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Star wars at Madame Tussauds (Language level B1-C1)

Dicembre 2015
Fan di Star Wars? Dopo il settimo episodio al cinema, niente di meglio che immergersi nelle atmosfere stellari da Madame Tussauds, il famoso museo delle cere che per l’occasione ha allestito una mostra dedicata. Con tanto di paludi, nebbioni ed effetti speciali...

di Linda Ligios

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Young fans pose with R2D2 and CP30 (above left) and Anakin Skywalker (above right) at the Star Wars exhibit at Madame Tussauds in London.
Young fans pose with R2D2 and CP30 (above left) and Anakin Skywalker (above right) at the Star Wars exhibit at Madame Tussauds in London.
Matthew Clarkson
Matthew Clarkson

May the force be with you! This is because a galactic adventure has landed in London. A new exhibition at Madame Tussauds is an absolute must for Star Wars fans. This multi-million pound attraction showcases some of the most famous scenes and characters from the iconic movie series (particularly episodes I-IV).
The attraction was created in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm. A team of 180 sculptors, hair artists and colourists worked intensively over the course of a year. The result is an entertaining interactive experience featuring authentic walk-in sets and 16 of the famous heroes and villains in exact wax replicas. Visitors can pose for selfies with all of them, from the tiny Yoda in his swampy home, to the Wookiee giant Chewbacca.

THE DUEL OF THE FATES

The “Star Wars Madame Tussauds” attraction covers two floors with 11 separate sets. The largest replicate the epic lightsaber battle involving Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul (the “Duel of the Fates”).

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

The Star Wars exhibit was launched in May. It’s an interesting addition to a collection that has been entertaining Londoners since the early 19th century. Marie Tussaud began making wax models of the decapitated heads of victims of the French Revolution. She later took these models on tour around Europe and ended up in London, where she opened a museum (in Baker Street) in 1835. The emphasis gradually shifted to celebrities. Today the nine themed areas include “Party” (with, for example, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney and Brad Pitt); “Film” (with “Terminator” Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others) and “Royals” (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, of course).

ONLINE

Madame Tussauds has been on Marylebone Road for over 100 years. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Baker Street Underground station. Entry to Star Wars at Madame Tussauds is included in the main admission price (which starts at £23.10 if booked online at www.madametussauds.com/london).

INTERVIEW

IN A GALAXY NOT VERY FAR AWAY...

LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

This month sees the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. And it was probably with this in mind that the staff at Madame Tussauds in London decided to open a permanent Star Wars exhibit earlier this year. Marketing manager Matthew Clarkson talked about the project:

Matthew Clarkson (Standard British accent)

One of the challenges which we wanted to kind of overcome – and Madame Tussauds is famous for its amazingly life-like wax figures – is to create all the intricate details that the fans know and love about Star Wars, so our sculpting team went over to America, to Skywalker Ranch near San Francisco, and they got unprecedented access to the Lucas film archives, so they were at Skywalker Ranch, so they got to see the original puppets, costumes, props, where we could take measurements and photographs, so that they could be recreated back in London. The Chewbacca, for instance, our Chewbacca figure, he’s recreated with real yak hair and all those hairs are individually inserted: it took a team of six over a thousand hours to complete that figure.

THE SCENE

The scenery is also impressive:   

Matthew Clarkson

Everything, like any Madame Tussauds figure, is absolutely accurate, so they’re the exact size that those people were in the movie, hair, eye colour, skin colour, obviously from Yoda, he’s not human, so he’s like a little three-foot tall creature; everything is absolutely authentic to the movies, so you’ll feel like you’re being immersed into those scenes. So that’s the great thing about Star Wars here, is that it’s not just the figures and characters you know from the movies, there’s sets around them, so you can step into Dagobah complete with squishy swamp floor, rolling fog and smells of kind of damp forest, and you can sit next to Yoda and feel like you’re really being transported to that scene.

THE SOUND OF SPACE

The attraction isn’t only a feast for the eyes:

Matthew Clarkson

One of the most amazing things about the attraction is the sound: we’ve got all the original scores from the movies, and those iconic soundtracks that people know, so when you enter the attraction, you’re in the Dual of Fates scene. There’s a double-height fibre optic tower that represents the large plasma, pulsing electricity cylinders. You can sit in the Cantina Bar and you get the very famous Cantina Bar music in there, there’s fog effects, mist effects, there’s smells in Dagobah. In Jabba’s Palace, the floor – as anyone  familiar with the movies will know, that that’s kind of a trap underneath where some of the creatures are kept – that floor vibrates and the pattern on there is an exact replica from the one used in the movie.


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Explains

Chewbacca. Il nome di questo personaggio è un gioco di parole. Chew bacca significa letteralmente “masticare il tabacco” (bacca e backy sono abbreviazioni slang di tobacco).

A little three-foot tall creature. Una piccola creatura alta 90 centimetri. Mettere assieme gli aggettivi little (piccolo) e tall (alto) può sembrare un ossimoro ma si dice tall anche quando una cosa (o una persona) non è alta: è come dire “è alto 1.50m”.

Dagobah. È il nome di un pianeta. Anche qui c’è un gioco di parole che non è piaciuto a tutti. A dago bar sarebbe un bar frequentato da ispanici.

There’s fog effects. La versione corretta sarebbe there are fog effects, ma l’utilizzo di there’s con il plurale è sempre più frequente nell’inglese parlato.