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Top 10: The Architecture of Star Wars (pt II)


The Architects’ Journal selects the most important buildings from a galaxy far, far away. Part II features Jabba the Hutt’s palace and the Jedi Temple


5. Artisanal dwellings, Tatooine

Home to Luke Skywalker, the two-sunned desert planet is known for its charming domed adobe buildings, reminiscent of Berber granaries of Tunisia such as the Ksar Ouled Soltane (pictured)

4. Coruscant, the whole thing

Like adding New York to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, then squaring the result. The capital of the Old Republic takes urban sprawl to the extreme and realises the vision of Greek City planner Constantinos Doxiadis of an ecumeonpolis: a single city that covers the whole of a planet. The ‘New Architecture’ style common to the Senate Area of Coruscant is characterised by Manhattan-like skyscrapers nestled among blade-thin obelisks that resemble the soaring minarets of Cairo.


3. Jedi Temple, Coruscant

The temple’s exterior form adapts the robust typology of Mayan temples, with durasteel cladding specified for the external stone walls for improved defensive strength. Over a kilometre in height, the ziggurat is built above a Force-nexus and has ample room for training facilities, accommodation and the Jedi Archive. The temple has five towers, the tallest called the Tranquillity Spire which has similarities to the minarets which surround the Ahghia Sophia in Istanbul.


2. Jabba the Hutt’s palace, Tatooine

This monumental structure in stone and metal is composed of three cylindrical towers; located at the fringe of the Northern Dune Sea on the planet of Tatooine, it was originally built as a monastery by the B’omarr Monks. The palace’s hulking mass dominates the surroundings and is home to torture chambers, droid pool, storage area for frozen enemies and Rancor pit. Not universally admired, C3P0 commented: ‘That is scarcely what I would call a palace, Artoo. It looks more like an iron foundry’.

1. The Second Death Star

A pleasing return to Classical symmetry, the Death Star was the run-away winner. Despite rumours of construction over-runs and structural weakness, this menacing spherical chunk of Brutalist infrastructure has made its impression on a architects from Ledoux and Boullee to Heerim Architects’ lunar hotel.


Readers' comments (7)

  • No, no , no. The second Death Star was a poor facimilie of the original, and best. Why didn't they move the design on a bit...

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  • These aren't the droids you are looking for...move along...

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  • The tall building in the background of the Annikin/ObiWan conversation in Episode III bears a striking resemblance to Burj Dubai. How did you miss that?

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  • Do you think Coruscant looks like it does today because of the Emperor's son's 'totally unconstitutional' interventions? No. A lesson we need to learn.

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  • How about comparisons with other sci-fi architecture? Borg ships; space station in 2001: A Space Odyssy...

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  • The Artisanal dwellings of Tatooine look like Ksar Ouled Soltane - but the ones in the Phantom Menace are in fact Ksar Hadada:



    George Lucas pretty much nicked the whole look of Star Wars from Tunisia, from the names (Tatooine is a real town in Tunisia) to the clothing (Jawas in djellabas) to the architecture...

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  • Oh, and of course the Lars Homestead, aka the Hotel Sidi Driss, a traditional Berber cave dwelling in Matmata: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matmata

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