At Japan”s 66th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which celebrates the endless possibilities that freshly fallen snow has to offer, one entry stood out. It”s a larger (much larger)-than-life sculpture, created entirely from snow, of the intimidating reach of the Empire. That”s right, it”s Darth Vader, three stormtroopers, a couple of TIE fighters, and, in the background, looming like an unnatural moon, the Death Star.
In its entirety, the sculpture measures 15 meters tall and 23 meters across, and was created with some 3,500 tons of snow. The masterminds behind it were Japan”s army troopers, officially, the 11th Brigade of the Ground Self-Defense Forces, who used bulldozers as well as some serious sculpting abilities to create the piece.
The piece was inspired by the latest Star Wars installment, The Force Awakens, which is scheduled to hit theaters later this year, and received the official approval of Lucas Film Ltd., who likely saw it as a good way to promote the upcoming movie.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan”s largest and most popular wintertime events, and draws about 2 million visitors each year, who come to check out the snow and ice sculptures–there are typically about 200 to see. The festival lasts for a week, and produces some incredible sculptures like this one. The Festival also features a snow sculpture contest, where teams from around the world compete. This sculpture seems to already have the popular vote!