Darth Vader Comes to Life in Star Wars ‘Secret’ Room

A simultated retina scan from a Dr. Doom mask is the first step inside a Star Wars-themed room complete with an audio, light and laser show.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now in theaters, with fans rushing to the theaters to get a first glimpse. Some, however, don't need to leave their homes to feel like they are part of the movie.

When CE Pro first saw a photo of the exterior, we thought, “What is more theatrical than a home designed to look like a castle?” The answer: creating a Star Wars-themed room inside decked out with audio, video and lighting control.

Unlimited Electronic Lifestyles in South Dakota did just that, with strategically installed steps to enter the customized room.

First, movement close to the doorway is detected by a Crestron occupancy sensor. There is a Dr. Doom stainless steel mask mounted on the wall, and LED lights in the eyes illuminate from the sensor’s feedback.

The show begins when a pressure sensor underneath the carpet in front of the mask detects movement. A Crestron SWAMP audio system then plays an automated message instructing visitors to approach the mask for a retina scan. Graphics and audio that simulate a scan are displayed from a Crestron touch panel mounted behind the mask on the wall, and automatic doors slowly open upon completion.

Once the doors open, a Crestron control (integrated with a DMX interface) cues up a projection show, powered by a commercial-grade class four-laser projector. The show also includes overhead lights, three banks of LED light bars and two banks of LED strobe lights.

You’re probably thinking, when does Darth Vader come into play? That starts happening prior to the audio, light and laser show. An IR control turns on two LCD monitors to display a star field behind the death star window behind a life-size replica of Darth Vader.

Once the show is over, the Darth Vader replica comes alive with four contact closure control circuits from an external Crestron relay board. Lights on the belt and chest plate are illuminated, an internal audio system plays mechanical breathing, and the light saber in Darth Vader’s hand is activated.

To leave the room, a large wall-mounted sconce is turned, simulating a hidden lever. Another similar audio, light and laser show is displayed before the doors automatically open.

You never know what lies behind the doors of a home that resembles a castle.