February 15, 2013

Because it straddles the divide between pop culture and nerdvana, the Star Wars universe is something like the tip of the geek iceberg. Casual fans observe it from afar, murmuring appreciation because, “Why, I like those movies too.” When a Star Wars fan creates something insane—a full-size Millennium Falcon, say, or the entire film recreated in five second crowdsourced clips—the world at large experiences none of the creepy-shivers it gets when confronted with overly elaborate cosplay costumes. Every sci-fi series inspires passion, but only with Star Wars is that passion tolerated by outsiders.

In that spirit, consider Barry. A Star Wars fan with lots of free time and slightly too much living space, he decided to convert 140 square feet of his house into a Star Wars diorama worthy of the Imperial War Museum. His chosen scene was the Battle of Hoth—the largest ground engagement depicted in the films, and the site of one of the most delightful blunders in fictional military history. For those who’ve never passed dark hours with the original trilogy on repeat, this is the big set piece at the start of Empire Strikes Back, when Vader attempts to destroy the rebel alliance—again!—with what look like great big mechanical horsies.

Click through the above slideshow, and you’ll see he’s got built-in explosions, built-in laser fire, built-in smoke and enough action figures to populate a completely unnecessary remake of Small Soldiers. Squint at the pictures and, because the original film was made with models, it’s easy to pretend you’re looking at screenshots.

What kind of man would devote himself to such a creation? Big surprise: he’s a goofball. In a video released to his friends on the forums, Barry shows off his “dio,” spending less time on technical specifics than he does on nerdly jokes about being a pornstar. He’s geeking out in a totally safe space, refusing to even take the time to brag about the incredibly awesome thing he’d made. He built this for him, and you’re welcome to take a look at it.

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