A few years ago, I found myself in St. Maarten while on a cruise. Now, if you’ve ever been on a Caribbean cruise, you know how these stops go… generally, outside shopping for clothes you could probably buy back home anyway, there’s not a whole lot interesting to do in the allotted time frame. So imagine my surprise when I found myself standing before THIS:
In other words, it was absolutely perfect and I knew I had to go check it out.
“That Yoda Guy” is artist Nick Maley, best known for his creature effects work on the Star Wars films, among others. Since retiring, he moved to St. Maarten and opened up this charming little exhibit.
The exhibit and store are in the same small room, with the exhibit gated off… you need to make a purchase to check it out, which also gets you a picture with the man himself. Nick’s a friendly guy who clearly loves the film industry, and it was nice to chat with him. After buying a small print, I went inside.
The exhibit’s pretty short, but packed with all kinds of things. Props, make-up, costumes, scripts… there was a lot for me to geek out over. Star Wars isn’t the only film represented… everything from Men In Black to fucking KRULL had it’s place in the museum.
And an eerie dark room with life-sized mannequins of Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Salacious Crumb for some reason. It looks like Vader’s asking to borrow Palpaltine’s magazine, which just makes the whole scene better.
Pinhead and my main man Frankenstein’s Monster also made an appearance.
Though it was tiny, I had a lot of fun at the Yoda Guy Movie exhibit. After all, “size matters not”. Everything about the experience was delightfully charming, and despite not having the budget of, say, Planet Hollywood, the exhibit had a whole lot of heart.
If you ever happen to find yourself in St. Maarten, I suggest you check it out. Much more fun than shopping for shit you’ll never wear.