The heroes and villains of the Star Wars saga have been known to visit ice or snow planets, such as Hoth, Ilum, Carlac, or the Starkiller Base. Now, you’re able to make your own Star Wars journey in chilly conditions in Belgium (Liège) with the Star Wars Ice Sculpture Festival. TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub, decided to pay a visit to the festival on its opening day.
The Ice Sculpture Festival is officially endorsed by The Walt Disney Company/Lucasfilm and can be found near the train station of Liège. It’s beautifully promoted by large posters and a car of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Although the website strongly advised us to bring gloves, a scarf, and other winter clothes, the sudden coldness inside the expo still surprised all of us. The 61 ice sculptures were erected in one big hall, so there is no yellow brick road you have to follow once you’re inside. That’s quite nice since you can always turn back to take another photo or have another look at your favorite sculptures. The ice sculptures were created by genuine and skilled artisans. The size, textures, and details of the sculptures are really amazing. Taking a photo or a selfie with the sculptures is possible of course, but your hands might nearly be frozen after some time.
The 61 sculptures all show something or somebody from one of the seven Star Wars movies. A menacing Kylo Ren greets the visitors, and you will then encounter sculptures from the Galactic Empire, including Tarkin, Vader, Palpatine, some troops, and ships. (You can even sit down on the Emperor’s throne, but that’s pretty cold, obviously.) In the center of the right side of the hall, you can find several characters and vehicles from the prequels, including Yoda, an LAAT/i gunship, and Anakin’s podracer. The most obscure character in the entire festival is Fodesinbeed Annodue (Fode & Beed), the podrace commentator. Next from the prequels are Queen Amidala and a (rather big) Senate Guard. The “Duel of the Fates” confrontation takes a central position and there is also a rather large scene featuring Rune Haako, Nute Gunray, TC-14, and some battle droids. The last character seen from the prequels is General Grievous.
Close to the entrance you can find several sculptures from The Force Awakens. Be sure to check out BB-8, Rey, Finn (in stormtrooper outfit), and Poe Dameron. You can also see Rey’s speeder and, if you look carefully, you can even spot a luggabeast lurking behind Rey. Next to Poe you can see a beautiful Hoth scenery with an AT-AT, a T-47, a snowtrooper, Luke on his tauntaun, and a viper probe droid. In the left wing of the hall you’ll see a lot of ice sculptures from the classic trilogy including Jabba the Hutt on his throne (with a Gamorrean, Oola, and Salacious Crumb), Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, and Han Solo in carbonite. C-3PO and R2-D2 are seen next to a First Order stormtrooper.
The last section of the festival features the four heroes of Yavin that are very beautifully sculpted around an X-wing fighter. The sculptures clearly show the texture on Leia’s senate gown and on Chewie’s fur. A large icy structure with stairs is constructed against the wall and you can use an ice glide on the other side to get down. A space battle with a highly detailed Millennium Falcon and other ships from the Galactic Civil War is sculpted in the structure. The bar, where you can get some liquor in tiny glasses of ice, is built like a B-wing starfighter. Near the exit of the festival you can see one of the nicest sculptures, the Bright Tree Village with Wicket, Logray, and an Ewok on a glider. Smaller Ewoks can be spotted in the nicely detailed village, among them two Ewoks that carry R2-D2 to the village square.
Although most of the icy creations are fully sculpted characters, ships or vehicles, you will also encounter nine large ice busts. One of them is an interesting Luke Skywalker, since it’s a young Luke wearing the classic Jedi robes. You’ll also encounter large busts of C-3PO, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, Yoda, Bib Fortuna, Admiral Ackbar, and Kylo Ren.
You will probably remain inside the ice sculpture festival for about an hour and a half. By then, you’ll probably be cold enough to be stuffed into the belly of a tauntaun. But the Star Wars Ice Sculptures is absolutely one cool (no pun intended) event you can check out until the end of January.
Thanks to Steven Jaspers and Wendy Verbraeken for the additional photos.
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider, to the Build the Millennium Falcon magazine, and has created character names and back stories for What’s the Story? and Rogues Gallery.