Han Solo: Han Solo. I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you’re lookin’ for passage to the Alderaan system?
Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes indeed, if it’s a fast ship.
Han Solo: Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?
Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: Should I have?
Han Solo: It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. I’ve outrun Imperial starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships now. She’s fast enough for you old man. What’s the cargo?
Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only passengers. Myself, the boy, two droids… and no questions asked.
Star Wars, 1977
A long time ago, in an origami book far, far away…(cue the music)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens today, so I thought I’d mark the release of the most anticipated film of the year with a Star Wars origami model – the Millennium Falcon. Like almost every small boy, the Falcon was my dream spaceship when I was growing up. I thought it was one of the two greatest spaceships ever imagined. The Starship Enterprise was good, but nowhere near as good as the Millennium Falcon, or Doctor Who’s Tardis that was bigger on the inside. Now, with the new films coming out, a whole new generation of kids will grow up watching the Falcon in dog-fights with TIE-Fighters on the big screen.
The Millennium Falcon is not a very easy subject to replicate in origami. It is basically round with two prongs at the front and a flight deck on the right side. It’s shape was apparently inspired by a half-eaten hamburger with an olive on the side. Of the numerous Falcon origami designs out there, this one, by Chris Alexander is by far my favourite. It’s simple, with a relatively clean and unbroken shape which reflects the design of the ship in the films. There are others, such as Shu Sugamata’s version which try to provide more detail, but they end of being too busy, with unnecessary folds and creases spoiling the shape of the model.
Folding the Millennium Falcon
It’s a relatively simple model to make. It’s derived from a bird base, so if you can make one of those, you can make this. There is only one slightly complex fold, as the tip of the small central point of the base is sunk down inside. The two ‘feet’ of the bird base form the two points at the front of the Millennium Falcon. One of the two flaps that are traditionally used to make the wings of the bird makes the cockpit on the side, and the other is folded down at the front to lock the model together.
Ordinary white or light grey origami paper, or kami, will do for this model. I have made this one out of a standard 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) sheet. The final model size is 5.5cm (2.25in) long. It takes about 15 minutes to fold.
Diagrams for this model can be found Chris Alexander’s book Star Wars Origami: 36 Models from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. This book is out of print but there are copies available from resellers on both the Amazon UK and Amazon US sites. I suspect the demand for these might go up in the next few weeks!