T3: The 5 Best 'Star Wars' Hacks of 2016

Some of my favorite builds, hacks and projects from the past year

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With "Rogue One" still looming in our minds as we recover from the holidays, I felt it appropriate to share some of my favorite builds from 2016. These are in no particular order, and while many of you have worked on fantastic "Star Wars"-related projects, these just struck me as impressive. Most impressive.

James Bruton's GONK Power Droid

If you haven't seen James Bruton's YouTube channel, I highly recommend checking it out. He builds a lot of crazy contraptions from pop culture, and "Star Wars" droids seem to be a particular favorite of his.

In his recent series, he constructs the GNK power droid, also known as "Gonk droid" (yes, the trash can with legs). The latest episode shows James perfecting the walking mechanism, which is quite complicated considering it is bipedal locomotion.

'Star Wars' Droid Translator Helmets

On the subject of droids, Hackster user Minimum Effective Dose designed these adorable (and slightly creepy) Droid Translator Helmets. Using a throat mic to pick up any slight utterance by the wearer, the helmets emit familiar beeps and boops instead of words. While no actual translation is occurring, it's definitely amusing to watch.

Replica AT-ACT Clubhouse

Yup, I would have done anything to have one of these in our backyard as a kid. Our neighbors would have probably killed us, though. That being said, Colin Furze (yes, the same crazy home-mad-scientist-slash-maker who builds thermite launchers and magentic shoes) does an amazing job constructing this "Star Wars"-themed backyard playhouse.

Drone 'Star Wars'

"Star Wars" dogfights and drone racing seemed like a natural fit, so the folks at Corridor Digital made a particularly fun fan video of what a "Star Wars" drone/starfighter dogfight might look like. If you're curious about how they made it, check out this Hackaday article. I do recommend watching the video first, because here's a hint: there's a lot of camera tricks going on. Jedi mind tricks or not, it's still a blast to watch.

Cosplay: All of It

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the multitude of cosplayers out there and the countless hours they put into making some amazing costumes, from surprisingly accurate representations to extremely clever mashups. It was hard to pick a favorite, so do yourself a favor and peruse through some of the photos from this past year's San Diego Comic-Con. Business Insider and Fansided have some great galleries.

What other "Star Wars"-related projects have you seen that you thought were impressive or clever? Share your thoughts in the comments or send us a Tweet @sparkfun.

Comments 3 comments

  • sure the most valuable thing shared in this blog damn true...

  • OldFar-SeeingArt / about 7 years ago / 1

    Ten thumbs up for Colin Furze and James Bruton's web sites; my grandson begs me to run the videos for him. Now gonna have to watch the others ones you posted!!!

    • I'm a big fan of their work, too, and I admire their on-camera personalities. Hope you and your grandson have a great New Year!

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