Statues of famous fictional characters are found all across the world. People around the globe show their appreciation for comic book icons and movie characters by making statues that represent their narratives and stories depicted in the work of fiction.
Lord Darth Vader is arguably one of the most famous movie villains of all time. Represented in the Star Wars movies, mostly in the original trilogy that was brought to cinemas around the world from 1977 to 1983. Born as Anakin Skywalker (in case you haven’t watched it, sorry for the spoilers!), this antagonist is practically the driving force of the now 9-part movie series, along with his son Luke Skywalker (I did warn you about the spoilers, haven’t I?).
The statue of Darth Vader stands tall in the city of Odesa in Ukraine. Ukraine is a country that was a part of the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell apart, a decree was made to remove all of the symbols of the past that remind the people of the terrors that happened during the communist regime. Alexander Milov decided to convert a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, one of the most controversial politicians of the Soviet system.
Instead of Lenin’s head, Milov put a mask that Darth Vader wears in the movie, along with his hi-tech breastplate. The black cape that Vader wore so scaringly good was also added later on. They even installed a Wi-Fi hotspot inside his head! What this represents to the people of Ukraine is rather simple - the horrors of the Soviet regime are embodied in this statue because Vader was the leader of an evil empire similar to that of Lenin.
After World War II ended, and the horrors that happened when nuclear bombs were thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the people of Japan had to find a way to deal with those tragedies. A different kind of monster was created in cinema, called Godzilla or Gojira.
The first movie appearance for Godzilla happened in 1954, and its creators Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishirō Honda, and Eiji Tsubaraya portrayed a gigantic and destructive monster that was awakened and driven by nuclear radiation. Gojira is something between a gorilla and a whale, it can live on both land and sea, and his physique resembles the one of a dinosaur (Tyrannosaurus rex for the most part).
A statue of Godzilla is located in Tokyo, in their famous Toho Walk of Fame in the Hibiya area. Japan has a known affection for big and scary monsters, and Godzilla is the one that became a metaphor for the tragedies that happen in case of a nuclear attack/disaster. Godzilla can also be viewed as a figure that represents the technological advancements Japan has seen in the last 50 years or so.
If you did not watch any of the movies from the Rocky franchise, you are missing a lot! Sylvester Stallone plays the leading role of a boxer who faces various challenges on his way to the top. The first movie was released in 1976 as the beginning of a five-part series. The story of Rocky Balboa continued in 2006, and three more films (including Creed 1 and Creed 2, where Rocky is no longer a boxer, but a coach) were made.
The most famous scene from the 1976 movie happens when Balboa is preparing for a match, doing a whole lot of running across the streets of Philadelphia. As Rocky is building up his cardio exercises, he runs up the stairs that lead to the Philadelphia Art Museum. After he reaches the top, he raises his hands up in the air as the music cues Survivor’s ‘’Eye of the tiger.’’ This scene is something that everyone that watched the movie remembers, as it celebrates the success of an underdog.
A colossal bronze statue honoring this scene, and the idea behind it, is now located on top of the 72 stairs, just outside of the Art Museum. It was made by an artist named A. Thomas Schonberg, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
It’s a bird...it’s a plane...it’s Superman! This fictional character was first created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the late 1930s. Superman saw his debut on April 18, 1931, as the first number of Action Comics was released by DC Comics.
One of Earth’s most famous superheroes does not come from Earth at all. Born Kal-El on the planet Krypton, Superman made his way to our planet alone in a special aircraft. He landed in a town that was named Smallville, where his human parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, took care of this special baby.
Superman represents a lot of things, but it is mostly interpreted as a figure that seeks truth and justice above all, and some see him as a model that talks about the American way of life. His home, later on, was called Metropolis. Luckily for the people that live in the state of Illinois, there is also a town called Metropolis there! Of course, they have used that fact to put up a 15-foot statue of Superman in their city. Along with the Super Museum that goes along with it, fans of Kal-El can visit the facility and enjoy over 70,000 memorabilia items that are held in the museum.
A cute bear from Peru, who is always polite and kind, made his first appearance in 1958 in a book titled ‘’A Bear Called Paddington’’. Created by a British writer Michael Bond and visually represented by Peggy Fortnum, this friendly anthropomorphized bear has been children’s favorite for quite some time.
In the original story of Paddington Bear, he was discovered by a British family, the Brown’s, in one of London’s train stations - Paddington. Therefore, the family named him Paddington Brown.
The people of London decided to pay tribute to this beloved character by installing a life-sized statue of Paddy in Paddington Station. The statue was put up in the year 2000, well before the first movie, who sparked global interest for the character, was released in 2014.