A film about how Star Wars‘ Millennium Falcon was built in secret in a small UK town is set to premiere this week.
The iconic spaceship from the legendary sci-fi franchise was built in the Western Hangar on Pembroke Dock’s dockyard in the Spring of 1979. All workers were sworn to secrecy and the project was given the codename ‘The Magic Roundabout’ – which lends itself to the name of the community arts film set to premiere in the town this weekend.
The Millennium Falcon, captained in the Star Wars series by Han Solo and his alien sidekick Chewbacca, was then transported to studios in Hertfordshire where ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was being filmed. The new film tells the story of a group of children who come across the ship being built, cut with interviews of one of the men involved with the project.
“It’s a fascinating story,” said Sharron Harris from Curious Ostrich Productions. “You’d think everybody in Pembroke Dock would have known about it, and I’m surprised very few people did.”
The 10 minute film, which features some unseen photographs, was inspired by a song local musician Andy Brindley had written about the Millennium Falcon.
“The community really came on board,” said Ms Harris.
“Our last film took three days, but this one took about a year as we got totally embroiled in people’s stories and everyone from 80-year-olds to children wanted to be in it.”
See archive footage of the ship being built here
“It all started with a friend of mine coming to my house one night and asking if I wanted a job,” said Jeff Waterman, who was part of the original building team and inspired the film. “Knowing him as a prankster, I asked what sort of job?
“He told me he was building a spaceship and that I should meet him at the dockyard. Into the hangar I went and there it was in front of me.
“It was all steelwork and it was our job to cover it with plywood and timber and make it look like a spaceship.”
While the latest Star Wars‘ spin-off movie Rogue One is set for release on 15 December, footage was recently unveiled of Chewbecca speaking English in the original trilogy – as well as images of what Yoda was originally supposed to look like.