I saw this recently on CBR – Star Wars VFX Artist Explains the Millennium Falcon’s Untidy Inspiration: https://www.cbr.com/star-wars-vfx-artist-explains-millennium-falcon-inspiration/, Longer article.
BY MATH ERAO May 30, 2022
Former Star Wars VFX artist Joe Johnston explains how a stack of dirty dishes inspired the iconic look of Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.
It seems the slapdash appearance of the Millenium Falcon in the Star Wars franchise had some equally messy inspiration.
Director Joe Johnston spoke at Star Wars Celebration and discussed how he crafted the iconic look of Han Solo’s ship while working at Lucasfilm. Before graduating to directing films like The Rocketeer and Captain America: The First Avenger, Johnson was a visual effects artist. In the ’70s, he served as a concept artist and effects technician on Star Wars, now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. When it came time to create the now-beloved ship, Johnston had to scrap his original idea and scramble to come up with something George Lucas would approve of.
“There was a ship that was going to be Han Solo’s ship. But there was this show called Space 1999 that had a ship that looked like Han Solo’s, and George didn’t want to copy anybody, so he said ‘We need a new ship right away,'” Johnston revealed. “So I was feeling a little pressure, and I’m looking around my apartment and I’m looking at this stack of dirty dishes. I thought ‘Wow, if I put a plate here and put another plate here, it looks like a flying saucer.’ If you put the engine in the back, it implies it goes this way.”