We are warned as children that, good or bad, we will turn into our parents (and choose to accept or fight against it)
But in Star Wars despite many similarities and an equally strong grasp of the Force father and son Anakin and Luke Skywalker end up taking opposite paths, one to the dark side and one to the light.
At the heart of George Lucas’ first six movies is that old argument of nature versus nurture. If your dad turns out to be the big bad of the galaxy does that mean you will be too? Or can a little green mentor help lead you on a different path?
In Star Wars Identities we are asked to ponder moments in the movies that shaped the hero and villain’s lives and at the same time decide which forces will shape our own Star Wars character.
The exhibition itself also has two sides, one visual that showcases more than 200 stunning costumes and props and thrilling pieces of memorabilia from the films. The other is philosophical, challenging us to think about how we have become the person we are today.
Laela French is from the yet to be built Lucas Museum of Narrative Art which will eventually hold the archive of Star Wars items.
She said of the exhibition: “They are the originals, no replicas here. They are the costumes the actors wore and the models you see on screen and the original concept art that George and the artists used to make Star Wars come to life.
“We and our partners X3 Productions have worked really long and hard on it. We wanted to bring and exhibition not just of props and walk away but it was really important to do a bit more.
“George Lucas is a big fan of innovating new ideas in education how to inspire and engaged children and we have adopted that mission.
“So this exhibit looks at the science of human identity and what makes humans unique and we tell that story through the Star Wars universe, following Anakin and Luke on their journey.
“George wrote a movie about a heroes journey and mythology and it really creates deep roots and the archetypes really apply beautifully to the human identity.”
The experience is organised into three sections, origins, influences and choices with audio and video narratives along the way. There are also 10 stations where you must tap your wristband and make a choice in order to create your character’s identity. The initial decision- What kind of creature are you?- sees you face a line-up of alien choices and was perhaps the hardest as it is one we have never had to make before.
We are born human, and one of the mind-boggling facts we are told is that our parents would have to have one quadrillion (143,000 times the earth’s population) babies to make a sibling with the same genes as we have.
The exhibition was created with the help of experts in genetics,neuropsychology, health sciences, and psychology- and it shows. There is plenty to absorb you even if you are not a die-hard Star Wars fan as you are asked to consider concepts such as whether Anakin’s natural abilities would have emerged if he hadn’t been exposed to pod racing as a child?
But if you are a fan you will be in heaven soaking up everything from early sketches showing Yoda as a elfin creature named Minch, how Chewbacca’s growl was created using a mix of a walrus and cinnamon bear and the truth behind what really inspired Darth Vader’s name.
The only real nod to the new Disney film The Force Awakens is an up close look at BB8, so younger visitors, who are ironically a large part of the target audience, may be disappointed on that score. But then again the exhibition is exciting enough that it may spark an interested in watching the older films.
At the end of the experience, just like Anakin and Luke, you will have a decision to make before you can see your character on the big screen. But don’t expect a shocking reveal, this isn’t a Buzzfeed quiz, as you have already decided what qualities they will posses (mine was a female Wookiee raised in the clouds with a penchant for gambling).
And, just as in real life, you should already know deep down whether you belong to the light or dark side.
Star Wars Identities is at The O2 from Friday, November 18 to September 3, 2017. Adult tickets are £20 off peak and £25 peak.
Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook