I Left My Star Destroyer in San Francisco

Bonnie Burton | August 15, 2008

Many resident of San Francisco may have daydreamed of how cool it would be if a Star Destroyer hovered over the Golden Gate Bridge as I was stuck in traffic. Or if AT-AT’s shared Ocean Beach with joggers and dog walkers.

One fan made it happen — at least in video form. Check out this awesome short film by Michael Horn of Star Wars vehicles and ships as they sneak into various video footage around San Francisco all thanks to some creativity and impressive tracking software. Maybe one day tourist snapshots of Coit Tower and cable cars will have the Death Star in the background! We can dream, can’t we?

VIDEO: Death Star over San Francisco (Current TV)

Here’s a few of our favorite screenshots from the film including our interview with Michael about how he made the film and why:


Why did you decide to make a short film of Star Wars vehicles and ships co-existing with the citizens of San Francisco?
I was raised on Star Wars and really love the aesthetics of the Imperial ships and vehicles. I wanted to see what it would look like if our Moon was actually the Death Star, so I took it from there.

What gear did you use to make the film?
I shot everything on my junkie DV camera, did motion-tracking and comping in After Effects, and basic sound design in Final Cut.

Which scene was the hardest to make look realistic?
The shot of the Imperial shuttle landing on the rooftop. It was hard to match the camera’s movement and zoom.

Which scene is your favorite?
The very last shot with the parrots of Telegraph Hill sitting on the tree branch with the fog and Death Star behind them.

Any plans on making another one?
I’m thinking about getting news feed footage of current events and super-imposing some of the Star Wars world into it.

Any words for George?
Thank you to Lucasfilm for making my childhood so magical! One day I hope to build my own Ewok Village 6000.

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