A new Kickstarter has arrived and it is of particular interest to science fiction fans. Get your wallets ready, the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum needs your assistance.
Since Johannes Kepler first imagined what it would be like to look down on the Earth from our moon, science fiction has been a lasting part of the human experience. Somnium, Kepler’s fantasy novel, was written in 1608. In the 400 years since we have imagined the far reaches of space. In our literature we have explored time travel and in our television seen men broken down into their base elements and transported through space. It’s the sort of thing that deserves a museum, and Los Angeles is on its way to getting one.
New Starship Federation, a non-profit group also working to restore the original bridge set of the U.S.S Enterprise, is heading the project. The Federation’s board of directors includes writers, producers, artists and designers from popular science fictions series like Star Trek, Firefly, Back to the Future and Battlestar Galactica, like visual effects Oscar winner Doug Drexler and NASA space and science fiction artist Rick Sternbach. The Hollywood Museum of Science Fiction will focus on more modern science fiction in film and television and science fact.
Plans for the museum, which is being designed in part by Rhetroactive – the same firm that assisted with the design of Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton and the Universal Studios attractions Despicable Me and Simpson’s Springfield - include a hall of space ships, which will feature large scale models of well known sci-fi ships including the U.S.S Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon. Two halls of robots, one of fictional robots and one of actual real life robots, exemplifies the long term goals of creating an interactive educational experience fueled, as so many great thinkers have been, by the magic of science fiction.
The museums focus will ultimately be education through science fiction with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) based theme, though surely a newly renovated original Star Trek bridge will get the ball rolling.
The group’s Kickstarter, which launches this week, hopes to raise $82,300 for a 2015 soft opening of a temporary museum site planned to encourage interest in the project. The full-term plan puts actual museum completion sometime in 2018. Of course, they have to raise the money first, which is where the fans come in.
Like many other startups using crowd funding to launch projects, the Foundation is giving you something for your contributions, and if the chance to walk through a hall of robots isn’t enough for you, maybe some Sci-Fi memorabilia will inspire you. Backers can receive anything from a Museum T-shirt to autographed art prints from Voyager ship designer. The more you give the more you get, and big time backers might well go home with Enterprise control panels, Luke Skywalker’s ceremonial jacket and even a wedding on the enterprise bridge. Set wallets to spend!
The Federation isn’t the first group to recognize the positive impact on the human experience that science fiction has had. In Washington, DC a group of similarly minded individuals are trying to start a science fiction museum of their own.The Museum of Science Fiction (Washington, D.C) would have much the same message. While both projects claim they will be the first science fiction museum in the world, it is likely it will fall to the fans to make either project happen.
The Hollywood Science Fiction Museum would add another must see to the already vibrant science museum culture in the area. Not far from the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum is the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and California Science Center, which feature an array of exhibits including Dinosaur Hall, and The Space Shuttle Endeavor.
The Hollywood Science Fiction Museum’s plans to incorporate the real advances in science that have been inspired by artistic creations of television and film will be a welcome addition to what the city already has to offer, and with the backing of so many influential voices in the community fans are hopeful there will be a Hall of Cars ready to walk through in the coming year.