Is Star Wars' Millennium Falcon based on a hamburger? it's complicated
When George Lucas saw a hamburger, he thought about the original design for one of Star Wars' most famous ships, the Millennium Falcon. is this real?
In Star Wars, each ship has its own unique look, and it has long been rumored that the most iconic ship — the Millennium Falcon — has a rather odd design source: a hamburger. Rebel fighters Han Solo and Wookiee Chewbacca pilot the legendary freighter first seen in director George Lucas' Star Wars: A New Hope. The Millennium Falcon, famous for keeping Kessels running within 12 parsecs, has been on many adventures in a galaxy far, far away, including the destruction of the first Death Star and the Battle of Endor.
After the first prototype of the Falcon was completed, Lucas and his production team felt that it was too similar to Space: 1999's main ship. George showed his spacecraft modeler, Joe Johnston, new guidelines for a second design for the spaceship: "Imagine a flying saucer." That didn't seem to work, and George took a different approach to Star Wars' Millennium Falcon, The final shape and design was conceived after seeing a half-eaten hamburger, with its cockpit flanked like an olive. In a 2006 interview, Lucas said:
"I wanted something really off the wall. I wanted something with a lot more personality. I thought of the design on the airplane, flying back from London: a hamburger. I didn't want it to be a flying saucer, but I wanted to have something with a radial shape that would be completely different from anything."
The Millennium Falcon Did Have A Burger-Inspired Nickname
This is not the first time George has The strangest place. Jedi Master Yoda started out as a monkey before using puppeteers to bring the character to life. Even the look of the popular X-wing battleship used by the Rebel Alliance was inspired by modeler Colin Cantwell after watching a game of darts in English pubs. Audiences embraced the same out-of-the-box thinking when the Millennium Falcon first hit screens in 1977, but the legitimacy of the hamburger's origin story has been questioned over the years.
However, there is one fact that adds weight to the story. During the production of A New Hope, Lucas wanted to be original to the characters and planes in the Star Wars universe. Realizing that the Millennium Falcon needed a new design, the ILM crew at Lucasfilm built a new Corsair model, but they needed a way to differentiate it from previous versions. Disney+'s new Light & Magic documentary does confirm that the producers have adopted a rather unique name for the new Millennium Falcon design, courtesy of the late special effects designer Grant McCune: "Pork Burger" . Strange as it may seem, the connection between the two The design of the Millennium Falcon and the meaty sandwich really exist.
The Original Falcon Design Was Very Different
Although the original design for the Millennium Falcon had to be scrapped, the same version of the freighter still featured in the prequel trilogy. Darth Vader and his Imperial forces intercept the Tantiv IV ship - Princess Leia's ship, seen immediately after the opening credits of A New Hope. The Tantive IV ship is actually a modified and rescaled prototype of the Millennium Falcon.
Although Han Solo's spaceship had to go through several iterations before it hit the big screen, it was a smart move for those behind the scenes at Lucasfilm. Considering the Tantive IV is a much slower ship than the Falcon, this will likely make the role of the Rebel smuggler less interesting. What makes the Corellian freighter so good is that it's fast, has a nicely decorated interior, and has a lasgun capable of taking on Imperial TIE fighters. It's for these reasons that the Millennium Falcon became so memorable, and also improved Star Wars in general.