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The return of a Star Wars hero

May 24. 2018
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By The Nation

Another standalone Star Wars story is in theatres today and this time depicts the early life of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld and how Han Solo meets his mighty future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian.

For all you fans out there, here are a few fun facts about his adventure.


• Han’s speeder is dressed with items as diverse as a Morris Minor bonnet hinge, a set of baguette warmers and a re-fuelling nozzle from a Vickers VC10 aircraft.

• The 1960s-style chrome bezels and switchgear for the dashboard were purchased at a second-hand auto parts sale.

• The final design of the white stripes on Han’s speeder were the result of almost 100 variations of width, shape, length, colour and position!

• For stunt work, two of Han’s speeders were built on a custom-built chassis with a V8 engine, allowing them to reach more than 160 kph!

• During the shoot, more than 80 tyres were used on the two stunt-driving speeders due to wear and tear.

• Two of Moloch’s speeders were also built on a custom-built chassis with a V8 engine.

• There is a real air intake from a helicopter incorporated into the Moloch vehicle grille design.

• Three electric tugs were built, incorporating some triangular flood defence barriers for their front bodywork, which were obtained from a government surplus supplier.

• The tugs were christened Huey, Dewey and Louie, after the Disney cartoon ducks because they looked like ducks. Their names are written in Aurebesh on the fronts.

• A speeder that appears in the background in Corellia is very well travelled. It first appeared in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Abu Dhabi; it was then revamped and travelled to Iceland for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, and was then revamped for a second time and shipped to the UK for this film.

• A Corellian factory vehicle and a mining vehicle in Kessel use a similar engine component to that which appears on Rey’s speeder in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

• During the kit-bashing process, as part of the skiff design, parts of Anakin’s podracer were used on the concept model. When this model was scaled-up, these design details were also scaled up and can be seen on the finished vehicle.

• The engine surrounds on the skiffs are actually made from the chrome wheel trims from a 1966 Singer Chamois car.


• The bridges in the frontier town of Fort Ypso were made “wobbly” using springs from a Land Rover.

• The exterior Millennium Falcon build weighs 31 tons and has to be moved around using two cranes.

• The interior Millennium Falcon set on C stage took three months to build. It is the largest interior Falcon set ever made on any Star Wars film due to the addition of new areas.

• On the Interior Millennium Falcon cockpit set, rear projection screens have been utilised so that the actors can see and react to pre-designed animations flying and entering hyperspace!


• More than500 designs for the creatures were produced in the design process for the film.

• Six Eyes is the most sophisticated mechanical head ever produced. It has 50 servos inside the head with on-board intelligence.

• This is the first film to feature Chewbacca in a lead role, so to achieve this level of on-screen action, production produced eight suits and 10 heads.


• Nine copies of Beckett’s rifle were made. It is the rifle that ultimately becomes Han’s pistol.

• Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson, has two pistols in the film. There are 10 copies of each one for various purposes, such as soft ones for the fight scenes.

 • Enfys Nest’s chainsaw pike had 14 copies of it made from a stunt version to ones that open. One version was even made with pyrotechnic capabilities.

• There are 25 pairs of the iconic gold dice that hang in the Millennium Falcon. Three of these were made by Tiffany. 

• An R2 unit was turned into a BBQ fire pit for one of the scenes.

• Moloch’s staff features a carving of many faces; one of these faces has glasses on as the designer decided to carve his own face into the staff.

• In Dryden’s yacht there are display cabinets, and among all of the treasures in them are some that might be recognised from another film franchise: “Indiana Jones”. There are the Sankara Stones from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, the fertility idol from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and also the Holy Grail itself.

• More than 100 E-11 mudtrooper blasters were made for the battlefield scenes on Mimban.


• The visual effects crew spent approximately 44 hours of airtime in helicopters in the Dolomites and Fuerteventura scouting, shooting plates and photo-modelling.

• They also measured and mapped the interior and exterior of Fawley Power Station and most of the surrounding site with sophisticated laser scanning equipment (Lidar). Around 200 acres in total!

• The visual effects team digitally scanned over 500 characters, props and sets.

• The on-set data wrangling team captured photo reference (still images), witness camera data (small video cameras), and set survey data along with other reference information. These data totalled about 40TB, which were sent to Industrial Light & Magic, who use the data to assist in creating the visual effects shots for the movie.

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