December 09, 2015
The anticipation surrounding the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been inspiring, which is to say it has inspired months of speculation about whether Luke Skywalker will be the film's bad guy.
It also has inspired an endless and occasionally incongruous list of "Star Wars" merchandise, including a toaster shaped like Darth Vader's helmet that will char the "Star Wars" logo onto your bread.
And it has inspired creativity among the movie's fans, particularly online.
Among the fun examples of "Star Wars" as a muse is the site Star Wars Street View, which tweaks the panoramic imagery of Google Street View, allowing users to virtually tour the database of photos from around the world as though they are in the cockpit of Han Solo's Millenium Falcon, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter, Popular Science reports.
Selecting the Falcon will put you in London, right near Big Ben. Select Luke’s X-Wing, and you’re just south of Times Square. Pick Vader’s TIE fighter? Suddenly you’re in Belgium, staring at the Atomium, which isn’t quite a fully armed and operational battle station ... but at least looks alien. Meanwhile, the iconic John Williams Star Wars theme blares over it all.
Why not Philly, too?
Below are some local sites as seen through the eyes of Star Wars Street View, like Luke stuck in traffic eastbound near the Vine Street Expressway and Schuylkill Expressway split, an area recently listed among the worst traffic bottlenecks in the U.S.:
And in South Philly aboard the Millennium Falcon outside the Citizens Bank Park, now with extra netting for more fan safety.
Or make an escape an escape from the city, Darth-Vader-style, to the shore, like this view from the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey.