This Millennium Falcon paper model looks real enough to fly

It took four years for artist Bernard Szukiel to build a paper model that Han Solo would've been honored to pilot. Crave chats with the artist about his amazing "Star Wars" papercraft.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy is remade with mostly paper, thin cardboard, optical fibers, LEDs and a lot of love. Bernard Szukiel

Four years ago, when Polish artist and "Star Wars" fan Bernard Szukiel set out to make a paper model of Han Solo's ship -- the Millennium Falcon -- he had no idea the level of dedication and time he'd commit to the project.

"The Millennium Falcon is my first built-from-scratch model," Szukiel told Crave. "I built it for four years with some big breaks [in between]. After the breaks, it was hard for me to get back to work.

"Most of my work I did [on the model] was in the last six months, and the model began to resemble the Falcon," Szukiel told Crave. "I had only six months to finish my work and be on time for the 'Star Force' exhibition in Torun, Poland."

The Millennium Falcon model measures 38 inches (96cm) and is made from paper, thin cardboard, a few wires, clamps, optical fibers and LED lights -- so the model can light up just like the ship in "Star Wars."

Szukiel cut everything with scissors and a scalpel. After gluing the pieces together, he painted everything a few times with an airbrush.

Though the artist does warn fans if they plan on making a paper model of the Millennium Falcon like his, they should "check the design 10 times before you start to glue it together."

"LED lighting wasn't as difficult as I thought," Szukiel told Crave. Bernard Szukiel

Now that Szukiel finally finished his model of the Millennium Falcon, he's already starting his next "Star Wars" project -- a triptych of the giant AT-AT walkers from "The Empire Strikes Back."

"I'm building now three 30-inch AT-AT models in three different postures: first one standing on the snow during the fight; the second one lying on the ground, just knocked over; and the third one destroyed and rusty for a very long time. These models I should finish in one month."

Fans curious about Szukiel's construction process can see numerous images of each stage of both his Millennium Falcon papercraft as well as his new AT-AT papercraft projects.

"The most troubles I had were with the radar antenna," Szukiel told Crave. Bernard Szukiel