The Prophecy And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN. And he shall bring Balance to the Force. "Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
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The Falcon at Pembroke Dock ! 31st August 2022
In mid August a family holiday in West Wales allowed me to visit the Pembroke Dock Heritage Museum, the home of not only the town's Royal Naval and Royal Air Force history, but also now the permanent home of the making of the full-size Millennium Falcon !
The famous starship was built for The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and was preserved for re-assembly in Return of the Jedi (1983).
Once inside the Museum - which used to be an old converted church - the centre had been sectioned off with four wall panels within which housed the chronicle of the Falcon's local history. A 'Welcome' panel greeted the visitor outside the enclave, while an information board provided the background to the exhibit.
For a fan such as myself there was little I did not know about the construction of the Falcon - other than finally understanding that the half-size Falcon for A New Hope (1977) was built on-set at Elstree - but it was lovely to be in the 'spiritual home' as it were of the ship.
The boards across three walls provided a photo-montage of the journey of the Falcon from concept to construction to filming to its eventual demise, while a looping video of two pieces of footage on the fourth wall showed archive from the steel structure's fabrication as well as the scaled maquette owned by Steve Sansweet of Rancho 'Obi-Wan'.
In the centre of the space was a detailed model of the Falcon (from a modeller's magazine apparently !) reminiscent of a pie-chart where the iconic starship exterior gave way to a steel under-structure and then to a plywood skin.
The attendant regaled us with much trivia, including the fact that the sixteen steel segments were transported in pairs on eight trucks to London ; and that the assembled structure was built on air pads that allowed it to float and be moved by the push of a single hand ! The chap also revealed that their team has already built a life-size Falcon cockpit and access corridor and hope to determine how to transport it and where to locate it soon !!
Outside the Museum a life-size section in timber of one of the Falcon segments stood prominently. Clearly on-set dressing (amazingly diligent to match the ILMFalcon model !) would make it look a little bigger still, but it remained an impressive size for me to stand beside !
We later discovered that the elderly gentleman who served us coffees in the cafe area had spent a number of weeks working on the Falcon himself ! John Mitchell graciously allowed me to take a photo of him standing next to the exhibition.