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Architecture of Star Wars


Architecture in Star Wars includes the cities, buildings, ships, and other structures of the fictional Star Wars universe as described and depicted in books, movies, comics, and cartoons. Architects Journal ranked the top 10, including the Death Star and the Jedi Temple.

Comparing the urban and natural environments pictured in Star Wars, Mark Lamster wrote that the cities are places of danger and corruption, while the forces of good find sanctuary in the natural world. He also describes the "retro-futurist" cities in the series as being in between those extremes and places of "great beauty but dubious moral character." He attributes the ambivalence towards urbanity to series creator George Lucas' own feelings about cities and urban environments.

The settings of the movie have generally been praised, but one author took exception to the "anachronistic period architecture and statuary" of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, saying it improperly associated third world buildings with conceptions of innocence and the primitive in a way that was discriminatory and demeaning.

Luke Skywalker is first seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope living with his adoptive parents in a "complex of caves and domed structures" on Tatooine, filmed in the Tunisian desert town of Matmata. The end of the first movie was shot in the Guatemalan rain forest where a celebration with rebel allies takes place in a caved area (a scene said to be borrowed from Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will). The exotic locales provide scenery that is unfamiliar to "all but a few experts in non-western architecture", providing the films with fantastic settings that could still be believable.



  • Kippins, Jeffrey Star Wars III: The Battle at the Center of the Universe; Investigations in Architecture Eisenman Studios at the GSD 1983-1985 Ed. 1986
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