LEGO Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon Launch
13th September 2017 | Leicester Square, London, UK
UCS Millenium Falcon Launch Night
by Daniel Jamieson, as featured in Blocks Magazine
The original Millennium Falcon was built in just two weeks after the ship hastily needed a redesign, and the crew of Star Wars were waiting on a model to shoot. The model makers quickly and creatively used model kit parts to detail the newly designed ‘flat hamburger’ hull on the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, and its design became iconic. Reproduced in countless variations of models and toys, now it is released in one of it’s most significant iterations, and the largest commercially available LEGO set ever, the new 7541-piece Ultimate Collectors Series Millennium Falcon.
Shortly after midnight the flagship LEGO store at Leicester Square became filled with fans of all ages that had waited in line for hours to get their hands on one of the 150 sets in stock for the launch, and Designers Jens Kronvold Frederiksen - Director of LEGO Star Wars Design, and Michael Lee Stockwell - Designer Manager on LEGO Star Wars, were at the launch not only to allow us an insight into their craft and process when conceptualizing the new design of this iconic freighter but also to sign the boxes of those picking up their set at the midnight launch.
We asked Jens and Michael about their new design and what features they focused on during construction. From behind a completed version of the set, Michael speaks about their progress since the release of the last UCS Millennium Falcon. “We’ve been thinking about this new design for years. Jens did the original and we knew the scale was right but we wanted to make big improvements this time around.” Jens drew our attention to the interior, a major difference in this Falcon versus the original version, “When doing something like this you are looking into consumer feedback, and one of the things was that they were missing the interior on the first one.”
This Millennium Falcon features highly detailed interior sections that are accessible via panels that lift off from the main body to reveal the most memorable interiors in the film. Removing small panels to reveal them was a design choice explains Jens, as it allows you not to destroy the overall look of the model when displayed. “The biggest challenge in making a model this size is to make a inner structure that can hold the model. In this case we knew we had something that worked, but then the fun part was adding all the detail and that’s what it’s been about with this model, getting all the detail correct.”
Jens and Michael didn’t need to make to many recalculations during the design process, “From Lucas approval it was minor details to change and we had very good reference to work from.” Jens explains “When we get a model like this we have to work from official reference, it was photos of the original models used for the movies and we have to use that to ensure we make the model accurate, but we also watch the movies, over and over and over again to get these details right.”
The set includes new designs for original trilogy Han and Leia that feature oxygen masks, as well as a Porg from upcoming The Last Jedi. This Millennium Falcon also features interchangeable radar dishes so you can switch its look between original and most recent episodes. “We wanted to create the ultimate LEGO set” says Jens, and after getting up close to this completed model I’d say they’ve more than got it where it counts.