If you’d like to celebrate Star Wars Day in true geek style, then check out the video below, where Frank (AKA Go To Hellman) shows off how to display A New Hope in ASCII characters using a microcontroller and 2.2” LCD screen.
The device, aptly named AsciiWars, employs a Wemos D1 Mini ESP8266 board, which is chosen here for its large amount of Flash storage, needed to contain the massive number of ASCII characters needed for this movie. These are shown on a 2.2” LCD display, in a font created by Sebastian Weber for display on the tiny screen. While the hardware used here is impressive, the actual ASCII movie playing – which can also be viewed on a normal browser–is quite the work of art. Simon Jansen, who originally created this display, was nice enough to allow for its use on this tiny project.
Although you might not want to watch the whole movie in such a format, Frank also demonstrates how it can be put into a projector housing for magnification. Even in its “bare” form, it could be a great display for a hackerspace or anywhere else that ambient geekery is needed. Perhaps WiFi could even be implemented to make it interactive, or it could be modified in any number of other interesting ways.
Code is available on GitHub for your perusal, use, or modification!