By far one of the coolest moments in the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was seeing the Millennium Falcon back in action. Every glimpse we’ve since had of that iconic spaceship has been pretty awesome though, and now a new official image from the highly anticipated movie gives us a great look at it taking down a TIE Fighter.
Talking to Wired, Christian Alzmann, senior art director at Industrial Light and Magic, had this to say about bring the Millennium Falcon to life on the big screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
“The big change on the Falcon is that radar dish, because it was knocked off in Return of the Jedi through some of Lando’s close-quarters flying. As far as the rest of the Falcon goes, we had a whole crew that went up to the archives and saw the original five-foot model from Empire. So the textures are from the original, pretty much. I’m sure our artists put a lot of love into it and fixed anything they found troublesome.”
The radar dish has been something Star Wars fans have been wondering about for a while now, so it’s good to finally have a definitive answer on why that change was made. While J.J. Abrams won’t be utilizing models in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a life-size Millennium Falcon was built on the England set of the movie for some added realism, while the interiors will all of course also be practical.
Who exactly is piloting the Falcon in the shot above remains one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ biggest mysteries at this point, but they’re clearly pretty damn good at what they do.