Headed to Tennessee a decade from now? If you're a Hubber, you might consider demoting Graceland. Star Wars geek extraordinaire, Chris Lee, is building a full scale replica of the Millennium Falcon an hour outside Nashville. And who doesn’t love the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy?"
In Star Wars, Han Solo won the Falcon—a freighter with a "few special modifications”—in a game of Sabacc with Lando Calrissian. He used it to smuggle goods, transport a young Luke Skywalker, and fight the ultimate battle between good and evil. The ship is, of course, legendary on the silver screen. And now it’ll emerge from the depths of space and time in Tennessee.
Lee's replica will be 114 feet long (50% the length of a Boeing 747) and 81.5 feet across. The frame will consist of steel, plywood, and fiberglass and will be as close to spec as possible—quad laser cannons to dejarik table.
To accomplish this feat, the team painstakingly rendered and reconciled detailed blueprints. No trivial matter—Hollywood doesn't generally concern itself with reality. A prime challenge, for example, was that the exterior and interior dimensions didn't match in the original blueprints.
The project may strike you as slightly Quixotic. And it may be. To finish it, Lee's team needs all the help they can get—funding, building, assembling. They're crowd sourcing expertise and labor and selling t-shirts to support the effort. Folks from England, to Norway, to New Zealand have contributed.
In all likelihood the ship won't be complete for at least 5-7 years. But when (and if) that golden day comes, the Millennium Falcon will land in a clearing on an 88 acre parcel of land in the Tennessee countryside. The Falcon will be visible from several vantage points around the property. And from space too. In fact, Lee is counting on a Google Maps screen capture upon completion.
Is this geekdom gone wild? Yes, yes it is. But there’s more than simply the desire to build the biggest, baddest sci-fi model of all time. Lee hopes to found a maker camp for kids. Campers will come from across the empire and learn to weld and wire just like Anakin. And maybe even contribute a component or two to the Falcon herself. If you can't wait five years to see the final product, see here for the Full Scale Millennium Falcon Project's 3D animated tours of the Falcon's interior and exterior: