It’s made from a third of a mile of PVC pipe, 18 cans of paint, 162 PVC geohub connectors and a couple of parachutes. It took three weeks to build, and sits on top of the house belonging to Colby Powell in Lafayette, California, about 30 miles east of San Francisco.
And it lights up at night.
It’s a homemade scale model of the Deathstar from Star Wars, and a jaw-dropping 23 feet in diameter it almost three times bigger than the 8-foot diameter version made of LEGO that was finished and put on display in the Star Wars area at LEGOland in February of 2015.
The Powell family originally built it to celebrate Halloween, but they decided to leave the entire structure in place until the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Powell works in construction, which came in handy when it came time to hoist the entire structure onto the roof of his house with a construction crane. All told, it took Powell some three weeks to build his Death Star. In October, Powell, his family, and “about two dozen” of his neighbors all banded together to create a massive, two story-high LED-lit replica of the famed Death Star, stacked on top of the Powell’s Happy Valley Glen Road home.
The daunting project didn’t begin solely because he or his son Ian had an affinity for Star Wars – rather, it started with an annual tradition the family started years ago, wherein their neighbors are invited over every year for a pre-Trick-or-Treat chili supper. Over the last few Halloweens, the Powells started to outdo themselves with ghostly decor. Eventually it wasn’t enough, so three years ago, they began to incorporate a haunted house into their plans. This year, though, with the release of the new Star Wars film, they decided to try something different.
With three children all wanting to dress up as characters from the films, Powell decided to build something a little less spooky and a little more Dark Side. Friends and neighbors lent a hand despite not knowing what they were building — Powell says they “kept it a secret” — and before long, the famed moon-sized battle station was complete.
Watch the video, and you’ll see the Deathstar light up via its impressive installation of LED lighting, complete with the “planet buster” main gun. That’s one heck of a Christmas decoration.
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