He will join us or buy, master.
A Texas home that went viral this year for its striking resemblance to Darth Vader’s helmet sold last Friday, according to its listing brokerage. However, the identity of the new owner and the price they shelled out for the unusual-looking property are both still under wraps.
The 7,040-square-foot spread located in Houston — and not in a galaxy far, far away — made waves when it hit the market for $4.3 million in the spring. It notably made its way to the popular @zillowgonewild Instagram account in May, where a 10-photo slideshow showing its space-age interiors snagged nearly 37,000 likes — as well as comments including, “It’s a portal to another universe, I swear,” and “Pretty sure this is where Lex Luthor lives.”
In reality, a plastic surgeon named Jean Cukier — who reportedly avoided any press or tours of the 3201 University Boulevard property — called this his home. Cukier had it built in 1992, but Darth Vader’s helmet wasn’t his inspiration. Instead, he aimed to build a “dark and mysterious” lair inspired by aviation.
“He was into the F-111 stealth fighter,” Randy Hickey, one of the architects who designed the octagonal spread, told Texas Monthly. “He saw a picture of it, and he said, ‘This is what I want.’ And from that point on, it just grew and grew and grew.”
The “Star Wars” design sparked some controversy in the area, West University Place, which is a city within Houston that has its own rules for building and permitting.
“The [community] is used to a certain identity, and Jean’s house was not even close to what they can identify as a house,” Nadia Carron — one of the Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty agents who repped the listing — told the local outlet. “And they were worried about their own property values.”
Since then, the home became an attraction, particularly among “Star Wars” fans. Most recently listed for $3.09 million, Carron stayed busy handling requests from prospective buyers and not-so-serious clients who simply wanted a peek inside. But to keep the latter people at bay, the brokerage required proof of funds in order to tour the listing.
But it took the property three price cuts to sell. It first lowered its ask to $3.95 million in July, then to $3.5 million in August before settling at $3.09 million in September.
Inside its dark-colored and angular exterior, touches include a sunken conversation pit that’s dressed with blue LED strip lights and water features. Two 1980s-looking staircases lead to a landing off to its side, which will take the new owner to the remainder of the living area that includes extra space for lounging and room for a dining table.
The four-bedroom, five-bathroom home additionally has floors made of concrete and stone, as well as a kitchen with serrated-edge hand-carved stone counters. There are also oversize windows that, despite the inadvertent Dark Lord vibes, let in lots of light — and a home office space, which Cukier used as a music studio. The master bedroom has two large closets, while the garage has space for four cars.
“People flew in to see the property,” Carron, who shared the listing with Wade Knight, told Realtor in June. “We had a ton of brokers and a ton of ‘Star Wars’ fans. It blew our minds to see how much people were attracted to this house just because of what it resembles.”