Away MissionsClub News

Angeles explores ‘Star Wars’ exhibit

By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason

USS Angeles members traveled to a galaxy far, far away.

Then we landed on Earth on Air Force One.

It was all part of our April 13 away mission to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley.

Jeremy Kranz, Lisa Sobien, Kristine and Dennis Cherry, and I explored the “Defending America and the Galaxy: Star Wars and SDI” exhibit. It featured props that were made for the “Star Wars” movies. Among them was one of the five land speeders created for “Episode IV: A New Hope,” along with the C-3PO and R2-D2 droid costumes worn respectively by Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.

Also on display was the long, white dress Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) wore during the awards ceremony at the end of “A New Hope.”

Other exhibits explained how “Star Wars” blasters were based on World War II German pistols and how photography equipment inspired light sabers.

The exhibit also featured “Star Wars” merchandise and toys, along with the comedy trailer, “Hardware Wars,” and the props from that film. It was narrated by Disney legend Paul Frees (the voice of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction), who tells viewers, “You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll kiss three bucks good-bye!” (Yes, regular screenings of movies used to cost just $3.)

The SDI part of the exhibit discussed the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative, a program designed to research ways to intercept and destroy Soviet missiles from land and space. U.S. Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy, D-Mass., nicknamed it “Star Wars,” and the name stuck with the media.

After the “Star Wars” and SDI exhibit, we walked through Air Force One and the Marine One helicopter. We also saw a recently restored piece of the Berlin Wall.

And a docent gave Jeremy and me an impromptu tour of the standing exhibits discussing the Reagan administration.

It was a good day to walk through history and travel to space.

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R2-D2 and 3-CPO stand by one of the five land speeders made for “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The droids’ costumes, worn by actors Anthony Daniels (3-CPO) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2), are from the same movie, Reagan Library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said. (Photos by Dave Mason/USS Angeles/Angels Flight)
Kristine and Dennis Cherry stand in front of Air Force One at the Reagan Library.
Jeremy Kranz and Lisa Sobien explore Air Force One at the Reagan Library.
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) wore this dress during the awards ceremony at the end of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977). The dress was among the props shown in “Defending America and the Galaxy:Star Wars and SDI.” USS Angeles members saw the exhibit in April at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.

Dave Mason

Commanding officer of the USS-Angeles Rank Fleet Captain