New exhibition celebrates building of Star Wars Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock
A new exhibition celebrating the construction of the iconic Star Wars Millennium Falcon opens in Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre on 23 May.
Supported by £8,000 funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the permanent installation tells the story of the building of a life-sized model of the starship in the town in 1979 for the Oscar-winning film The Empire Strikes Back.
Craftsmen from a local engineering firm built the model – the first of its type ever constructed, in the Western Hangar – a former RAF aircraft hangar in the town’s dockyard.
The Millennium Falcon was the last ship built in the Royal Pembroke Dockyard.
“It was the worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock – everybody in the town knew they were building a UFO in the hangar and that period of time and that story is an important part of the town’s living memory” remembers Gareth Mills, a trustee of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are now able to tell the story of the building of the Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock – an iconic event to fans across the globe, in a new and permanent exhibition.
‘The exhibition will provide a significant boost for Pembroke Dock with increased visitor numbers helping with the economic regeneration of our town and will also have major benefits for Pembrokeshire.”
Work on the exhibition at the Heritage Centre has been going on for some time under the watchful eye of local Star Wars expert and enthusiast Mark Williams.
“George Lucas set a new standard in both storytelling and film making with Star Wars and the story of the Millennium Falcon being built in Pembroke Dock was big news at the time. The whole world knew about it, then the story faded into legend.”
“The idea of a town in West Wales making a significant contribution to this incredible story by being the place where one of the most iconic starships in science fiction history was built, creates a mixture of disbelief, awe and pride.”
The Millennium Falcon isn’t Pembrokeshire’s only connection to Star Wars.
Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm EVP and General Manager, is a Pembrokeshire native. “I am so delighted that this wonderful moment and place in Star Wars history will be preserved,” she said.
“I love that such an iconic, beloved ship was built in the town where my Mum was born and in the county where I grew up, and I’m hopeful this exhibit will become a new destination for fans around the world.”
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It’s amazing the part Wales has played in creating the Sci-Fi & Fantasy genre. It’s incredible that we built the Millennium Falcon in Pembrokeshire before it was removed piece by piece to England to film that iconic scene in Star Wars. Also people don’t realise how we in Wales had shaped the Sci-Fi & Fantasy genre. Welshman Terry Nation wrote many of the great Doctor Who scripts & stories in the 1960s & 70s. He was the creator of the Daleks. Wrote the apocalyptic BBC TV show Survivors. And was responsible for the cult classic Blake 7 starring fellow Welshman… Read more »