There are Star Wars fans and then there are serious Star Wars fans. The Australian fan who built a life-sized replica of an AT-ST walker from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is clearly one of the latter.
Almost eight months ago, a number of images were posted online by someone who spotted something that looked suspiciously like the familiar transport vehicle (an “All Terrain Scout Transport” if you want to get technical) used by the Empire’s soldiers, parked in someone’s backyard. The photographer responsible for the pictures eventually mustered up the courage to go find out why an AT-ST would end up in someone’s backyard, and ended up posting a close-up video of the transport, which apparently does more than just stand there inspiring awe.
Both the photos and video were posted by someone going by the name of “Mr Kernish,” who reportedly spotted the AT-ST while working near the house where it’s located, and who was compelled — for obvious reasons — to take some photos. (After all, it’s not every day you see an AT-ST in the wild.) The response to the photos he posted on Imgur then prompted him to approach the owner of the house to get some more information about the impressive homage to the iconic vehicle, and he recorded a pair of brief videos showing the moving gun turrets, eye-ports, and sound effects the AT-ST’s creator incorporated into the movie-accurate replica, as well as the interior of the cockpit.
Solar panels on the top of the AT-ST power the turrets and the rest of the walker, and the cockpit of the AT-ST contains a hodgepodge of circuit boards and other electronics, as well as some red lights that turn on when the eye-ports are closed. There’s also a plaque identifying the AT-ST as “Tempest Scout 2,” the AT-ST that Chewbacca commandeers in Return of the Jedi during the Battle of Endor (the one with the Ewoks, for the less Star Wars-savvy readers), and a lightsaber affixed to one interior wall next to an emergency stop button.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the AT-ST, however, is that its creator chose to remain unidentified. Rather than post photos of his/her creation online or otherwise promote it, the AT-ST’s creator simply enjoys it and would have likely continued to do so without any attention whatsoever if “Mr Kernish” hadn’t discovered it. Basically, building a life-size AT-ST was no big deal for its owner.