There was a mistake built into the Millennium Falcon -- here's how it happened

LucasfilmThe Millennium Falcon has a mistake on it — somewhere.
  • A mistake from the model of the Millennium Falcon made it into the full-size set.
  • According to “Star Wars: A New Hope” set decorator Roger Christian, a photo of an unfinished version of a model of the Falcon being made in the US got to Christian and the production design team in the UK, and was built into the full-scale version.
  • But don’t look too hard, even Christian doesn’t know exactly where the mistake is.

It turns out the unique look of the Millennium Falcon is partly because of a mistake during the design of the famous “Star Wars” ship.

During preproduction of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” the production design team in the UK had a strange way of communicating with the visual effects team back in America, and it led to an error being built into the full-scale set of the Falcon.

According to Roger Christian, who was set decorator on “A New Hope” (and earned an Oscar for his work on the movie), both teams showed their work to each other by mailing a pouch across the pond every week. Christian and his fellow set designers would mail the VFX team the pouch every Tuesday with photos showing how their work on the building of the Falcon was going, and every Thursday the pouch would return from the States showing photos of the models being built of the ship.

Falcon1StarWars.comThe Millennium Falcon being built before filming started on ‘Star Wars: A New Hope.’

The two teams had to stay in constant contact to make sure both the sets and models, which would be used for the shots of the Falcon flying in space, were the same. And because this was 1975-1976, it was long before email and even fax machines.

Then one Thursday, Christian said, the pouch returned with a note from visual effects artist Joe Johnston that read, “You built in my mistake.”

It turns out the previous round of photos of the model sent to the UK were taken before Johnston was finished with it.

“Just before they photographed it, Joe didn’t like one piece and pulled it off, expecting to replace it,” Christian told Business Insider. “They photographed it before he did that. The photo came back in the pouch and we built it. So somewhere on the Millennium Falcon there’s glue marks where a piece is missing that we built full-scale.”

So where is the mistake on the ship? We’ll probably never know.

“Neither Joe or I can remember where it is exactly,” Christian said. “It’s on there somewhere.”

Chalk this up as just another legend to add to the lore of “Star Wars” and its most iconic ship.

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