Millennium Falcon front

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- "Star Wars" fans who want to get a close-up look at some of the films' original history should make their way to Silicon Valley before February.

This weekend, the Tech Museum of Innovation here begins showcasing "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination," an exhibit that has been traveling the country for the last eight years and is now making its final stop, almost in George Lucas' backyard.

Visitors to the show, which runs through February 23, 2014, will get an up-close view of 70 original artifacts from the six "Star Wars" movies, including costumes, models, props, and more.

This model of the Millennium Falcon was used in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."

Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

R2-D2 and exhibit sign

An R2-D2 poses in front of a sign at the entry of the "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

R2-D2

R2-D2 is, as Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum, put it, "the best hacker in the universe."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Millennium Falcon

According to a sign in the exhibit, the "Star Wars" filmmakers "treated the Millennium Falcon more like a character than a ship. It has a name that is perhaps a bit too grand sounding for a beat-up old freighter. What most sets the Falcon apart is the care that went into giving it a distinct personality -- a powerful, but cantankerous one."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Landspeeder

An original landspeeder prop that was used in the making of "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." "Like most of the technology in Luke Skywalker's life," a sign in the exhibit reads, "his old T-34 Landspeeder has seen better days. Despite its dents and dings, Luke keeps it running, even though there are newer models."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Landspeeder

This is a small model of Luke's Landspeeder, made for distant shots of Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids entering Mos Eisley. "It may look crude close up," an exhibit sign reads, "but seen from a distance, it is indistinguishable from the real thing."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Imperial Star Destroyer

In order to make the Imperial Star Destroyer "Devastator" seem huge, the "Star Wars" filmmakers "detailed its surface very finely [as well as] by running the camera very close to it." This model was created for Episode IV.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

TIE fighter

This is a Twin Ion Engine (TIE) fighter, originally meant to be blue. But because blue-screen technology was rudimentary when "Star Wars" was made, the filmmakers decided to make the ship grey.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Y-wing starfighter

This Rebel Alliance Y-wing starfighter was used in the original three "Star Wars" films and was "a perfect example of George Lucas' 'used universe' design philosophy for 'Star Wars,'" a sign at the exhibit reads. "Just like the real world, some things in the 'Star Wars' universe are old, repaired, and modified."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Vader

A Darth Vader costume, from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Yoda

A Yoda model used in Episodes V and VI.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Vader helmet

This Darth Vader helmet was used in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Vader mask

Darth Vader's evil, overbearing look belies the fact that his head is encased in three separate pieces, a helmet, this mask, and a collar.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Vader collar

Darth Vader's look wasn't complete without this collar.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Chewbacca

An original Chewbacca model from the first three "Star Wars" films.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Naked C-3PO

According to a sign in the exhibit, "C-3PO sums up people's relationships with technology in 'Star Wars.' Robots are literally child's play. [Nine-year-old] Anakin Skywalker built C-3PO entirely from scrap parts to help his mother with her work. He never quite got around to finishing his project, so C-3PO remained uncovered for years."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

AT-AT Walker

This Imperial All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT Walker) model was used in the making of "The Empire Strikes Back."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Tusken raider and woman

Known as the Sand People, the Tusken Raiders (and the Tusken women), were from the original 1977 "Star Wars." According to the exhibit, they are "mysterious dangerous desert dwellers. The local human and Jawa populations try to stay clear of them. Their outfits completely hide their bodies, while providing their eyes, noses, and mouths with protection from the bright suns and blowing, choking sand.

"One challenge confronting the filmmakers shooting 'A New Hope' in 1976 was to create convincing aliens using rubber, plastic, and cloth costumes. By completely covering the Sand People, they leave it up to your imagination to decide what the Tusken look like under the wrappings."

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Jedi Training remote

This is the Jedi training remote, a prop used in the making of the original 1977 "Star Wars."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Thermal detonator

This thermal detonator prop was used in the making of "Return of the Jedi."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Boba Fett's blaster

This is Boba Fett's blaster, a prop used in "The Empire Strikes Back."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Luke's prosthetic hand

After having his hand cut off by Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke Skywalker used this prosthetic.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Interrogrator droid

Few would want to come face to face with this interrogator droid, or even this prop, which was used in the making of the original 1977 "Star Wars."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Sandcrawler

A model of the Jawas' Sandcrawler, from the original "Star Wars."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Luke riding a tauntaun

This model of Luke riding a tauntaun was used in the filming of "The Empire Strikes Back."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Podracer front

This is a model of Sebulba's podracer, which was used in the making of "Episode I: The Phantom Menace." According to the exhibit, "the design features of [this] podracer, from its garish paint scheme, to its enormous engines, and distinct sound, all are meant to make it easy to distinguish it in the crowded field of podracers, and to remind us that Sebulba is a dangerous opponent."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Podracer rear

A look at the model of Sebulba's podracer from the rear.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Darth Maul's lightsaber

This is Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber, from "The Phantom Menace."
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Stormtrooper blaster

An Stormtrooper blaster used in the making of the original three "Star Wars" films.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Stormtroopers taking pictures

To help celebrate the opening of the exhibit at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., several stormtroopers, members of the 501st Legion were on hand. Here, two of them take their own pictures of the exhibit.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Jawa

A Jawa from the original 1977 "Star Wars."
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.

Hot Products