The Millenium Falcon at Dallas Fan Days
For those people who have wandered over to the photo op section of the larger conventions, like Fan Expo or Mega Con, you have probably noticed that the options for large movie props & vehicles to have your picture taken with have continued to increase in both number & scale over the past decade. Ten years ago, you would be lucky to find a sort-of replica of Ecto-1 made out of a white Chrysler PT Cruiser with some lights on top & the Ghostbusters logo on the side. Now, it is almost expected to find at least a full-sized TARDIS, a Delorean decked out for Back to the Future, & multiple fantasy or sci-fi backdrops ready for a mass surge of fans wanting to have their pictures taken with these amazing prop replicas. What’s more, the fan organizations responsible for providing these prop replicas have upped their game so much over the years that many of these creators have achieved the same level of quality & detail as the original shows/movies had. However, as great as many of those things are, thanks to one exhibitor at Dallas Fan Days, we can officially say that the bar has been raised yet again by a small group of Star Wars aficionados!
We had the chance to speak with Greg Beecher & Kenny Rogers (no, not THAT Kenny Rogers) about their Empire Strikes Back Millenium Falcon cockpit replica that they brought to Dallas for only their second convention appearance in Texas! Now, when you hear something like that, you may expect to find something along the lines of the main console & a couple of chairs sitting in a corner of the convention hall; however, you would be terrible wrong! What they have created is a full 1:1 replica of the actual cockpit, with walls, mostly functional panels, door, & all. It is so accurate to the movies that both Joe Johnston & JJ Abrams, himself, have seen it & thrown in their support for the project! While there are tentative plans to eventually build out the entire ship at a much later date, they are currently in the process of adding the gun turret & chess table sets to their collection of attractions for the not-to-distant future.
While this may not seem like much more than another cool attraction to the casual convention goer, to the frequent attendees, it is immediately clear that this set is a game changer for people wanting to momentarily live out their Star Wars fantasies! What this proves is that high levels of engineering & craftsmanship are becoming the norm, rather than the exception for fan experiences at conventions. While that may sound intimidating at first, it should really be seen as a challenge to all fan projects to see what new heights can be achieved. What will be the next big achievement in engineering or showmanship to push the fan experience that much closer to the “real thing”? If what Greg & Kenny have accomplished is any indication, I am personally excited for what comes next!