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Recreating the Death Star Trench Run Scene with Lego (arduino.cc)
140 points by syck 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 53 comments





Interestingly the original Death Star trench was also made out of standardised interlocking tiles, (rather than bricks).

I've tried finding a link, but surprisingly Star Wars is a popular subject on the internet.

Edit: https://nerdist.com/take-a-look-at-the-practical-effects-for...

Leads to: https://m.imgur.com/a/jRHNa


And the little details on those tiles are called 'greebles'!

https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/star-wars/36450/greebles-ho...


Interesting. There's another documented usage of the word 'greeble' to mean the little rolled up bits that tend to form when you overuse a facial tissue:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/09/wo...


Great build. Wonder if they are all standard issues LEGO pieces or they used a lot of the specialised Star Wars pieces in there as well? (For the death star part, I meant).

I built the LEGO Saturn V last year, and 1969 pieces was enough of a headache for me, so hats off to the artisan who created this with 80,000 pieces!


Looking at some of the close ups from the Instagram page[0] it does seem to have a number of non standard pieces, but mostly for the figurines as far as I can tell. Stickers too, but other than that it looks fairly standard. Difficult to tell from pictures alone of course but nothing really stands out for me as all that non standard.

I too built the Saturn V last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Particularly as it had zero stickers, and very few non standard pieces. Despite having so many pieces it didn’t feel “inflated” with a bunch of really small pieces where a single bigger piece would do just fine, as was the case with the UCS Y-wing I built over Christmas. Great build, but there were so many times I got annoyed by having two or three small pieces, like two or three 2x2 pieces, where a single 2x4 or 2x6 would do just fine. What’s the point in inflating the piece count like that? I’m also not a fan of stickers on the pieces, but at least there weren’t that many..

[0]: https://www.instagram.com/wani_brick/


As I'm sure you know, there are two incentives for inflating piece counts. First, many people consider the number of pieces in the set a metric for its "size," and to them, "bigger is better."

So you get sets with over 5,000 pieces that could have been constructed with fewer, larger pieces, but the people buying the set actually feel some satisfaction from the piece count, so... win-win?

Secondly, many reviews of lego sets trot out a "price per piece" number as if you're buying pieces in bulk and get an instruction manual for assembling a set as a bonus. Smaller pieces make the set seem less expensive by that metric.

I dunno how to fix that problem. We'd need to find a better metric (price per stud? price per gram?) and somehow get everyone to start using that metric in their reviews.

For me personally, I find the whole exercise meditative, so if the set has several small pieces that could be one larger piece, that means I spend more time building the set, and at the end of the day, that's the experience I'm paying for.

My question would be whether they find a way to make the construction interesting, or in reverse, whether it is repetitive enough to be relaxing. There are a lot of subjectives around that.

My son built the Saturn V and loved every moment of it. If you didn't love working with small pieces that could have been replaced with larger bricks... I 100% accept that it was not an ideal experience for you. The pleasure of the build is subjective in many ways, we just have general heuristics to go by.


> Secondly, many reviews of lego sets trot out a "price per piece" number as if you're buying pieces in bulk and get an instruction manual for assembling a set as a bonus.

To be fair, while some people do approach Lego sets like build-and-done models, lots of people do approach them with adaptability to other uses besides the one you get instructions for as a key feature, and more pieces even if they don't make a difference for the build shown on the box are a benefit for that use.

> We'd need to find a better metric (price per stud? price per gram?) and somehow get everyone to start using that metric in their reviews.

The idea of a "better metric" depends on knowing the One True Value Function of Lego. But I don't think that exists.


For the Saturn V, they specifically chose the piece count of 1969 as a sort of Easter Egg referencing the year of the Moon landing.

> there were so many times I got annoyed by having two or three small pieces, like two or three 2x2 pieces, where a single 2x4 or 2x6 would do just fine

I was annoyed by this too (and am experiencing it with the Lego Hogwarts set I am building for my wife), but it seems like it has a good reason. Just as sometimes you see weird rare-color (magenta? sky blue?) pieces in places that are visible, they seem to be altering the piece composition slightly in ways that either exercise their supply chain ("we have a ton of these blue blocks...?"), and also end up making the set _more versatile_ if you ever decide to rip it apart and make something different, as you'll have a variety of pieces from your sets rather than several 12x2 pieces that you can't use for anything.


I got the Saturn V for my birthday last year and I really enjoyed building it and now having it. although I am very disappointed that they have reject the project for the umbilical tower. It would be a perfect addition.

Agreed. I voted for the LUT kit, and was sad to see they vetoed it. Seen some incredible builds online of the LUT by people using just standard LEGO pieces though, and it appears that some people are selling the kit form: http://www.educraftdiversions.org/ProductDetails.asp?Product...

That's a paper model. I remember looking at the link but I would like to take a look at a finished model before I buy this. It seems you have to cut the paper yourself. No idea how difficult that is.

I can't find the link now, but I saw in a Facebook group, a European chap who bought a ton of standard LEGO parts online to fashion his own LEGO LUT. He actually itemised the parts he used, and I think it was well over $500 worth of LEGO. An expensive way to 'custom' do it, but for those dedicated enough... I will post the link here if I ever do find it.

Ouch. 500 is a little excessive. I actually like the idea of the paper model but I am not sure how difficult or complex it is to build it.

I'm getting a blank page, works on archive.org though: https://web.archive.org/web/20190110110159/https://blog.ardu...

Links to the instagram of the project: https://www.instagram.com/wani_brick/

Another very similar blog post with some images: https://mikeshouts.com/custom-lego-death-star-trench-run/

The flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/72984233@N02/

The creator's blog post: http://www.hobbyinside.com/NeoView.php?Db=IndustryReport&Mod... (in Korean)

Also his video channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjMW9mMyPnHD2ALOdGnkPyA/fea...

But couldn't find the video


Here's another interpretation of the trench run rendered in Lego as a small animatic:

https://youtu.be/WvIC6gjKIMw


> includes a cutaway of the back to reveal the insides of this astronomical object.

Can you really call it an astronomical object if it's no moon? Is the ISS an astronomical object? ;P


"That's no moon. It's a space station."

> South Korean LEGO Certified Professional Wani Kim

LEGO certifies professionals?



The savage thing about the Rebels blowing up the Death Star is that they never evacuated any of the civilian family members. Just blew millions of women and children to smithereens and cheered.

Also did anyone else expect this to be a Lego stop motion video instead?


What do you expect from a bunch of "freedom fighters" trying to restore power to the old corrupt regime?

Exactly this. Anakin was a child slave and when he was “rescued” by a fundamentalist religious order for indoctrination they left his mother behind to die. Any one of us in his position would have destroyed the Old Republic too.

Religion? There's clear evidence that their powers are based in actual physics. In particular medi-chlorians.

There's plenty of falsifiable claims made:

- Force is in all living things, check

- Force is strong in this one, check

- Dark side powers are real too, check


Religion?

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” — Han Solo

“Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not given you the ability to conjure up the stolen data plans!” — Moff Tarkins

In-universe it is definitely considered to be a religion.


Which is crazy, right? Moff gets strangled using The Force by Darth Vader right after he says that. How the hell does he not think it's real?

If the Pope came up to you and threatened fire and brimstone, and a fkng fiery meteorite hit you in the head that same moment, would you not believe in Catholicism?


I suppose he could believe that midichlorians are a thing that gives telepathic/telekinetic powers without believing that they are sentient and have a will, whereas the Jedi do believe the latter

Sort of like how you might think electricity has a mind of its own, which it doesn't, even though it's still a real phenomenon? Gotcha.

> Moff gets strangled using The Force by Darth Vader right after he says that. How the hell does he not think it's real?

Moff probably knows the Force is real, he just doesn't believe it's effective, or that impressive compared to the Death Star. He's being defensive and arrogant. And Moff was right... Vader didn't have the plans, did he?


When do you see evidence that there are civilian family members present? Was there an opening ceremony going on or something?

OP is a Clerks reference, by the way.

Clerks reference was about 3rd part contractors, small business people who were finishing the 2nd Death Star? Which was reasonable...

And about RoTJ as well, not ANH. My memory is going in my old age...

Why wouldn’t there be family members? Military bases have civilian areas for families.

> Why wouldn’t there be family members? Military bases have civilian areas for families.

Garrison bases often do, forward operating bases generally don't, neither do warships. The death star is arguably somewhere between the latter and a gargantuan warship. There's at least a very good reason to suspect it wouldn't have civilian family areas.

Also, in a any case, at least the one destroyed in Episode IV was in immediate self-defense as the Death Star was imminently attacking the entire planet on which the rebel base was located, so there would be no duty to evacuate civilians even if the rebels had the theoretical ability to do so without the time constraints posed by the imminent attack, which they didn't—it’s not like they captured the Death Star and scuttled it with crew and any hypothetical civilian dependents on board.


It's a galaxy far, far away. They might have different customs.

If only they knew they could have used a single droid-controlled hyperdrive ship instead

The First Order actively chose not to fire on the kamikaze ship. Though, I do have to wonder why they couldn't have a droid fly the ship? There are plenty of other instances of droids piloting ships.

A lot of people criticize that part of TLJ as somehow breaking combat in Star Wars, but it is consistent with the established physics of that universe. Of course if you accelerate a ship to some significant fraction of lightspeed it can probably do some serious damage to whatever's in front of it. At least, tactically, it makes more sense than a lot of things in the original trilogy (like the Death Star waiting to orbit Yavin before firing at its moon.)

And it wouldn't have even worked as well as it did if the First Order fleet hadn't been lined up like billiard balls.


>(like the Death Star waiting to orbit Yavin before firing at its moon.)

Trivia: this part was added during the editing of the movie for the sake of pacing and drama, see the last part of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk


When the Millennium Falcon arrived at Alderaan it was established that ships in hyperspace do not interact with physical matter

Han also mentions "passing through a star" as a danger of hyperspace travel, he doesn't specify that danger as not applying within hyperspace itself. It's not like they put a lot of thought into the way hyperspace actually worked in the OT.

Also I'm not aware of anything in established canon that says the transition is instantaneous. It's not impossible that there might be a window when entering or exiting hyperspace during which the mass shadow of the craft (possibly increased exponentially by being accelerated to near light-speed) or the ship itself can interact with normal matter.


The effects in all the movies back this up. Ships entering or exiting hyperspace don't just pop in and out (from a third person viewpoint) but actually shoot off or slam in very very quickly. Which infers there's ramp up and down sub-light speeds at each end of the hyperspace journey.

likewise, in the cockpit of the Falcon, you see the star trails extend as she makes the makes the jump to lightspeed, before the hyperspace tunnel effect kicks in.

As I'm typing this, I'm now actually wondering how 'lightspeed == hyperspace' in the SW universe?


Complete speculation here, but this is my guess: Once accelerated to/past light speed it is possible to "make the jump to hyperspace" which is like going through some sort of wormhole. This allows a ship to travel from point to point without traversing the space between. Maybe something like taking a straight line instead of following the curvature of space time (yes I know, a bunch of dead physicists just rolled over). This is how, if you don't think too hard, it makes sense that Han says he "made the Kessel run in 12 (13) parsecs," using a measure of distance, rather than speed/time to make his claim. Presumably all long distance space travel is done at roughly the speed of light, so what makes a difference is not how fast you go, but how much of a short cut you manage to make through hyperspace. Feel free to rip this to shreds:)

I'm now actually wondering how 'lightspeed == hyperspace' in the SW universe?

“Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy.” — Han Solo

The terms seem to be used interchangeably.


Really, the problem isn't scientific. Various sci-fi authors have created all kinds of "hyperspaces" with well-defined rules that would allow for almost any interpretation.

The problem is that it wrecks the drama. Why wasn't this idea used earlier? It's blindingly obvious, not a clever deduction, nor was this some sort of special circumstance (no slingshot around a black hole or some other very unusual thing, for instance). Why won't this be the solution to every battle in the future? Why bother with capital ships if they're so vulnerable to this simple attack? Is the Death Star even necessary if ships can be this powerful on their own? Why did the Rebellion wait so long to deploy this? They'd have been in a wildly better position if they evacuated that ship at the very beginning and used it; the same effect on the enemy, only they have more of their forces left. Why doesn't the Empire, sorry, "First Order" use this on the rebels, sorry, Legitimate Representatives of the Galactic Government Who Are Somehow Still The Rebels? (Although here we come up against the silliness of a sub-light stern chase being the whole movie in a universe with trivial FTL, too. The failures of this movie are like the Shrek onion.)

The problem isn't the science, and it isn't even necessarily that the questions are utterly unanswerable, or that if you try hard enough you can fanon the problem away. (Though IMHO in this particular situation, you must fanon very hard.) The problem is that it raised all these questions, and didn't even acknowledge them, let alone try to address them, and that smacks of bad writing.

There is this popular idea in the writing world that writing science fiction means you can just do whatever you want, whenever you want. The producers of Star Trek: Voyager, for instance, had this idea and clearly articulated it in interviews. And, well, in some sense it's true, but in the sense that it's true, it's no more true in science fiction than it is in any other medium. Nothing stopped Doyle from Sherlock solving all his mysteries by consulting a medium. Nothing stopped Rian Johnson from solving his problem with this particular ass-pull. But being science fiction doesn't prevent the same dramatic consequence happening to the latter as it would in the former. At best it just gives fans a few more avenues for fanon. But that's not good drama.

There are no stakes in a universe where anything can happen at any time.

In particular, I'd highlight that whole Empire/rebels thing again, because that's even more important than the scifi tech stuff. There's just no sensible grand-scale interpretation of the legitimate government of the galaxy being chased by some upstart First Order, and the First Order having all the advantages, literally all of them. (Some advantages, sure, especially around having Sith support. But when did the Galactic government get so anemic? We saw much more strength in tangential fights in the prequels.) Honestly the sequels have been screwed up from the getgo because the writers think they can just do whatever they want, whenever they want, and that the quality never suffers for it. They're spending against an account they don't even know exists and overdrew against it so hard that they may have actually spent Star Wars, Star Wars of all things, dry.


>It's blindingly obvious, not a clever deduction, nor was this some sort of special circumstance (no slingshot around a black hole or some other very unusual thing, for instance).

It makes sense in universe. My research tells me it was mentioned in the EU. It just happens that none of the writers considered it, or employed it in a movie.

>Why won't this be the solution to every battle in the future?

I can think of a few reasons, most of which are the reasons kamikaze attacks aren't the solution to every battle in the real world:

1) Ships are more expensive than torpedos. I see no guarantee in TLJ that the maneuver doesn't pose a risk to the rammer, or that the likelihood more often than not would even be success. What we see depicted appears to be a desperation tactic, not something that makes sense as a primary battle tactic. It may simply be the case that the maneuver requires a degree of precision and luck that makes it infeasible in most circumstances.

2) The maneuver can be detected. It's clearly shown that the Supremacy had time to see the attack coming and could have prevented it, but they didn't. Part of the reason it worked is Hux's arrogance. If the maneuver requires proximity to pull off then it's likely that it leaves you vulnerable to attack if your opponent isn't a moron. Although this is the Star Wars universe, and Star Wars villains always seem to be carrying the idiot ball.

3) Tactics can be adapted to. If kamikaze tactics become commonplace, then ships will counter by spreading themselves out so as to minimize damage from shrapnel (which they should do anyway,) build smaller ships so as to be more difficult to target, mine hyperspace, something.

Why does the United States bother with an army and a navy if it can simply nuke anyone it likes from orbit? Why didn't kamikaze tactics allow the Japanese to win World War 2?

>Why bother with capital ships if they're so vulnerable to this simple attack?

Does it not make sense that they would be vulnerable? Would you have preferred that the Raddus rammed the Supremacy without going to lightspeed first? Should it have just bounced off in that case? Given the size and power these ships reasonably have to begin with, it's not absurd to assume that ramming under normal circumstances would be devastating, even without hyperdrives. Hyperdrives automatically make them exponentially more powerful, however, and that's not unreasonable.

>Is the Death Star even necessary if ships can be this powerful on their own?

The Death Star was destroyed by a farmboy with almost no training in a space fighter using two torpedos and telekinesis. That's far more ludicrous than Holdo's maneuver, yet no one complains about it.

>Why did the Rebellion wait so long to deploy this? >Why doesn't the Empire, sorry, "First Order" use this on the rebels, sorry, Legitimate Representatives of the Galactic Government Who Are Somehow Still The Rebels?

Because this is a fictional universe in which events unfold for the sake of drama, and the writers aren't bound to a maximalist interpretation of the lore. The entire Death Star sequence was ripped from a World War 2 movie, after all. None of the tactics in the series make sense to begin with. Manned ships fighting in close quarters like naval vessels or fighter planes don't make sense in space, at all. But it's odd that a tactic grounded in realism is the one that so many fans consider the straw that breaks the back of the settings' credibility, and not, say, everything to do with Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.


I wonder if this was true it wouldn't still be possible to use hyperspace as a weapon. I wonder what would happen if you tried to exit hyperspace in the same position as another ship. Hyperspace feels a lot like teleportation and if you can teleport arbitrary stuff to arbitrary positions then it severely breaks combat and gives you a completely different equilibrium than the StarWars universe. Is there something stopping someone from hyperspacing a small ship with a nuclear warhead into a larger ship?

I think they addressed a similar concept in the tv show “Fringe”. Attempting to move an object from universe to another where something already existed did not end up well.

I honestly thought it was brilliant, even if I was a little shocked no one thought of it before. I don't think TLJ is infallible though (see: flying Leia).

I wouldn’t have even had the patience to post those pictures to instagram the way they did let alone reconstruct the trench run. Amazing.

I found it hilarious that this includes a shower room for the stormtroopers.

i love the detail on this.

can someone estimate how many bricks it would take to build out the whole death-star at that scale? :-)




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