Visitors take picures of a snow sculpture of depicting Star Wars displayed at the 66th Sapporo Snow Festival venue at Odori Park in Sapporo, northern Japan, February 5, 2015. (EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA)
These ice sculptors know the power of the Dark Side.
Japanese army troops built a stunning tribute to the "Star Wars" franchise for Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, which opened Thursday.
The sculpture, named "Snow Star Wars," re-creates popular characters and images from the blockbuster space opera as busts in a Mount Rushmore-like arrangement expertly carved out of the snow.
Darth Vader is seen wielding his iconic lightsaber as his loyal Stormtroopers stand nearby, at the ready.
The massive snow sculpture also features some of the Galactic Empire’s spacecrafts from the original “Star Wars” trilogy: the Death Star and TIE fighters.
A description on the snow festival’s website says it is the first snow sculpture approved by filmmaker George Lucas’ production company Lucasfilm Ltd.
“The snow statue of Darth Vader expresses ‘terror and impact’ and at the same time expresses ‘agony and sorrow,’” it reads.
"Snow Star Wars" is just one of the many snow and ice sculptures lining Odori Park, the ground of the Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street of the city’s Susukino district, according to the festival’s organizers.
About 2 million people visit Sapporo to marvel at the artwork each year. The festival runs through Feb. 11.