Note: This post has been updated at the bottom. The original story appears below, followed by those updates.
If Star Wars fan Mike Koehler's construction plan comes to fruition, we as a nation will be a little bit closer to an Imperial army of our own. On April 6th, Mr. Koehler issued a proclamation on the official blog of his new "AT-AT For America" project.
"Nerds, I have a great idea to make America great again. We can show our brain power, our manufacturing prowess, our organizational skills and our geek-fueled eye for detail.
That idea: an AT-AT for America.
Now I have an idea, but no money and a total lack of mechanical aptitude.
Thatís why I am hoping this project spreads like wildfire, inspiring the nerds, makers, geeks, motorheads, sportos, dudes, steampunks, Jedis, halfwits, greasers and geniuses to band together for one goal.
To build a fully fuctional, full-scale model of an AT-AT Imperial Walker from The Empire Strikes Back.
Impossible? Perhaps. Inspiring? Of course.
The AT-AT would become an instant monument of Americaís obsession with popular culture and our ability to be awesome."
Mr. Koehler, a father of three from Oklahoma City, OK, told me in an email that he hopes to "have several build teams across the country and then come together for a final assembly at where ever we decide on for the final Location." He also said that he would view a life-sized AT-AT as "a monument to the influence and spirit of geek culture and all the togetherness and ingenuity it has inspired." When I asked him what silly practical uses would suit the Imperial behemoth, he replied, "I think it would be an incredible car pool vehicle. Or the worlds [sic] biggest BBQ grill."
Anyone interested in taking part in this project should send an email to the address at the above link. What a great way to showcase the passion and drive of Star Wars fans nationwide. As Mr. Koehler says in his initial pitch, "If America can put a man on the Moon, we can bring a little bit of Hoth to the Earth."
UPDATE: Mr. Koehler also talked to News.com.au and provided a bit more information about the project. Here's a sample: "Once we're done, I would like for the AT-AT to find some place nice to be housed and admired as a monument. Since it will be fully operational, people will be able to ride it. It would be an art piece on par with the Statue of Liberty, but with the ability to mosey around the block." Click through to read more. (Thanks Nick!)
UPDATE #2: Apparently Lucasfilm has fired their harpoon cables at the legs of the AT-AT for America Project according to this blog post from Mike Koehler. We can still dream though!