The force has landed in New York's Times Square as an exhibition dedicated to the costumes from the Star Wars film franchise opens. Over 70 objects from all the films, including the unreleased The Force Awakens, are being put on display by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Lucasfilm.

"We wanted to bring in everyone's favourite characters but at the same time really talk about the creative process and what went into the design of these costumes," said Laela French, senior manager of archive and exhibits at Lucas Museum.

"But also kind of get into the archetype, the creative design and also the archetype and cultural references that George [Lucas, Star Wars creator] and his team pulled from to really create these iconic images," she added.

Actor Anthony Daniels who was the voice of the robot C-3PO said the show pays homage to all those involved in making the films. "As actors, you tend to get a lot of praise because people see your face, well, obviously not in my case, they see you there and they see your performance. But to look at these objects, these pieces of art, it's given me actually a greater respect for these films then I had before," said Daniels.

The exhibition features 15 galleries and an interactive experience that lets fans step into the role of their favourite characters. While visiting, Daniels stepped back into the role of C-3PO but without the exhausting process of putting on the costume.

"Basically it's 17 pieces of metal and plastic and rubber and silicon and stuff like that. I think I'm the 18th piece, though I kind of lost track. You see him here very still and calm, but it's kind of frantic getting dressed up bit by bit, by bit. And finally, like an Easter egg coming together − and there he is complete and being C-3PO," he said.

Organisers hope the items on display will provide inspiration and spark creativity.

"Really George is really about inspiration and education and children, that's really one of his missions. So we do these exhibits to inspire, andm I like to say, kids from eight to 80. This exhibit focuses on the creative aspect but we've done other touring exhibitions on mythology and science and so forth," said French.

The Star Wars series has grossed more than $4.4bn (£2.9bn) globally since 1977 with six films. The Force Awakens is the first of three new Star Wars movies being produced by Disney since it purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05bn. The exhibition will be housed in New York from 14 November until 5 September 2016.

<sub>Additional reporting by Reuters