Jango Fett said in Star Wars Episode II, “I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.” He may have been a bad guy, but Jango’s words ring true to the good side of the force as well. Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (GEM) is making their way too and has a gallery displaying many other progressions in the universe and how they changed the world. “Expanding Universe” presents visitors with pop culture from 1971-1990 when America transitioned from an industrial economy to an information economy.
During the 1970’s, the interest in having home entertainment and information at the fingertips increased dramatically. Televisions, photo cameras, video cameras, computers and video game consoles were being marketed to the general public at reasonable prices. Americans ate it up; wanting to be entertained on a bigger level and to have the opportunity to document their lives.
Visitors to GEM’s “Expanding Universe” will encounter objects associated with such popular video gaming systems as Atari and Nintendo. Fast food companies began taking off during this era and are well represented with “Happy Meal” toys and collectable glasses adorned with loveable characters like Ronald McDonald and the Burger King. These objects are common in most present day homes, or were at one point, and define the all-important correlation between pop culture icons and merchandising.
Nothing can beat the iconic imagery and merchandise of Star Wars and GEM knows it. Star Wars takes this “Expanding Universe” past the planet Earth and has invited several generations to push their imaginations into the great unknown. Young visitors to this exhibit might know of the name Star Wars, but may not understand what it is; this gives older generations a great chance to share an important pop culture history with the younglings. “Expanding Universe” will take the visitor from Earth to a galaxy far, far away.