Despite its similarities to the Death Stars, Starkiller Base was nonetheless a technological achievement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Stepping it up from an artificial space station the size of a moon, the First Order converted an entire planet into a superweapon capable of destroying multiple worlds in a single shot. Until we develop out own planet destroying technology, we’ll never truly get to experience what it’s like walking on Starkiller Base, but the next best thing is now available in Abu Dhabi.
The United Arab Emirates capital was home to the Jakku scenes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and to mark this big moment, media and entertainment company twofour54 and Aldar Properties PJSC teamed up to transform Aldar’s headquarters into a Starkiller Base tourist attraction. Taking nine days and “over 420 hours of combined manpower,” they were able to cover the building in over 17,000 square meters of printing to make it look like the weaponized planet. According to a report from Variety, twofour54 will also use some of the left over props from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens desert shoot for another tourist attraction, though no further details about that are currently available.
As the Aldar HQ is the world’s first circular skyscraper, it’s fitting that it gets to be turned into a mock Starkiller Base, and no doubt this will be another boon for getting vacationers to visit Abu Dhabi. Obviously the interior of the building won’t match the silver hallways of the actual base, since Aldar still has work to do in there, but it’s the thought that counts.
Built in the Unknown Regions from an ice planet, Starkiller Base was able to draw energy from a nearby sun and convert into a powerful beam that blasted across hyperspace. Its first and only use was when General Hux ordered it fire on the New Republic capital, Hosnian Prime, resulting the destruction of both that planet and all nearby worlds. Its second target was intended to be D’Qar, the location of the Resistance base, but after Rey, Finn, Han Solo, and Chewbacca lowered the shields and set off explosives, Poe Dameron and his X-Wing squadron were able to fly into the base and destroy it.
Check out the video below to get a better sense of what Abu Dhabi’s Starkiller Base will look like.
Unless Star Wars pulls a page from Return of the Jedi’s book and builds another Starkiller Base for Episode IX, then that’s the last we’ve of this particular technological terror. The new trilogy will resume when Star Wars: Episode VIII is released on December 15, 2017.