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Topic: Millennium Falcon`s Name Origin Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 1:27am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I was reading the latest SFX magazine at the weekend,
and read that when they were filming Star Wars the
blockade runner that features at the very start of Star
Wars was initially going to be Han Solo`s ship. But when
they saw the Eagle Transporter in Space 1999, they
realised they were very similar, so they went for a
different design, and used a play on words to name the
new design 1999=Millennium, Eagle=Falcon. Not sure how
true it is, but cool if it is!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 5:47am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I'd heard before that the blockade runner was an early design for the Falcon, but this seems a case of someone digging a little too deep!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 8:24am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The Millenium Falcon's name first appears in Lucas' revised fourth draft of the script for Star Wars, dated 15 March 1976.

The 'pirate ship' was changed from the model that became the Rebel blockade runner to the 'Hamburger Boodie' in, I think, late 1975, so it is possible that this name inspiration is true.

Interestingly, the rebel blockade runner was a lot more time-consuming and expensive to build than the Millenium Falcon. It cost about a third of the whole model budget.

Because of the last-minute decision to change the model for the Millenium Falcon, the 'hamburger' design was done in under a week. The cockpit was simply sawed off from the original model and transplanted on to the new model, and then that 'hammerhead' front was added to the blockade runner as a new cockpit.


Edited by Peter Martin on 09 September 2019 at 8:36am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 8:37am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

1999 isnít the millennium. Thatís 2000 or 2001, depending on how one is inclined to count.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

But isn't the suggestion that it's like IBM to HAL. Except shifting one to the right, rather than one to the left.

1999 to 2000. Eagle to Falcon.


Edited by Peter Martin on 09 September 2019 at 9:10am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Still doesnít make 1999 the millennium.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 10:09am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I don't give the theory much credence and certainly 1999 = millenium is clearly not true, as you rightly point out.

Nor is an eagle a falcon. But F is one letter after E, and they're both birds. And 2000 is one number after 1999. Just as H is one letter before I and A is one letter before B and L is one letter before M...

We also know that Lucas tweaked and played with words to arrive at names. He once wrote on one of his yellow legal pads in his Star Wars notes: Death Invader and Dark Invader. And ended up with Darth Vader.

So, while I would tend to agree with your assessment that it's a stretch, I can't rule out that Lucas might have made some kind of associative leap between 1999 and millenium and eagle and falcon and use it as a launching pad for the creation of a memorable name.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Blockade Runner being the initial Falcon is def true - early McQuarrie art, the Marvel special with photos of the Runner labelled Millennium Falcon with the Falconís cockpit @ the front etc.

Well known it was swapped due to the Eagle similarities

In all these years, Iíve never heard the 1999 Eagle name. Iíd have thought that would have come up before
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Having drawn Eagles a bunch of times, and having a large model on a shelf in my Studio, it is beyond me how anyone could say those ships are similar.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Lucas' words: "I thought that the other design was too close to Space:1999 and too conventional looking. I wanted something really off the wall, since it was the key ship in the movie; I wanted something with a lot more personality."

It's true they aren't any real similarities. But the original cockpit was reminiscent enough, I suppose to create second thoughts.

Early McQuarrie painting: 


Original model:

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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 September 2019 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Having been on the receiving end of this kind of speculation for decades, I vote coincidenceóand even thatís a stretch.
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