Museums do Star Wars Day

May the Fourth, as you be aware, is Intergalactic Star Wars Day, one doesn’t have to use ‘intergalactic’ but I feel it adds a certain gravitas. It’s a day when fans of George Lucas’ epic space opera rejoice in the fact that the date sounds like a Jedi blessing. May the Force be with you, is a phrase to which my knee-jerk reaction will always be to shake hands and reply “And also with you.”

Today, I noticed several museums and galleries getting in on the fun of Star Wars Day. Naturally, I wanted to share these gems of geekery with as many people as possible. Did you spot any of these?

Leeds Museums and Art Galleries shared some action figures from the franchise that their Geology curator had collected. How many of these do you have?

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU! We couldn’t resist… Wayyyyy back in 2013, we showcased a Contempory Collections display over at @leedscitymuseum (who remembers it?) which included this HUUUUUGE collection of Star Wars Memorabilia. Turned out that our lovely Geology Curator Neil had been moonlighting as a Star Wars superfan! We like to think that us uncovering his collection was as mind-blowing as Luke uncovering his true father… No spoilers here… #leeds #leedsmuseums #museums #leedscitymuseum #starwars #maythe4th #starwarsday #collections #maytheforcebewithyou #contemporarycollecting #exhibitions #display #yorkshire #peopleofleeds #humansofleeds #leedsleedsleeds #lukeskywalker #darthvader #hansolo #princessleia #otdihaemhorosho

A post shared by Leeds Museums and Galleries (@leedsmuseumsandgalleries) on May 4, 2017 at 5:32am PDT


It’s so fascinating to see what else curators are into beyond their specialist subjects, and I enjoy that the museum was able to showcase Neil’s other interests. Star Wars is one of those rare cultural phenomenons that take root in childhood and stick with us as we grow up. Perhaps its due to the way it saturates childhood culture? Not only are there the toys, but comics too…

Technically, the Star Wars universe is part of the Marvel Comics universe. Don’t believe me? Look no further than exhibit a, courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.


Fingers crossed for that Guardians of the Galaxy/Star Wars crossover!

Our next museum having fun with the theme is London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens, who not-such-a-long-time-ago, conducted an experiment in their aquarium. It transpires that baby corals prefer the Light Side of the Force

Here’s a coral encrusted R2 unit for your viewing pleasure.


The Horniman Museum purposely used the Star Wars moulds in their experiment, but other museums have found some amazing artefacts that are incredibly similar to the characters we see on screen. Who would have guessed that an Ancient Egyptian Cow goddess could resemble a small green alien with overly large ears and very unusual style of speaking?

Happy #StarWarsDay! Here’s #Yoda, or Cow-headed goddess Hathor, on display in our Egypt Galleries. Many of the themes in the Star Wars saga are inspired by history, including clear references to the ancient Roman political system in the creation of the Galactic Empire, as well as the mixture of medieval military-monastic, Japanese samurai and Shaolin monk cultures that makes up a Jedi Knight. Has anything in the Ashmolean ever inspired you to create something new? Let us know! #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWars #Jedi #StarWarsDaily #Ashmolean #AshmoleanMuseum #MayTheForceBeWithYou #InstaStarWars #LoveStarWars #StarWarsFan #LucasFilm #Disney #AncientEgypt #Archaeology #AncientHistory #Pottery #Urn #Egyptian #EgyptianGods

A post shared by Ashmolean Museum (@ashmoleanmuseum) on May 4, 2017 at 2:43am PDT


Or that Princess Leia could find a Roman doppleganger?

We go from one side of The Force to the other now, with Manchester Museum and their Samurai armour.

The red Light Sabre certainly looks dramatic against the dark lacquered metal of the armour. I wonder if Lucas had something like this in mind when visualising Darth Vader? Or if he was influenced by Jacob Epstein at all – the next object, from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars film.

An Epstein sculpture? A Battle Droid?Our future overlord?
An Epstein sculpture? A Battle Droid? Our future overlord?

Thinking about it, Katie Patterson’s Totality bears a striking resemblance to the Death Star…

Did you see any good museologial Star Wars fun that I missed? Let me know about it in the comments.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for the very unique take on Star Wars Day!
    May the Fourth be with You!
    – Anette

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it 😄

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