Pa. High School Looks Like Star Wars Icon

Is Parkland High School supposed to look like the Millennium Falcon?

By Dan Stamm
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 2:47 PM EDT
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Pa. High School Looks Like Star Wars Icon

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The building layout of Parkland High School in East Whiteland Township looks to some like the Millennium Falcon of "Star Wars" fame.

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It’s no Jedi Mind Trick and probably just a coincidence but a Lehigh Valley High school’s uncanny resemblance to a Stars Wars icon has Sci-Fi fans reveling and the Internet abuzz.

A satellite image of Parkland High School looks eerily similar to the Millennium Falcon spaceship made famous in the Stars Wars Trilogy.

The story about the 13-year-old school looking like a Sci-Fi symbol first broke on Reddit then was picked up by the Morning Call, Huffington Post and dozens of other sites.

But was the design by ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers of the East Whitehall Township school building intentionally made to look like the ship famously piloted by Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca?

No, it's just a coincidence, school officials tell E!’s The Soup. The school district confirmed with NBC10 that the building wasn't designed to look like the famous starship.

The architect himself, ATS&R's Dean Beeninga, also says the Star Wars-likeness was unintentional and that he only recently heard about the Falcon coincidence. But he does wish that he had thought up the idea especially since his seven children are big Stars Wars fans.

Beeninga's firm's style clustering schools into a circular design that forms a campus that’s more college-like than traditional high schools often draw comparisons to spaceships or even crabs -- Another of his firm’s designs is Central Bucks South which looks like a crab or one of those ships from Tron -- but this was the first case when a design was compared to a specific item.

Maybe this was part of a greater plan.

Beeninga points out that when the letters of his firm ATS&R are rearranged they for “STAR.”

“Maybe this is some sort of cosmic alignment,” he says.

Beeninga is relieved that Parkland doesn’t look like another Star Wars icon:

“I’m glad I’m on the Republic’s side. I’d be devastated if it looked like the (Empire’s) Death Star.”

If coincidence, intentional or just an ode to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars-looking school has made headlines nonetheless.


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