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The real-life war planes that inspired the Millennium Falcon

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Dish-shaped, covered in protrusions, and toting a strange asymmetrical cockpit arrangement, the Millennium Falcon isn't the universe's most beautiful spaceship. But Han Solo's craft has stuck in our collective consciousness for decades, its jury-rigged exterior and dilapidated interior more recognizable to most as a product of the Star Wars galaxy than X-Wings or TIE fighters. Historian Cole Horton explains how the Millennium Falcon was created for the official Star Wars blog, detailing how World War II bombers such as the B-29 Superfortress inspired the ship's design — from its segmented windows, to its manned defensive guns — and how plastic models of American warplanes found their way onto the 5-foot Falcon model used during the filming of Star Wars: A New Hope.