Wield a lightsaber, chill with Han Solo at UK 'Star Wars' exhibit

Tue May 12, 2015 12:10pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Fancy wielding a lightsaber with Anakin Skywalker amidst the lava of Mustafar? Or how about chilling with Han Solo before stepping onto the Millennium Falcon ship with his Wookiee warrior co-pilot Chewbacca?

"Star Wars" fans can come face to face with the heroes and villains of the sci-fi universe at a new interactive experience at London wax museum Madame Tussauds, which has recreated scenes from one of the most popular movie franchises of all time.

A team of 180 sculptors, hair artists, colorists, set designers and prop makers took more than a year to recreate 11 famous "Star Wars" scenes, including the iconic one when Darth Vader reveals he is Luke Skywalker's father.

The new experience, complete with lightsaber sound and space visual effects, comes ahead of the much-anticipated next installment "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", scheduled for release in December.

The museum said it had worked closely with Walt Disney Co and "Star Wars" producer Lucasfilm to bring the sets together.

"We approached Lucas(film) to say we want to create an experience that's never been done before," Madame Tussauds London General Manager Ben Sweet said.

"A figure would normally take around four months to make ... the bigger figures such as the gargantuan Jabba the Hutt took a little bit longer and we did have to create him in a warehouse."

Jabba, one of the galaxy's most powerful gangsters, is the largest figure on display, at 2.9 meters (9.5 feet) long, 1.5 meter high and weighing 35 stone (490 pounds or 222 kilos).

The smallest is his court jester, Salacious B. Crumb, measuring 41.2 cm (1.4 foot) tall.   Continued...

A still from the upcoming film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". REUTERS/Lucasfilm/Handout