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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Star Wars design secrets on show
Jar Jar Binks
The history of Jar Jar Binks is traced from original sketch to final design
London is bracing itself for another round of Star Wars fever with the arrival of an exhibition tracing the history of the hit Lucas films.

The Art of Star Wars at The Barbican Centre brings together more than 250 original paintings, designs, models and costumes from the four Star Wars movies so far made.

Culled from the Lucasfilm archive, most pieces have never been seen in Britain but many others never even made it to the screen.

Set in a specially created "out of this world" environment, the Art of Star Wars has been divided into 12 sections.

C-3PO and R2-D2
Popular droids C-3PO and R2-D2 make an appearance

From one room to the next, visitors are given the full rundown of intrinsically Star Wars elements such as visual effects, sound, droids, make-up - and Darth Vader.

In fact, the Prince of Darkness from the first three movies has a section all to himself. It houses, amongst other things, the concept design for Vadar and his original black screen costume.

Sound and vision

Next door, Darth Maul, the baddie from Episode I: The Phantom Menace has his outfit on display in a room including the first public showing of two of Queen Amidala's gowns.

While costumes for Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Boba Fett are among the others on display elsewhere.

The Creatures section looks at the design process from drawing to fully realised creations for the likes of Jar Jar Binks, Watto and Yoda.

Sound explains the important role language and music have played in the movies. Visual effects illustrate how the work of traditional artists has been vital to Star Wars computer graphics.

Star Wars spaceships
X-wing Starfighter under attack

Interactivity also plays a big part in the show. There's a trail for children and a dressing-up area where various fantasies can be indulged while donning a selection of character masks.

Star Wars on CD-Rom, the internet and intergalactic games in the gallery - plus the chance to design your own droid - mean organisers hope there is something to satisfy even the most demanding of fans.

The Art of Star Wars can be seen at The Barbican Centre until 3 September.

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