Starring Harrison Ford and the trilogy’s original cast, the Star Wars Holiday Special premiered back in 1978. One of the first official Star Wars spin-offs to air, the film has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video; therefore, the special has become something of a cultural legend, due to the “underground” quality of its existence. The premise of the flick centered round Life Day (a Wookiee holiday similar to Christmas), where Chewbacca — accompanied by Han Solo, of course — is headed home to see his family. Along the way, the duo are chased by two Star Destroyers, but they escape into hyperspace.
Well, for those Star Wars fans unable to ever catch the holiday film, you can still celebrate the season with one Maker’s impressive themed Christmas “tree.” Comprised of redwood and plywood shelves mounted to the wall in a tree-like structure, Darbin Orvar’s decorative piece is powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and several strips of LED lights programmed to play Darth Vader’s infamous theme song.
As Orvar points out, the tree is surely an ideal Christmas centerpiece for any die-hard Star Wars fan in their home, apartment, or even inside their office — where you may not want an actual tree yet still looking for a little holiday cheer.
“You can go simple or complex with the design here, but I chose to go pretty simple with some this redwood shelves for branches and LED strip lights for typical Christmas lights,” the Maker writes.
While this DIY project’s lighting is programmed to sync with Darth Vader’s theme, Makers can go ahead and create any sequence they’d like.
To create each circuit, Orvar used a TIP31 transistor. From the base, she connected a 1k ohm resistor to the pin of the Arduino, grounded the emitter and connected the collector to the negative of the LED, while giving the red lead a 12V power supply. The Maker does note that “the power on the Arduino is not great enough to power the LED alone, so you must use something with more power, like a battery.”
Interested in an ATmega328 based Star Wars tree for yourself? Head over to the project’s official page for a step-by-step breakdown. May the force be with you this holiday season!