Aliens, stormtroopers and ghostbusters will invade Tampa Saturday afternoon for the opening of a science-fiction themed exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center.
Dozens of "Star Wars" fans dressed in character will parade along Tampa's Riverwalk beginning at 1 p.m. to celebrate "Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television."
This traveling exhibit of more than 40 costumes and props from pop culture history will be on display through January on the third floor of the History Center.
In the collection are items from iconic films and characters such as the Wicked Witch's hat from "The Wizard of Oz," Darth Vadar's cape, helmet and light saber from "Star Wars," Indiana Jones' leather jacket and whip, Luke Skywalker's severed hand and light saber and Robin's costume from the 1966 "Batman" TV series.
The costume parade, from the Marriott Waterside to the museum, will include members of Florida's 501st Rebel Legion. These are locals who go all out to dress as their favorite "Star Wars" characters for charity and other events. Han Solo, Darth Vader and a droid also are expected.
Also parading are the "Real Tampa Ghostbusters," a dedicated group of prop builders and fans of the original film who also dress up for charity. Some of the costumed characters will hang around inside the museum for the opening.
The exhibit is something different for the History Center, which is devoted to Tampa and Florida history.
"We wanted to try something different to attract some people who may have been on the fence about coming here," says Rodney Kite-Powell, the center's curator. "While it's not Florida history, it is about a shared cultural history that we all know."
Visitors likely will learn something as each costume comes with its own backstory. For example, Darth Vader's garb was fashioned from a World War II German helmet, a monk's cloak, a medieval breast plate and a motorcycle outfit — all from the 20th Century Fox prop department.
The exhibit, organized by a science fiction museum in Seattle, also includes the Riddler costume from "Batman Forever;" costumes worn by William Shatner on "Star Trek;" Capt. Jean Luc Picard's uniform from "Star Trek: The Next Generation;" Robert Patrick's face mask from "Terminator 2" and the Pris costume from "Blade Runner."
The exhibit also ties into the museum's annual Halloween event, "HisTeria," on Oct. 22, at which guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite sci-fi film character.
Admission to the museum is $12 for adults; $10 for adults 65 and older; $10 for students and teens age 13 to 17; $7 for children 4 to 12; and free for ages 3 and younger.