Meet the Star Wars Fans Building a Full-Scale Millennium Falcon
In the world of Star Wars fandom, there are fans, and then there are fans: the cosplayers, the Funko completists, the crawl-reciters. And then there's Greg Dietrich, who has spent the last six years of his free time building a full-size replica of the Millennium Falcon’s iconic cockpit in a garage in Huntsville, Alabama.
Today, in fact, isn't just Star Wars Day—it's the sixth anniversary of Dietrich's decision to build the ship's flight console. A few days later he first posted his plan to rpf.com, a clearinghouse for enthusiasts who create “screen accurate” props, including furniture.
"As I'm posting images of the build," recalls Dietrich, "someone says 'you know if you build the console you've got to build the back wall.'" Before long others were chiming in, goading him into a project that most certainly is not making the jump to lightspeed anytime soon.
See, if you’re a connoisseur of the Falcon—and Dietrich is—you want your replica Corellian YT-1300 to be as faithful to the one that blew your eight-year-old mind when you first saw it blast away on screen. You study framegrabs like they were religious texts; you hunt down production images that show just how the original set builders, who bought airplane scrap by the truckload, modified Martin-Baker mk. IV ejection seats to turn them into the highly sought after navigation chairs in the cockpit. You know that greeblies, the bric-a-brac that gives the Star Wars universe its industrial-chic texture, are key to the verisimilitude of a ship that might not look like much but can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.
Dietrich has built and rebuilt some greeblies more than five times, and has spent thousands of dollars making this version of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. And it's not just him: the Full Scale Falcon has become a passion project for fans around the world who help out by creating digital 3D models of the ship’s interior and exterior for reference, hunting down original greeblies and flying in for build parties. Updates are posted to the project’s Facebook page. Fellow Huntsville resident Jake Polatty has lent his electronics skills to the project, adding hundreds of lights that glow from the flight console, blink behind radar units, and click on and off with analog switches.
Now the cockpit is nearly complete. “If Han or Chewie, Lando or Rey we’re to sit down they’d be able to fly it,” says Dietrich. But that’s just the beginning. Watch the video above to find out what they’ve got planned—and, of course, may the Force be with you.
Watch Us Build a 7,500 Piece Lego Millennium Falcon
WIRED staffers, and some family, built the largest and most expensive lego set to date, the Millennium Falcon. Of course, we made a time-lapse of us putting this behemoth together.