Local government officials are ordering Star Wars fan Paul Parker to take down his 14-foot AT-ST replica. The giant replica is located in Devon, England, and officials claim that it is a distraction to drivers on the road, even though it is placed on Parker's private property. The AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back on Hoth, and was featured in the Return of the Jedi as well, where it was seen blowing Ewoks away on Endor.
Paul Parker is not the original owner of the giant tribute to Star Wars. Four years ago, Dean Harvey spent 400 hours and around $5,000 constructing the 14-foot AT-ST so that his daughters would have a fort to play in. Harvey says, "It's all made of out steal and weighs about two-and-a-half tons," which is pretty substantial. After his daughters outgrew the best fort ever made, Harvey handed the AT-ST over to fellow Star Wars fan and Devon resident, Paul Parker.
The AT-ST was then placed near the roadside on Paul Parker's private property and has turned into a destination for local hardcore Star Wars fans to check out. The Teignbridge Council has given Parker 21 days to remove the replica from his property because they claim that it is a distraction for drivers. However, from looking at social media comments, drivers enjoyed having something to look at on "boring" drives on A38 roadway. Parker has argued that the historic Stone Hedge is also really close to the road as well, but government officials are not budging on their decision.
Paul Parker wanted to have the giant AT-ST replica on his property to boost tourism to the small town of Devon, England. He's tried other publicity stunts in the past, including a nude calendar. In the end, Parker understands why the local government wants him to take it down, noting that he never asked for permission or obtained the permits to have the Star Wars monument placed. He has to put in a "retrospective planning application in for it," so may actually be able to keep it up when all is said and done.
So far, Paul Parker says that most people who comment on the matter have been positive about keeping the AT-ST up on his property. If he's not able to keep it up, Parker plans on making it mobile so that he can bring it around to Star Wars fans, which is also a pretty great idea. The AT-ST replica has only been up for two weeks and the local government claims that they have given Parker some extra alternatives, which could mean that all hope is not lost to keep the Star Wars monument up. The story was first reported by The BBC and you can check out some images of the AT-ST below.