Restoring The Millennium Falcon™ to “Solo” Conditions
We’re really enjoyed the new Star Wars® film, Solo. Who didn’t? In the interest of combining our love of restoring old buildings and our love of all things Star Wars®, we wondered how much time, effort, and materials it would take to restore the Millennium Falcon™. Because we’re finally going to get a glimpse of what the Millennium Falcon™ looked like pre-A New Hope, we will have a pretty good before and after of the infamous ship. Assuming we’re up-to-date with the Star Wars® timeline, we’re sitting somewhere post-The Last Jedi and the Millennium Falcon™ is pretty old and beat up. What would it take to restore the beautiful ship to look like it does in Solo? Well, using our extensive knowledge of restoration, and our less extensive knowledge of space ships, here’s what we figured out.
The Millennium Falcon’s™ Appearance Reflects Its Owner
We did a little research before diving into this project, just to make sure we weren’t going to be spreading any false rumors or spoiling anything. Because the film is only recently out, we had to do a little speculating as to why the Millennium Falcon™ looks so different. According to Entertainment the reason the ship looks so completely different is because of its previous owner: Lando Calrissian.
Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan, the writers for the film told Entertainment that the ship’s appearance should reflect the personality of the owner, which means that when Han Solo acquires it from Lando, it looks like Lando’s preference, which is essentially a party vessel. If this is true, that means that when we see the ship from A New Hope on, it’s been changed drastically to fit the space smuggler personality of Han. According to the article, Solo remodeled the ship to better reflect the lifestyle of someone always on the run. That means that for our purposes here, we will need to restore the ship not to like new, but back to Lando’s taste, which is basically as fancy as possible.
Restoring the Millennium Falcon™ – The Process
Before we begin, let’s take a look at Lando’s version of the Falcon:
Here’s the outside of the ship. Notice the color difference and the different shape of the front.
Here’s the interior, looking quite clean and different-colored than we’re used to.
Here’s another shot from the trailer.
Now let’s compare these to what the Falcon looks like in later Star Wars® films.
Here’s the whole ship. Notice the missing chunk in the front there.
Here’s an interior shot. A little grimy, right?
This is what the Falcon looked like in The Force Awakens. Definitely looks a little aged, doesn’t it?
Now that we have a little before and after of the beloved Falcon, let’s talk about what exactly we’d need to do to restore this baby to Lando Calrissian’s tastes.
A Difficult Restoration Process
Because we’re in the business of restoration and we love to return things to their previous state, here are all the things we think would need to be done to restore the Falcon to its former glory. Han Solo might not agree with us, but Lando would probably appreciate it!
- Rebuild the middle section in between the front two mandibles (Wookiepedia’s descriptor, not ours).
- Repaint the entire exterior to the more blue-white color from Solo.
- Clean and touch up both interior and exterior.
- Restore the walls of the interior to the white and blue padding, as well as install new lighting fixtures.
- Repaint the interior.
- Restore the quality of the interior furniture and flooring.
- Repair any minor dings, scratches, dents, etc.
Wow! This ship has certainly had a lot of modifications. According to Entertainment Solo intentionally made a lot of changes to the ship to increase storage space, overall speed, and make it look less theft-worthy. But what if now that it’s in Rey’s hands, she wanted to restore it? Well, first she’d have to hire a restoration company. Do they have those in space? Here’s how much effort would need to be spent on this project.
According to Wookipedia, the Millennium Falcon™ is about 114 feet long but doesn’t list the depth. Based off of the above pictures, it looks like the interior is about 10 feet deep and knowing the Falcon has more space than that main level we’re going to guess that the height of the ship from bottom to top is anywhere from 20 to 30 feet. We can likely assume that the ship is between 60-80 feet across. The ship also has 100 metric tonnes of cargo space. With this much space to restore, any crew would have their work cut out for them.
In our professional opinion, with a lot of guessing, here is the process the restoration would take:
- A complete removal of all interior furniture, cargo, and extraneous materials.
- An in-depth cleaning of both interior and exterior. This would include disinfecting and possible removal of most of the interior flooring and walls.
- Rebuild of the middle section between the mandibles, starting with a metal frame, then attaching walls and connecting new section to existing mandibles. We learn in the movie Solo that this is an escape pod, so excusing our learning time for what it takes to create an escape pod and how they work, we’d need to build an entire new ship essentially for this piece.
- Repair and re-installation of all plating (duralloy plating), walls, flooring, and furniture. This would include reconstruction of certain interior elements such as the infamous game table and seating.
- Finishing touches including re-installation of the white wall cushions as seen in Calrissian’s Falcon, updating and replacing any equipment used to fly the ship, and likely adding in “party” elements such as lights and a sound system.
- Repaint the exterior of the ship in the correct color.
- Assuming they knew anything about space ships, the crew would need to replace and update the shield and protection equipment the ship has.
Again estimating, we think this project would likely take several weeks to complete. The Falcon is a large ship with a lot of moving parts that would require a great attention to detail. Each owner of the ship has shown great investment in its safety and maintenance which indicates that any restoration team would have to take care to go above and beyond in its restoration.
Star Wars® Doesn’t Necessarily Need Restoration
With all the hype surrounding Star Wars® in the last few years and especially as Solo was just released, we’re happy that we could participate in this way. It’s always so fun to see the timeline of some of our beloved characters and story elements. The Millennium Falcon™ has come to represent the entirety of the Star Wars® franchise, and Disney™ was right to show it in a different light than audiences are used to. We’re probably all in agreement that the whole franchise likely wouldn’t need any restoring whatsoever due to its timeless nature. What do you think of this restoration process? What would you have done differently?
*All images and characters are subject to copyright by both Disney™ and Lucasfilm™.