Nerd Culture

6 Metro Phoenix Landmarks That Remind Us of Science Fiction

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Landmark: Il Cubo at Burton Barr Public Library
Resembles: A Borg Cube from Star Trek: The Next Generation

It's hard to miss the three-foot-square bronze and sculpture created by famed Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro that sits in the lobby of the Burton Barr Library. Both its shape and the circuit-like grooves and etchings covering the sculpture easily remind Next Generation fans of the cube-shaped spacecraft used by the robotic Borg.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office headquarters
Resembles: The Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars — Episode IV: A New Hope

While we’ve never personally witnessed Sheriff Joe Arpaio picking through the Arizona desert looking for wayward droids or scavenging bits of reclaimable junk, the general shape and dimensions of the MCSO’s main office at Fourth Avenue and Madison Street reminds you of the rattletrap vehicle that the loathsome Jawas used to bomb around the wasteland of Tatooine. 

Landmark: Hole in the Rock at Papago Park
Resembles: The Guardian of Forever from Star Trek: The Original Series

In the well-remembered Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever," when Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock stepped through the rock-like time portal known as The Guardian of Forever, the pair were transported almost 400 years into the past. Hole in the Rock, on the other hand, has no such power (insofar as we know). The 10-foot hole through one of Papago Park's many sandstone mountains, however, does provide hikers traversing the tunnel to get a grand glimpse of either Scottsdale or Tempe. Yeah, it's not the same as traveling through time, but it's breathtaking nonetheless.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.