Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon Floats Over Australia [Video]

There’s a dark force floating over Australia.

This weekend, during Canberra’s centenary celebration, a Darth Vader hot air balloon rose over the Australian city, sparking fear (and laughter) in hundreds of citizens.

The balloon, which is 26 meters high, has been popping up at events around the world since 2007. It was created by a Star Wars fan in Belgium and has George Lucas’, and LucasFilms’, official approval.

A message on DarthVaderBalloon.com reads: “As soon as we got Lucasfilm’s approval, we made contact with the world largest manufacturer of hot-air balloons, specialized in special shapes and based in the United Kingdom. A Darth Vader helmet replica was sent to their engineers to help them recreate every detail. A vectorial file representing the Vader helmet in 3D was also sent to the engineers.”

In addition to the Darth Vader hot air balloon, the celebration for Canberra’s 100th birthday included hot air balloons in the shape of a peacock, Simba from The Lion King, and Mr. Bup the Turtle.

The Darth Vader balloon, however, was the only one that had stormtrooper guards.

darth vader

J.J. Abrams hasn’t made any announcements yet, but hopefully the Darth Vader hot air balloon gets employed for the release of Star Wars Episode 7.