Into the Labyrinth

By Ron Salvatore
Photography by Bill Karp and Ed Albano

A labyrinth has always symbolized a difficult jouney into the unknown, and in one way or another it is often incorporated into the tales of the hero's journey.

When the heroes arrive in the vicinity of Alderaan, they find that the planet has been destroyed by the Death Star, a gigantic Imperial space station. The Death Star is a technological labyrinth--a maze of hallways, passages, dead ends, and bottomless trenches.

Like traditional knights, Han and Luke don armor to accomplish their first hero deed--the "princess rescue."
--from the Smithsonian introduction

One of the most commendable, if easily-overlooked accomplishments of the Smithsonian exhibit, is its wonderful employment of its mannequins in the accurate portrayal of the various creatures and characters of the Star Wars universe. Though this model lacks hands and facial features, its stance is a dynamic one, and radiates authority and command.

I always felt sorry for the Imperial TIE Fighter pilots with those big, uncomfortable-looking helmets on their little, un-armored bodies...but dang if they didn't look cool crammed into those cockpits and tweaking those little knobs! The production model of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter is visible just to the right of the mannequin, as is a Ralph McQuarrie production painting in the background.

Coool! The mouse droid thingy!!!

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