In 2017, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival unveiled a massive, Mount-Rushmore-style snow sculpture of the characters Kylo Ren, BB-8, C-3PO, and R2-D2.
Dubbed “White Star Wars,” this installation was the second large-scale Star Wars sculpture to be featured at the festival in recent years. The first came back in 2015, when Japanese Self-Defense Force troops erected a sculpture of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, and TIE Fighters, and christened it “Snow Star Wars.”
At the time, this achievement made international headlines, with sites like CNN and Popular Mechanics reporting on it. By the time most people read the news, however, the festival would have already been well underway. Few, if any, geek tourists would have likely been in a position to just drop everything and hop on a plane to Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island, where the city of Sapporo is located).
This year, however, The Gaijin Ghost was able to do just that. This is one of the advantages of being a blog based out of Tokyo.
As luck would have it, your humble blog administrator also happened to be staying at a hotel that was right around the corner from 10-chome, the exact site where “White Star Wars” was on display, in Odori Park.
And so it was all too convenient for the Eye of the Ghost to hit the ground there several times: first in the daytime, then at night, then once more in the early morning hours, when Odori Park was uncharacteristically deserted.
The end result of those visits are the 20 pictures in this post (plus one video embed). Here you can see what it was like to be on the scene in Sapporo during the week-long reign of this snowy monument.
Suffice it to say, seeing Star Wars built into the environment of a city blanketed with snow is probably the closest a fan could come to vacationing on the ice planet of Hoth. Though who knows: maybe Trials on Tatooine, the Star Wars virtual reality experiment that came out last year, will spawn an amazing sequel set on Hoth.
In the meantime, there is this. Enjoy your vicarious trip to 10-chome in Odori Park, where the “White Star Wars” installation once stood, with children kneeling before its Brobdingnagian bust of Kyle Ren like little Sith apprentices.
(And for all those doubters, yes, Brobdingnagian is a valid word ... or at least it was in the 18th century, when Gulliver’s Travels was written. As students of literature may remember, Gulliver, too, voyaged to Japan, and had the Emperor himself excuse him from trampling on the fumie. Lucky traveller.)
Even though this sculpture is gone now, it will remain preserved in pictures here, as part of our ongoing “Star Wars in Japan” time capsule. Look for other posts under that heading in the sidebar, if you are interested in checking out some features with the same special focus. The newly compiled Star Wars in Japan - Menu of Off-Blog Content also contains a few added points of cross-reference, for galleries on our home page.