When we discuss visual Science Fiction, certain elements seem do define this divers genres. For example, megalomaniac cities with enormous skyscrapers reaching into space are very important to give the setting a futuristic touch.

The architectural iconography of Science Fiction oscillates between the reception of actual buildings, styles and designs and the need for alienation. Depending on the plot and setting, the Science Fiction elements can be designed utopian or dystopian, referring to historical, current or futuristic impressions.

Our example today can be found in Dublin: The Long Room in the Old Library of Trinity College. It is an astonishing example for Neo-Renaissance interior design and was built between 1712 and 1732. In the middle of the 19th century, the Long Room became its current design with gallery and the wooden vault.

Although, Lucasfilm is denying any resemblance of the Long Room with the Jedi Archive shown in „Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones“ from 2002, there is no doubt that the set designers used it as historical model for the most important archive in the Galactic Republic.

The biggest changes were made within the building materials, the floor and most obvious with the columns. They appear now as an alienated version of antique columns, playing with forms and elements.

Besides those changes in design, the structure of the Long Room was kept. The most interesting aspect is that the artists show on the one hand a hyper technological society and on the other hand a well-known old institution like a library or archive. Therefore, they kept the bookshelves as they were and digitized the hell out of them. Literally the books were replaced in the same size and order as before with light elements, fulfilling the same purpose.


The Jedi Archive is part of a lecture I gave at the World Science Fiction Convention 2019 in Dublin. You can find the whole presentation here.


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