September 18, 2019

How Star Wars Made the Millennium Falcon Will Inspire the Sh** Out of You

Find out how Star Wars' George Lucas, Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, and the great team over at ILM made film history. 

Star Wars' Millennium Falcon is one of the most iconic spaceships in the history of movies. In addition to being the coolest Star Wars toy ever, the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy has an amazing origin story for how ILM model makers brought Han Solo's ride to life. Thanks to Film Twitter's most underrated account, Spaceshipsporn, Star Wars fans now have the complete making-of story -- a DVD special feature by way of Twitter thread. 

This deep dive is essential for movie fans; its chronicle the lost art of practical effects model making is a mini-epic story of how vital collaboration is among department heads and stakeholders when making any movie, let alone a classic like George Lucas' A New Hope. This thread leaves no stone (or storyboard drawing) unturned, as it explores everything surrounding the creation of the ship, from the brainstorm process to the infamous "hamburger" story, about how Lucas took a bite out of a burger and -- with the help of an olive -- saw the shape of his future YT-1300 Corellian light freighter.

Read the whole thread below. 

What You Can Learn

I mean, what can't you learn? 

The rare look at the original model for the ship, along with the BTS pics of how ILM filmed the final design, chart the filmmaking process necessary to pull off such an integral part to both one film's story and the legacy it would spawn. The story is also an inspiring one. 

Despite having spent a third of their budget building the Rebel blockade runner that opens A New Hope, the filmmakers still had to use the limited funds and time they had to create the Falcon. Like all of us working under such less-than-ideal conditions, they did the best with what they had and came up with something better than what they started with. The end result was worth the stress and pressure. Because, again, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. 

Moreover, this account of the process reinforces the importance of making it safe for yourself to get it wrong. To experiment. To fail. 

Perfect is the enemy of good, and getting it done. We know the pressures of schedule and budget compound our own emotionally-driven perfectionism. At the same time, if guys like Lucas can error -- can come out of the gate with rough drafts until they get it right -- so can you. Make the process of filmmaking a safe space for you to fall down. And don't stress too much about it, because your team is there to help pick you back up.

Because that's what filmmakers do -- together.      

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