It's a simple shape, a sphere with a concave dish set in the surface. In 1977, the shape was forever linked to the movie Star Wars and is known as the Death Star. In the movie, it was a space station as large as a natural moon that housed the "ultimate weapon", a planet-destroying laser.
1. Hotel Full Moon
in Baku, Azerbaijan is a design from
of Korea, to be built on a peninsula overlooking Full Moon Bay. The luxury hotel will have 382 rooms in its
. Another hotel on the bay will be called Hotel Crescent, also with a shape to follow its name.
2. Convention Center Near Dubai
The RAK Convention and Exhibition Center in the new city of Ras al Khaimah, UAE looks very much like the Death Star. A project still in the concept stage from the
, the design is the result of a competition. The project team is led by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who also designed the CCTV building in Beijing. The building will hold hotels, offices, restaurants, and stores as well as a convention hall. See more pictures
3. Belarus National Library
The Belarus National Library moved into a new building in 2006. It's not spherical; the shape is a rhombicuboctahedron (try saying
three times fast). During the day, the 24 sides sparkle with glass panels. At night, they are illuminated by 4646 color-changing
. The Minsk building is imposing and not without controversy. It has been referred to as the Death Star both because of the way it looks and how it was
4. AT&T Logo
was designed by Saul Bass in 1984, replacing the phone logo that had been in use for nearly 100 years. This came about because of the forced breakup of Ma Bell into seven regional "baby bells". SBC Communications bought AT&T in 2005, and a new, slightly different logo was unveiled. The
hides the classic death star spot somewhat better, but some can
the Evil Empire in the logo.
The distinctive shape of the Death Star was around before Star Wars. It's possible that George Lucas, or some of the other creative minds behind Star Wars owned a Panasonic R-70 transistor radio, marketed as the
likely, in fact, since it seemed everyone had one. They were produced in the early 70s.
The most amazing similacrum of the Death Star is
, one of the inner moons of Saturn. It has an 80-mile-wide crater named Herschel, which looks like it could easily focus a superlaser. The uncanny resemblence is
, as Star Wars was made several years before the first photographs of Mimas with its crater were taken.
If you love the shape, and don't want to travel to Dubai, or Minsk, or Saturn, you can build your own Death Star with a Lego kit -or just watch someone else do it.