The Millennium Falcon's First Appearance Took the Entire 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Cast and Crew's Breath Away


The Millennium Falcon in the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Star Wars fans weren’t the only ones to be overtaken by emotion when the Millennium Falcon made its triumphant return: Even those working on The Force Awakens fell silent when Han Solo’s iconic smuggling ship made its first on-set appearance in 30 years.

“I’d have to say one of the best moments, for me, is when we first rolled on the Millennium Falcon. It was so profoundly emotional as I sat down and looked at the monitor,“ Kathleen Kennedy, the Lucasfilm president, says in the winter issue of Disney twenty-three magazine. "But then, as we finished the shot, what I didn’t realize until I turned around is that more than 200 people had quietly gathered behind my chair and were also watching the monitor.”

Eventually, 200 people would turn into the hundreds of millions that have viewed the new Star Wars trailers thus far.

The old hunk of junk, newly rebuilt for director J.J. Abrams’ long-awaited sequel, seems to feature heavily in The Force Awakens, given its presence in all of the film’s trailers. Solo — as played by Harrison Ford, of course — and loyal pal Chewbacca will be back at the helm of the ship, which will also transport new heroes like Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and (possibly!) Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).


Boyega and Ridley, both 23, were born long after the Falcon’s most recent flight. But as production went on, they gained a new appreciation for just how much history and emotional significance the franchise contains. Which is why Ridley — who plays Rey, a young scavenger from the desert planet Jakku — was hit with a wave of awe when the Falcon arrived.

“Watching Harrison Ford walk onto the Millennium Falcon for the first time was just so iconic — there were like all these extra crew that somehow found a reason to be on set that day!” Ridley told Disney twenty-three, which is shipped to all gold members of D23, the company’s official fan club. “The challenge is not being able to talk about all the cool stuff with my friends and family.”

Given just how many fan theories have popped up around The Force Awakens, the temptation must require the discipline of a Jedi Master to restrain. We’ll all find out what’s true — and get to see the Millennium Falcon in glorious action — when the film hits theaters in December.

Watch the trailer for the film below: