Holiday lighting displays are a festive way for many Americans to celebrate the season of lights throughout December, but there is also a segment of the population for which erecting over-the-top and big budget displays takes on a different character. The goal: to completely outdo the neighbors, the neighborhood…or even perhaps the entire country.
With some people doling out hundreds or even thousands on lights and decorations to adorn the front of the home, there are some which stick out as too odd even for the most devoted enthusiast. One example is Colby Powell, a California-based man who, with the help of family erected a lighted replica of the Star Wars-inspired Millennium Falcon spaceship which measured 8.7 meters long. Although it had been put for Halloween, Powell reasoned to let the intergalactic ornament stay up until this month as a nod to the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi which had been planned for release this month.
One distinguishing feature of the ship—compared to standard holiday decorations—is that instead of purchasing a fully assembled piece, Powell decided to custom build it from scratch, adopting a DIY spirit and employing the help of his wife, four children, and a handful of friends and neighbors. Lumber makes up the large wooden frame, and PVC pipes go into the dock section. Not one to miss the small details, Powell added a poster that included Han, Leia, C3P0, and Chewie as a final touch of authenticity.
To make the structure really come to life, Powell decided to use a military-surplus parachute for wrapping the frame. It makes the ship seem large and imposing, but not awkward and oversized. The parachute choice also, no doubt, would make it easier to create backlighting at night for impressive aerial shots. To capture a large audience, LED rope lights were used. The final weight of the structure after construction: a jaw-dropping 317 kilograms.
Powell, who serves as Vice President and Project Director of construction firm Overaa, no doubt used some his experience in construction management and architecture in the project. For instance, after the 4-week project wrapped up, he decided to use a 21-meter crane to raise it onto the roof.
Powell is also quick to add that not only is the spaceship welcomed by the community, but it is gaining even more support than the 7-meter long Death Star replica which Star Wars-crazed Colby put up two years ago in the same spot in 2015:
"[They] love it and are a large part of the reason why we do this," he shares. "Many neighbors have pitched in to get the projects built...More neighbors helped this time around with the Falcon. Many people drive by and I've heard from a lot of friends and more distant neighbors that they look forward to seeing it in person."
We all look forward to seeing what impressive tributes to the Star Wars franchise Colby will make in the next few years. Hopefully, this one will not be his last.