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Bury St Edmunds sci-fi exhibition celebrates 40 years of Star Wars classic

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:35 29 October 2020

Feel the Force at the 12thSci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum which celebrates 40 years of The Empire Strikes Back  Photo: Tom Ogden

Feel the Force at the 12thSci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum which celebrates 40 years of The Empire Strikes Back Photo: Tom Ogden

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The Empire Strikes Back, one of the greatest science fiction blockbusters of all time, is 40 years old this year and Bury St Edmunds annual Sci-Fi and Action Exhibition is marking the anniversary in grand style.

One of Galactica's spaceships at the 12thSci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum  Photo: Tom OgdenOne of Galactica's spaceships at the 12thSci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum Photo: Tom Ogden

The exhibition is in its 12th year and organisers have pulled out all the stops to track down key exhibits during lockdown.

It is also celebrating Tom Baker’s tenure as Doctor Who, paying tribute to cult movie Gremlins as well as looking at the legacy of groundbreaking 1980s sci-fi TV series Battlestar Galactica.

The exhibition, at Moyses Hall Museum, has been jointly curated by Lance Alexander and Daniel Clarke and runs until December 20.

Lance said that Empire Strikes Back remains one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time and they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay tribute to it. “It’s the film that gave us that wonderful surprise ‘family drama’ ending, an iconic piece of music in the Imperial March, Yoda and the AT-AT all terrain armoured walkers. It’s a wonderful piece of cinema and deserves to be celebrated.

A classic Dalek from the Tom Baker years of Doctor Who on display at the Sci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum  Photo: Tom OgdenA classic Dalek from the Tom Baker years of Doctor Who on display at the Sci-fi and Action Exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum Photo: Tom Ogden

“At the same time, this was the era of Tom Baker’s Dr Who on television, possibly the highpoint of the show, and we are incredibly fortunate to have got hold of a genuine Tom Baker-era TARDIS and a 1980s BBC Dalek which not only appeared in Tom Baker Dalek stories but was brought out of storage, given a new coat of paint and was used again in the Matt Smith era when they wanted to bring a variety of Daleks from the past together.”

He added that another element of the exhibition celebrates the frequently overlooked Battlestar Galactica spin-off series Galactica which tried to bring US TV gloss to British screens in the early 1980s.

Lance said: “Battlestar Galactica was incredibly popular and brought a taste of Star Wars into people’s living rooms in the late 1970s but it was cancelled because it was phenomenally expensive to produce. However, when it went into syndication in the States it continued to pull in huge audiences, so the TV producers decided to relaunch it as Galactica but with a much smaller budget.”

So does Lance have a favourite exhibit? “I have to say I am really chuffed to have on display a genuine, film-set used Gremlin in the exhibition this year. It is a masterpiece of model work and just dominates the gallery it’s in.”


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