Star Wars Comes to Toronto Early

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Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and Stormtrooper prop replicas
Full sized prop replicas promote the movie, and build anticipation for the larger-than-life Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo: Stephen Clark

Less than two weeks before Episode VII hits the theaters, the Star Wars Toronto Exhibit opened its doors in Toronto. Located at 277 Queen St. West (next to the iconic Much Music building), the one of a kind exhibit shows off life sized replica props and exclusive merchandise.

The displays were constructed by Propshop who also worked on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie itself. The characters (and actors) who wear these costumes are as big in life as they are on the silver screen. Both Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren actors (Gwendoline Chistie and Adam Driver respectively) stand 6’3″ without their gear. Put those outfits on pedestals and their presence is overwhelming.

Rey, BB-8 and Stormtrooper
Rey, BB-8 and a New Order Stormtrooper are among the full-sized replicas you can get up close to. Photos: Stephen Clark
Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren
Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren are imposing figures on small screen trailers, and even more imposing when towering over you. Photo: Stephen Clark

The room isn’t very big so the lineup is outside in unseasonably warm 4°C weather. Once in, you pretty much have free reign of the place. Posters and TVs promoting The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Battlefront, and the exhibit itself line the walls. The exhibit also offers free printout and digital copies of a photo with this generation’s favourite droid, BB-8.

Star Wars Toronto Exhibit Official T-Shirts
There’s not a lot of variety in merchandise. Only three days in, there’s barely any selection. Photo: Stephen Clark

While the shop boasts exclusive merchandise, there’s little more than location-specific printing on $25 t-shirts. Of course I bought one, but that’s only because I didn’t have a thing to wear for the upcoming premiere. Star Wars branded Google Cardboard viewers were on display, but unavailable for purchase. The shop only launched on Saturday, and by Monday noon was already out of stock in a number of popular sizes. It seems like a missed opportunity to not have more available for purchase during what is probably the biggest merchandising campaign in human history.

Admission is free, and is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until December 21st. If you’re in downtown Toronto, it’s worth a look. It may not be worth a trip from outside Toronto, but that depends on how much of a Star Wars Geek you are.

For me, it was worth the trip just to meet my favourite star.

Me and BB-8
I got to meet the real star of Star Wars, BB-8. Photo courtesy Star Wars Toronto Exhibit

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