It's hard to believe the franchise has been around for so long, but the people who grew up going to see Star Wars in theaters have since moved on and become adults. If the President of the United States can fondly recall memories of the old-school model ships, you can be sure that there are Star Wars nerds in every profession.
This might explain why a Pennsylvania high school looks exactly like the Millennium Falcon when viewed from above via Google Maps. The school officials denied the similarities, probably out of fear of the notorious mouse-eared hitsquad, but come on. That planner knew exactly what he was doing when he drew up the blueprints to look like a certain Corellian freighter belonging to a certain smuggler and his walking carpet.
To be fair, there's a difference between a sneaky architect and straight-up requesting a new office building that looks like a starship.
Okay so yes, we're talking Star Trek here, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. As the story goes, a Chinese tech company specifically commissioned their workspace be made in the image of the USS Enterprise. And just like the Millennium Falcon, you can see this monument to geekery for yourself on Google Maps.
These buildings are viewable by the general public, but that doesn't mean residential areas aren't hiding epic sci-fi tributes. It wasn't long ago that a few Reddit users shared their experiences in finding what seems to be a life-size X-Wing in the middle of nowhere.
To be fair, "middle of nowhere" in this context is "a neighborhood in Northern Virginia," but you get the picture. Some random person in a small town loves Star Wars so much they couldn't live without a huge X-Wing in their backyard. This isn't an in-joke for architect buddies or a show of wealth and fandom, but instead a personal expression of love for Star Wars. If the Reddit thread is to be believed, this is in fact a set-used prop from one of the movies. Even though the ship is visible from public property (you kind of have to go out into the woods a bit), you're probably better off leaving this hero alone with their treasure and admire them from afar.
To many, gargoyles seemingly serve no purpose other than the basis of an underrated afternoon cartoon show. Originally, they were a fancy way of drawing water away from a roof, but these days they're more or less decorative uggos, like scarecrows that pigeons can shit on. Thing is, the world has been using them for so long that many of these gargoyles have had to be replaced. And when the sculptors of today try to think of the ugliest monsters imaginable, they look to pop culture. The guy who snuck the xenomorph from Alien (seen above) onto the side of a 13th century Scottish abbey probably figured that his imagination was nothing compared that of H.R. Giger. Plus, it looks hella rad.
As it turns out, there are several nerdy gargoyles tucked away around the world. But they're not all monsters.
Yes, that's really Darth Vader arorning the side of the Washington National Cathedral. But this one wasn't the work of a sneaky sculptor, but instead the result of a children's competition in National Geographic World Magazine, in which kiddos were were tasked with whipping up their own gargoyle designs. Little Christopher Rader won third prize, which meant that his remarkable work of blatant copyright infringement was placed on the Northwest Tower.
Not all of these geeky grotesques are specifically tied to a franchise, however.
Like the others, the astronaut was a recent addition to the Cathedral of Salamanca. As tempting as it is to imagine a 13th century artisan having the foresight to sculpt a modern spacefarer, the fact remains that the astronaut was added during a restoration in 1992. It was since defaced by vandalism, probably because an astronaut with no protective visor is downright heresy.
People just won't stop adding iconic characters to ancient religious buildings. The Chapelle de Bethléem, built in the 15th century, now features Gizmo and Stripe from the classic movie Gremlins. Along with an obscure anime character, the chapel also includes this:
I can appreciate the Alien love here, but let's try to branch out into more movie horror. What the world really needs is a horrific stone version of Pennywise the Clown on the side of a church.