It's hard to believe now, but back when the original Star Wars
was released many toy companies wanted no part of the merchandising rights. Who'd buy toys for a lowly science-fiction film? It turned out many millions of people would happily do so. Director Brian Stillman's documentary Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys
takes you deep into the workings of Kenner Toys, manufacturer of the thousands of variations of action figures, space ships and playsets, to hear from designers how they made those earliest figures. Stillman also meets with several rabid collectors and films their prize pieces as the. Along the way you learn how Star Wars toys transformed the market for film toys and merchandising tie-ins, for better and for worse. Plastic Galaxy
screens at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org
) as part of the museum's current exhibition, Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s
. Admission is free.