The design team at Lucasfilm reveal their dilemma with redesigning a Star Wars icon!
The idea of tampering with the design of what is arguably the most beloved starship of the Star Wars universe is a daunting prospect, one that most concept designers would shy away from in a deliberate act of career preservation. However, when it came to retrofitting the iconic Millennium Falcon for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the design team at Lucasfilm, led by James Clyne leapt at the chance. And soon, a new version of the iconic Corellian YT-1300 freighter began to take shape, but incorporated a design feature that would allow it transform into our beloved icon from a galaxy far, far away…
In an interview with StarWars.Com Clyne shared his thoughts:
When James Clyne first envisioned remaking the Millennium Falcon, he pictured the ship that made the Kessel Run having its perfect and pristine hull stripped away, panel by panel, to reveal the hunk of junk beneath the shiny exterior.
The move would be a combination of movie magic and something of a parlour trick.
“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.”
“I think the big exciting thing about doing a new Falcon was the question of, we all know what an old Millennium Falcon looks like, but what does the new Millennium Falcon look like? That was really exciting,” Clyne says. “What does a clean Millennium Falcon look like? I think that was the big thing that I always wanted to see going into the movie. As a kid, I just loved it for what it was. I thought it was perfect. But when it was proposed that you would see a cleaner, newer Lando version, I couldn’t get more excited about and more scared about that prospect,” he says with a laugh. “There was a certain level of sheer terror in taking this on. I mean, it’s like the most beloved thing you’ve ever seen in the Star Wars universe. It’s like somebody asking you to change the Eiffel Tower or something.”
Clyne, Lucasfilm’s design supervisor for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and his team ultimately created about 60 iterations of the fastest ship in the galaxy before landing on the design that’s featured in the new film, out now. The process took Clyne back to his childhood and essentially transported the entire crew back to the 1970s to explore muscle car culture, model building, and the original concept art that inspired the creators of Star Wars in 1977.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas worldwide now.
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