3D Artist

Kevin Jenkins from ILM on how they brought back the Millenium Falcon for The Force Awakens

News & Features
Carrie Mok

It wasn’t just a case of creating something ‘cool’ and adding in new parts for fun, as ILM’s supervising art director explains

At BFX Festival on Tuesday Kevin Jenkins, supervising art director at ILM, told the packed audience at the Bournemouth International Centre how they brought back the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“One of the things we were trying to do was to recapture the feeling of what the original model work looked like,” says Jenkins on the thought process behind the redesigned Falcon.

“The one thing we did change was the radar dish because it got knocked off at the end of the Return of the Jedi. There were many many designs of that, talking to JJ he just said to me ‘It has to be something that means something. There has to be a reason,’ so I went back to do some research. I went back and did a couple of sketches.”
The original Falcon in the original trilogy, Jenkins says, had a square dish design before director George Lucas changed the dish shape. At ILM, Kevin Jenkins was able to access archives of original models, plus matte paintings made by the original artists in the Seventies.

“I literally took the original radar dish from the Falcon… That’s the reason we put it back, to give it a bit of history. Not just putting in cool things.”