Check out the World War II plane that inspired Star Wars' Millennium Falcon

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Feb 19, 2014, 6:30 PM EST

Sure, the Millennium Falcon might’ve been an out-of-this-world sci-fi spaceship, but did you know the signature Star Wars craft was largely based on a World War II plane?

Though the exterior is obviously a bit of sci-fi awesomeness, it turns out the cockpit and interior design of the Falcon was largely modeled after the B-29 Superfortress, a four-engine heavy bomber used by the United States during World War II.

You know the iconic, greenhouse-style windshield that Han Solo peers out of while he’s piloting his famous smuggler ship? Well, the B-29 coined the design, and it’s amazing to look at photos of both cockpits side by side. Seriously, they borrowed a lot from it.

It's not news that George Lucas took a lot of the inspiration for the space battles in Star Wars from World War II as reported back to the States via newsreel, and a lot of that footage showed goings-on inside B-29s. The gun turret manned by Luke Skywalker was also inspired by World War II-era planes, and the newsreels showing the battles, as Lucas wanted to convey that same type of frantic action as when a gunner chased ships outside his window while streaking through the sky.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Falcon also sports some much more direct homages to World War II. It turns out the modeling team used pieces from World War II ships and planes all over the ship model (mostly because all they could afford on the tight budget were busted pieces and half-kits), which gives it that layered, textured look.

The folks at have posted a great mini-retrospective looking into the design history, and it’s well worth a read. You can check out some side-by-side pics below, as well as a shot of the Falcon model with a focus on the World War II-related pieces. 

(Via Star Wars Blog)