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Thursday, June 17, 1999 Published at 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK


Great show of Force

Painting the world of George Lucas for the exhibition

As excitement grows in Europe over the new Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, a new exhibition could send it into another dimension.

Drawing on Star Wars films past and present, the Power of Myth Experience has opened in Dublin at the start of a three-month European tour.

[ image: Get close to the action of the storm troopers]
Get close to the action of the storm troopers
An official promotional event for the new movie, the exhibition is designed to take fans as close to George Lucas's "galaxy far, far away" as they can get.

According to creative director Mary Aitken, there is more to the exhibition than just thrills and spills.

"This is a once-in-a lifetime chance for half a million visitors across Europe to experience the magic of Star Wars and the power of the myth first hand," she said.

"It will provide an exciting and educational insight into the inspiration behind the Star Wars movies and provide unrivalled entertainment for all ages."

Visitors will see a live Darth Vader and storm trooper show. A space fighter craft, Naboo, will also swing into action.

[ image: Ray Park and his evil alter ego Darth Maul]
Ray Park and his evil alter ego Darth Maul
While elsewhere, the more adventurous can really get involved in the Star Wars interactive games arena.

Various other paraphernalia used in the movies make the exhibition complete.

Episode One - The Phantom Menace opens in the UK on 16 July. In the US, it has been showing since 19 May and has received lukewarm reviews.

Ray Park - who plays the movie's face of evil, Darth Maul - was at the opening of the show in Dublin and said that, from what he had seen, Star Wars' appeal was as great as ever.

"I'm a Star Wars fan but the guys over there just went ballistic at the showing, it was just a big adrenalin rush," he said.

[ image: Darth Vadar: Evil of the Star Wars triology]
Darth Vadar: Evil of the Star Wars triology
The Power of Myth is just one of many spin-off events and products from the new film - all of which are expected to be hugely popular among die-hard fans.

Opening in the UK on 24 June in Manchester, the show will run there for four days before transferring to London in July.

Later in the year, it goes to Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

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