In Singapore, Star Wars Nerdery at the Sandcrawler

Lucasfilm Animation Sandcrawler

The Force is strong with this one.

Located in Singapore’s otherwise staid Fusionopolis office park, the Sandcrawler is a modern homage to the gargantuan vehicle Jawas used to creep through the expansive deserts of Tatooine, trolling for smart-ass buckets of bolts and their feisty little friends. Its horizontally slanted, horseshoe shape mimics the original Sandcrawler profile, but unlike the Jawas’ oxidized beast, this glistening structure features a bold glass facade and pretty inner courtyard with stone pathways winding through verdant tropical gardens.

It’s a fairly impressive sight, particularly for hopeless Star Wars nerds like myself, but sadly the street views and those public gardens are as far as the common man will get.

Lucasfilm Animation Sandcrawler

The Sandcrawler building, of course, is not affiliated with Star Wars by chance: it’s the Asian headquarters of Lucasfilm Animation (as well as The Walt Disney Company and ESPN Asia-Pacific). Completed in fall 2013 and officially inaugurated in January 2014 by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars creator/destroyer George Lucas, the building was designed by the award-winning architects of Aedas. A number of high-profile films and other projects from the Mouse House have been produced and polished here, from the latest Transformers clunker to the recent Star Trek reboots and new animated television show Star Wars Rebels, and the only folks allowed indoors are the employees collectively pulling those strings.

No, you can’t take a tour and peek at the animators working their magic, and no, you can’t catch a film in the Sandcrawler’s 100-seat theater. If you’re in the area anyway, however — perhaps for lunch at nearby The Star Vista, or weekend brunch in Rochester Park, both of which are a 15-minute walk away — it’s certainly worth checking out. After all, this is the only place in Asia where you can have your photo taken with a bronzed Yoda.

Jedi Master Yoda

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