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Visitors crowd the Stars Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul.
Visitors crowd the Stars Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul. (Courtesy of exhibit organizers)
Visitors crowd the Stars Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul.
Visitors crowd the Stars Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul. (Courtesy of exhibit organizers)
Photo time at the Star Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul.
Photo time at the Star Wars exhibit at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul. (Courtesy of exhibit organizers)

SEOUL — “Star Wars” fans will have an opportunity to interact with sci-fi’s most notorious thugs: — Imperial stormtroopers — in Seoul through March 1.

The Star Wars Science and Art Exhibit, which began Dec. 9, is available at the COEX exhibition mall in Seoul.

Anyone wishing to view hundreds of props used in the creation of the six “Star Wars” movies can grab a $13 ticket from the guest service desk in the Dragon Hill Lodge on Yongsan Garrison.

Displays are divided according to the chronology of the storyline, beginning with 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace” and continuing through 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”

Displays detail the behind-the-scenes efforts in making effects work. Movie clips give visitors a sense of context.

Knowledgeable tour guides stand ready to share trivia aimed at impressing even the most diehard fans.

On a recent weekend, guide Joel Jang explained that the shape of the Millennium Falcon was inspired by a hamburger George Lucas once had for lunch. And, he explained, the “The Empire Strikes Back” cloud cars were inspired by carrots.

The exhibit takes a little more than an hour to walk through.

Those wanting to get a bit more interactive can try “using the Force” to lift rocks or fly an X-Wing Fighter from the murky swamps of a Jedi training ground. They also can walk through the vertigo-inducing hyperspace zone or use a blue screen to put themselves into a movie.

While the “Star Wars” movies have a solid cult following in South Korea, they don’t command nearly as large a fan base as they do in the United States, tour guide Jang said.

He’s hoping the exhibit will appeal to a wider audience on the peninsula.

“The purpose … isn’t all about Star Wars. It’s about art and science. Star Wars uses all of the arts including drama, music, costume design and makeup,” he said. “There are people who care about the characters and the storylines and really love these movies. But even those who aren’t familiar with the movies can appreciate the science and culture.”

Contact the Dragon Hill Lodge at 738-2222 for more information and directions to the exhibit.

And may the Force be with you.

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