“She may not look like much but she’s got it where it counts, kid.”
The Millennium Falcon, otherwise known as a Corellian YT-1300f light freighter, is a space vessel that needs no introduction. You could even go as far as to say that the Falcon, what with its radar dish and elongated bow, is as much a part of the Star Wars DNA as Han Solo, or Chewbacca, or any one of the iconic characters populating Lucasfilm’s galaxy far, far away.
It received a new lick of paint for Solo: A Star Wars Story, too, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider that the Ron Howard-directed spinoff finds itself between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope on the series timeline.
But as Lucasfilm design supervisor James Clyne tells StarWars.com, Solo‘s Falcon almost looked very, very different, as early on in production the team had considered a number of weird, wonderful and wacky designs.
The way I saw it, it’s like ripping a tablecloth off, you know those magicians that rip a tablecloth off and everything is still there? All the things that we know and love about Han Solo’s ship is underneath that. That was kind of the starting off point.
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One of the Falcon’s most distinguishable features is undoubtedly the mandibles – two projections used to transport cargo all across the galaxy, as Clyne revealed:
It always had that funny little gap in the front — the mandibles — and even as a kid, I remember getting the Millennium Falcon toy and I always wondered, why is it shaped this way? Was there something that was supposed to go there? Was there more to it? It was always kind of a mystery to me and here I am 40 years later actually having to solve that problem.
Solo: A Star Wars Story has been playing across theaters near and far as of last week, though its relatively soft opening weekend has led to some concern as Ron Howard’s Anthology pic braces for a crucial second weekend at the box office. Will it sink or swim? Only time will tell.