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TO NOVEMBER 1, 1998

“Star Wars: The Magic of Myth”

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There is only one question: Is it worth all the waiting in line? The answer must be a qualified yes. Filling the same small space as the Star Trek exhibition, one has the feeling that there’s a whole lot more cool stuff lying around the Lucasfilm archives than what’s behind the Plexiglas cases of “Star Wars: The Magic of Myth.” But what is on display is prime. In keeping with the subject matter, viewers may rent an “iGo” system, a combination Newton/Walkman-type touchpad that allows a randomly selected tour. Upside: information not otherwise available. Downside: listening to James Earl Jones yet again. But the real show is upstairs in the gift shop. From Storm Trooper Pez to $20 official Star Wars pillow shams, this is where the film and its audience truly live. If your foyer is crying out for a life-size replica of Han Solo encased in carbonite, you may carry one home for a mere $1,400. Halloweeners determined to win “best costume” will find that the total Darth outfit is a steal at $6,000 (pictured). In the accompanying 30-minute video documentary, George Lucas talks about the importance of myth, how it allows the next generation to “come to their adulthood with a particular mind-set.” The cult of Star Wars has allowed a large segment of a generation to avoid adulthood. For instance, did I learn anything from the show? I learned that if I hadn’t brought my Visa card, I would have $100 more next month to spend on food. At the National Air & Space Museum, 6th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE, but tickets are required. For reservations call (202) 357-2700 or (800) 529-2440. (Dave Nuttycombe)