The universe of Star Wars collectibles is vast, from remote-control droids to the Jabba beanbag chair that never really happened, but you’ve seen nothing until a life-size Darth Vader statue has stared you down.
Star Wars fans of every species can take a journey through Sideshow Collectibles’ intergalactic exhibition at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Legions of Jedi, Sith, stormtroopers, nerf herders, space princesses, and extraterrestrial life forms landed at the theater on opening night of The Last Jedi for a cosmic event that blazed with stars like Wil Wheaton and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (who got up close with fans and used the Force to hand out Sideshow prizes to a few lucky Rebels before the screening). Just in case anyone didn’t recognize the iconic theater, all they had to do was follow the droids.
"It’s a great honor for us to be able to showcase our work here, and the excitement and energy within Sideshow studios as we put this project together has been electric!" said Sideshow PR Manager Andy Smith. “It’s fair to say that for us here at Sideshow, Star Wars is a passion, bordering on an obsession. We’re a company and a family of fans and collectors. To be able to explore and build within that world is a dream come true.”
This space-age spectacle is also a love letter to the late Carrie Fisher. Whether it was a Leia cosplay or a geeky hat that was supposed to give you the idea, those iconic buns were everywhere in the audience who watched the reveal of a commemorative plaque in honor of the actress, as well as Sideshow presenting a rare Leia statue from their archives to her brother Todd Fisher. Carrie’s fan-made memorial is a shrine of Star Wars figurines, Pez dispensers, and other memorabilia, with a Funko Pop figure from one would-be Leia that has “You are the reason I rebel” handwritten on the box. Her French bulldog Gary was also in attendance—and in cosplay.
“The TCL Chinese Theatre is the home of so many pieces of Star Wars history,” said Smith. “From the very first Star Wars screening back in ’77 to R2 and Threepio’s footprints in the cement outside. This feels like such a great fit. We’re thrilled to be here!"
Think of Sideshow’s exhibit as if the Millennium Falcon had all the stray Wookiee hairs vacuumed out and was made into a museum showcasing fine art prints by Ian McDonald and Adam Hughes, pop culture art, and figures of every size (that really means every size). Vader and his henchmen stalk the hallways, but the only thing they’re scheming about this time are photo ops. You can also enter a sweepstakes for something huge. Sideshow will be giving away one life-size R2-D2 and send someone the droid they were looking for. Before this turns into an opening crawl that starts with A long time ago … let’s get to the toys.
Sideshow and Hot Toys have joined forces for an out-of-this-world collab of poseable 1:6 scale figures that can go from guard mode to battle mode. These are not your average action figures. Insanely accurate from faces to armor to ammo, you’d think they just leaped out of Endor or Jakku.
Populate your planet with First Order stormtroopers, snowtroopers, flametroopers, and Praetorian Guards along with a TIE pilot, an AT-AT driver, a Jawa, Boba Fett, Dengar, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Rey, R5-D4, Jyn Erso, and K-2SO, those droids you were looking for, the evil Imperial probe droid, those other evil droids you were looking for, aka R2Q5 and C2-B5, as well as Bossk, Zuckuss, a Death Star gunner, Grand Moff Tarkin, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, and the infamous Han Solo in carbonite. They can’t live without their vehicles, either, which is why there is also a sixth-scale speeder bike. And this guy:
Yes, that is a porcelain-patterned stormtrooper. And you need him.
I could have sworn I was looking into Mark Hamill’s face before I realized this was a sculpture.
The Premium Format 1:4 figures get into some really macro detail. You can see every scratch on Captain Phasma’s menacing helmet, and she’s draped in a fabric robe that almost seems to swoosh behind her.
If you were looking for an upgrade from your LEGO Millennium Falcon—not that the LEGO version isn’t awesome in its own way—Sideshow has a few versions of the Corellian YT-1300 light freighter with all of Han Solo’s modifications. The 1:100-scale EFX Millennium Falcon is a collab with the Lucasfilm Museum of Narrative Arts, so you know it’s legit. It was created based on both a digital scan of the special effects miniature from the original trilogy and parts from the original model kit that literally flew off shelves in the late ‘70s. Pretty badass no matter what Luke says.
Han goes heavy metal with the pewter version created by Royal Selangor, which also makes some seriously awesome Lord of the Rings goblets. Several characters and a Death Star trinket box have also been cast in pewter, and also an ingenious lightsaber that can actually hold your files. This thing is just so cool you’re not going to care if no one at work actually knows what it is.
In case you weren’t around in 1977, much of Star Wars came into being from the sci-fi concept art of Ralph McQuarrie. Sideshow’s Concept Artist Series tribute to McQuarrie translates his work into 1:5-scale figures that reimagine the space saga as if the prototype drawings had been the final versions. Stormtroopers originally looked more like fighter pilots, and Boba Fett first emerged as something of a super-trooper before McQuarrie, working with Art Director Joe Johnston, morphed him into the Mandalorian bounty hunter we all know and either love or hate.
You also have to get your robotic mandibles on Sideshow and ACME Archives’ limited-edition art prints by Ian McDonald and Adam Hughes. I was immediately drawn to Ian McDonald’s Scum and Villainy, but Adam Hughes’ In a Galaxy Far, Far Away has this mesmerizing blue lightsaber glow going on.
By the way, remember that life-size R2-D2 I mentioned earlier? The beep-booping droid can be yours if you happen to have seven or eight grand buried somewhere in the sands of Jakku. He doesn’t actually make weird robotic noises or send hologram messages, but don’t tell your friends that.
R2 not you? A life-size Darth Vader, stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Yoda, or (it had to be done) Han Solo in Carbonite could be your next major investment. You could also get the Stormtrooper Helmet and make it look like serving the Imperial forces is just what you do on weekends.
“Star Wars is more than epic space battles, robots, and adventures,” said Smith. “It’s also a message of hope, of family, of optimism and friendship. Even the villains have a glimmer of good in them. It’s a very positive message that we admire, and we want to try and somehow capture in every statue, print, or figure that we make. I guess you could call it a labor of love."
The Sideshow Star Wars exhibit runs through the end of January, but if Hollywood is too far, far away, fly your starship through our gallery.