Like a kid in a candy store is the best way to explain how I felt during my visit to Madame Tussauds in London. Situated in Baker Street, the attraction is one of the most popular sights with tourists and now the famous waxworks have a section dedicated entirely to Star Wars. I was in London for London Film & Comic Con but I found time to check out the new experience
After walking around the first part of Madame Tussauds and being impressed with the lifelike waxworks of various celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Patrick Stewart to name but a few, I was ready for the second part. The old planetarium which used to host impressive light shows of our solar system has now been converted into a (not so secret) S.H.I.E.L.D base. It really is impressive. First you are greeted by a member of staff acting as an agent and telling you when to go into a massive dome. I couldn’t resist shouting out “Hail Hydra.” He reacted perfectly and told everyone to watch me carefully.
After an impressive ten minute 4D CGI movie featuring Spiderman and the Avengers we were told to exit through the door on the left if you had tickets for the Star Wars spectacle.
Of course we do!
A huge crowd headed for the door. Oh how I wished I had the next section to myself and accompanying friends. It turned out we did and this is how you do it. We figured out to let the crowd go and wait five minutes. After all, the Avengers movie is ten minutes long so the crowds are going through at ten minute intervals. Having waited five minutes we headed down the steps and what do you know? An empty Star Wars exhibition all for us.
The first display that greets us at the bottom of the steps is from the prequels. It’s Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi battling with Darth Maul. It was good but I felt this was just a little taster of what was to come. How right I was! We turned a corner and there was a mock-up of Han Solo pointing his finger at an absent Greedo. This is where you sit. My first photo opportunity was here. First I would point at Han making it look like we’re bargaining for something followed by the outcome of that talk. You can see for yourself. By the way, Han shot first. Pumped up by this beautiful scene I looked over my shoulder and there was the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. I had been looking forward to this having seen it on the web. The Jedi News team had posted pictures of this on their site. It looked amazing and I wasn’t disappointed. Chewbacca looked on as I sat in the chair. He didn’t look happy after all I was about to take us to lightspeed. In between the wookiee and myself was a big red button. I sho uted “punch it” and literally punched that button. The view screens in front showed a rendition of the ship jumping to light speed along with the appropriate and now familiar sounds. It was fantastic! I had the biggest smile on my face. I had to do it again. My wife, Rachel filmed the second turn. You can watch it here.
It was every bit as good the second time around. Chewie still looked nervous.
Reluctantly I moved on. I didn’t want to leave this part but there was still more Star Wars goodness to come. Walking through a tunnel and past C-3PO, R2-D2 and a host of stormtroopers I emerged from the tunnel and suddenly found myself on Dagobah. Sat on a branch was Yoda. I knelt down and had my photo taken with the Jedi master.
After saying goodbye and passing on his home-made stew I moved on.
Next was a scene from The Empire Strikes Back. Darth Vader reaching out to Luke Skywalker except Luke was missing. This is where you stand. The whole set was here along with mirrors to give depth of field. I took my position and I realised a camera snapped my pose. I was given a ticket and told I can get the photo (for a price of course) at the end of the exhibition.
Next, in literally a few steps we had stepped from The Empire Strikes Back to Return of the Jedi. A lifelike Princess Leia in a gold bikini was sat in front of life-size Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb sitting loyally at the end of his tail. Leia looked as beautiful as I imagined she would look like when I was twelve years old back in 1983. Like the first time I watched her battle Jabba in the cinema I wanted to take her home with me. Once again there was a photo opportunity and a camera was strategically positioned to take a professional photo. I took another token. It’s worth noting that at no time are you discouraged from touching the exhibits (I didn’t touch Leia before you ask) or from taking your own photos. Also I would like to mention how enthusiastic, polite and funny the staff at Madame Tussauds are. A credit to the company. I sensed, thanks to my Force powers, that the exhibition was coming to an end or it could be I could see the exit. But before that there was one more scene and again it was from Return of the Jedi. The epic battle between Darth Vader and Luke was on display while the Emperor sat, smiling. I felt the dark side flowing through me and I succumbed to kneeling in front of my new master. I could feel these new-found powers flowing through me. A fitting way to end an epic Star Wars exhibition. I was sad it was over. I wanted to do it all over again but after a day at Comic Con and straight to Madame Tussauds my stomach sounded like a hungry Sarlacc Pit. I needed food. I walked through the exit and decided to check out the photos. They were amazing! For £15 they would put them in a quality glass frame with the Star Wars logo in the corner too. I had to have one and so did Rachel.
If you happen to be in London you have to stop by Baker Street and check out the Star Wars exhibition at Madame Tussauds. If you do go make sure you book your tickets online. There is a huge difference in price. A single Adult ticket at the event is currently £33 and online it’s £19. A big difference.
The Force is definitely with Madame Tussauds London and any Star Wars fan must give it a visit.
Rob Wainfur from The Bearded Trio reporting for:
Coffee With Kenobi. This IS The Podcast You’re Looking For!Powered by Sidelines