By Ron Salvatore
Photography by Bill Karp and Ed Albano

The opening of the mind and heart to spiritual knowledge requires a sacrifice from the hero. At this difficult and dangerous place on the hero path, Han and Luke both reaffirm the meaning and importance of their lives by their willingness to sacrifice themselves.

The danger of illusion is symbolized by Cloud City above the planet Bespin. At first the city appears transcedent as it floats among the clouds, but it has a dark underside that becomes a crucible of pain and betrayal for the heroes.

Vader follows the Falcon to Bespin and then lures Luke there to entrap him. Han is captured, put in hibernation in the carbon freeze chamber, and taken away by bounty hunter Boba Fett to be delivered to Han's former employer, Jabba the Hutt. Han's friend, Lando Calrissian, who betrayed Han to Vader, will undergo a life change and begin his own hero journey.
--from the Smithsonian introduction

Of course, the most intriguing and popular character costume in the Star Wars universe belongs to Boba Fett. In person, all the detail and varied gadgetry of the outfit become more apparent. According to actor Jeremy Bulloch, this is the outfit used during filming of Return of the Jedi.

The Smithsonian cleverly employed blown-up matte paintings and production art for their exhibit backgrounds. Such backgrounds lend context and a sense of atmosphere to the exhibits. Here, a matte painting of one of Cloud City's landing pads has been used to great effect, its dramatic sunset and wispy clouds conveying the open, airy nature of the Bespin environment. Boba looks just like he's standing outside, awaiting the delivery of the frozen Han Solo.

Boba's ship is almost as distinctive as he is. Notice the high level of detail evident just inside the wing outlets

Leia's Bespin gown has to be one of the most beautiful costumes designed for the Trilogy.

As with many of these prop and costume pieces, the refinement of the detail of Lando's outfit--not evident when seen on film--is a suprise when experienced in person. In particular, the shimmering lining of the cape and the intricate belt buckle, contribute to the dashing, yet luxury-loving character of Lando Calrissian.

The Twin Pod Cloud Car production model probably looks more like its Kenner toy counterpart than any other Star Wars vehicle. I love how those little pilots are stuffed in there!

Looking at the Boussh costume, one gets a sense of how diminutive Carrie Fisher really is. The hands are tiny! Of course, this smallness aspect is further emphasized by the towering, carbonite-encased Han Solo looming just behind the Boussh mannequin.

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