Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at the Cincinnati Museum Center

Star Wars is not just a movie.

It’s a phenomenon; an inextricable part of our popular culture; modern mythology-come-to-life. It’s the story of good versus evil; heroes and villains; the power of ideas (what’s The Force, after all?).

Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at the Cincinnati Museum Center celebrates all of these things, and is a must for any Star Wars fan. However, I’d argue it’s a must for anyone, really, as the exhibit celebrates something that’s universal and important: ideas.


Star Wars started with ideas — and through those ideas, an entire universe has come to life that no one could have ever imagined. And what makes this world so real are the costumes. These costumes are the heart of the films, providing meaning and mood. These garments are memorable and iconic, and, as Anthony Daniels (!) explained during the media preview, these costumes are what connect the audience to the characters.

At the media preview, Daniels explained the story of how C3PO came to be — first as an idea, then a painstaking process whereby he was slowly slathered with plaster to create a shell, which was then filled to make a mold, which was then covered with clay to create an unfinished costume, and from here C3PO was born into existence after many months of mockups. For the final costume, Daniels got to quickly try it on (all 17 pieces!) for fit — and then it was shipped off to the movie set in Tunisia. This costume is the character of C3PO — for Daniels, there was an instant connection and he sort of just “became” the character once he put it on.

Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume celebrates the power of ideas — and there’s no better place to do this than the Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s hard to put into words how inspiring it is to see all of these costumes in real life — the result of ideas and creativity. I can’t think of a more empowering lesson for kids, than tangible proof that great things can come from small ideas. 

Kids will amazed by the costumes of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca. There’s a display dedicated just for the droids, and an entire room of Queen Amidala and her handmaiden’s intricate dresses.

Princess Leia is so much more than a princess, as signified by her various costumes. I love her Boushh Disguise, as it’s a celebration of her strength and (girl) power! Of course, the infamous bikini is there, too (and is looks seriously uncomfortable). These costumes are so ingrained in our culture, that to see them up close is such a treat.


In fact, Cincinnati is the only location in the entire Midwest (between Colorado and Florida) that’s hosting Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. This exhibit is a must-see this summer — whether you’re a die-hard fan or just married to one! Kids will love this exhibit just as much as parents, and the only thing I can guarantee more than everyone loving Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, is that you’ll absolutely want to watch all the movies after you leave.

Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume is open now at the Cincinnati Museum Center and runs until October 1. Pulled from the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume is a partnership of the museum, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Lucasfilm. Tickets can be purchased through the Cincinnati Museum Center’s website here.

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