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March 15, 2024 - September 8, 2024

On March 23, 1983 in a televised address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan announced his intention to embark upon groundbreaking research into a national defense system that could make nuclear weapons obsolete, called the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI. The heart of the SDI program was a plan to develop a space-based missile defense program that could protect the country from a large-scale nuclear attack. The media quickly began calling the program “Star Wars,” since it seemed as impossible as the events of a galaxy far, far away.

With SDI, President Reagan was able to unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit. The project ultimately helped end the Cold War. It not only revolutionized the way we think about missile defense, but also led to significant advancements in other areas of technology such as satellite surveillance and communications. America and allies around the world benefit from it today.

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Princess Leia's Ceremonial Dress

Landspeeder

Landspeeder

Biker Scout Helmet

Biker Scout Helmet

Related events

On June 15th and July 20th

Join us for our Defending America & the Galaxy: Star Wars and SDI exhibit lunch, tour and special panel with a discussion surrounding the "Making of Star Wars".

You will be served a Star Wars themed three-course meal while learning more about the “Making of Star Wars” from our special panel of speakers. Following lunch, all guests will self-guide our Defending America and the Galaxy: Star Wars and SDI exhibit and have the opportunity to tour the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Air Force One Pavilion.

Learn more and purchase tickets to the June 15th program

Learn more and purchase tickets to the July 20th program

August 1st
(Free event after touring the exhibit)

Onstage at the Reagan Library with Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Heath Collins

In honor of our exhibition, Defending America & the Galaxy: Star Wars and SDI, Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, Director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), will speak at the Reagan Library.  Lt Gen Collins will discuss the Missile Defense Agency - its responsibilities, its challenges and opportunities, and the importance of what the MDA does every day for our nation's security.

Learn more and register

Just a few years prior, George Lucas launched the Star Wars franchise with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Since its inception, Star Wars has been a phenomenon that transcends generations. The concept of "the force" and epic battle scenes have captivated audiences for decades and continue to do so with each new release.

After Ronald Reagan announced SDI, the media sarcastically dubbed it “Star Wars” since it seemed to rely on futuristic technology, including space-based laser systems that had not yet been developed, although the idea had been portrayed as real in science fiction.

Darth Vader Helmet

An artist's concept of the interception and destruction of nuclear-armed re-entry vehicles by a space-based electromagnetic railgun

Star Wars may have been a transformative movie, but SDI transformed our national security.

Join us at the Reagan Library for a fun and informative exhibition on Star Wars – both the real-world technology of SDI, as well as items from the movie phenomenon.  The exhibition will include original items from SDI including an authentic Command Launch Equipment Console, as well as props, costumes, and concept art from the Star Wars franchise, including a Landspeeder made for A New Hope, master replicas of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber made from the original mold of The Last Jedi, and an original script signed by Dave Prowse (actor who portrayed Darth Vader in the original trilogy). With special thanks to Propstore (propstore.com), Entertainment Memorabilia Auctions, the exhibit will also showcase an original dress worn by Princess Leia,  original  sketches  by George Lucas of the spaceships, and original helmets worn by Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and more.

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Exhibit sponsored by:

Propstore

AV Masters

 

 

This exhibition, and the artifacts displayed within, is not affiliated with Disney or Lucasfilm Ltd.

 

“We visited on Saturday! What a fun exhibit! We’ll be back! Kids loved it.” – Melissa J, Facebook
"Worth every penny. Location was excellent" - John L, Facebook
My wife and I took our grandkids and SIL to see it today! It was so fun! To learn some of the history behind SDI was super. We can highly recommend it!" - Tim S, Facebook

 

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