is currently in medical trials with the hopes that people with motor skills disabilities will be able to move things by simply thinking about it. The exhibit demonstrates in amazing ways how science fiction and technological advancements are nearing an intersection. Premiere party features an appearance by Anthony Daniels, the actor who played C-3PO, and Hollywood-themed cocktails and appetizers, for $100 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12.
June 12-Aug. 24, 2008