Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre - Atlas Obscura

Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre

Pembroke Dock, Wales

This Welsh dockyard was the site of the not-so-secret construction of the Millennium Falcon for the original Star Wars trilogy. 


There was something different about the last ship to leave Pembrokeshire’s massive dock complex.

Following the success of the original Star Wars film in 1977, director George Lucas wanted a full-scale model of Han Solo’s fabled spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, for the filming of the next installment in the series, The Empire Strikes Back.

The job of constructing the 88-foot vessel fell to a team working out of the historic maritime dock complex at Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire. The quiet location was supposed to protect the secrecy of the project, but in this small community in West Wales, word soon got out that a ‘UFO’ was being built in the town’s old dock buildings. These rumors were only amplified after a mysterious giant object eventually emerged from the tightly-guarded hangar, before being packed onto a huge lorry and driven carefully along the motorway to the Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England.

A permanent exhibition at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre tells the surprising story of how the fabled spaceship came to be built in Wales, with images, films, and first-person accounts of the project, which was codenamed ‘Magic Roundabout.’

Sadly, the only thing missing from the exhibition is the craft itself, which was sold for scrap metal following the conclusion of filming. However, one section of the craft has been rebuilt, to give visitors a sense of just how big the thing was.

The heritage centre also delves into the dock’s history as a construction site for navy boats and Short Sunderland ‘flying boats,’ which were used during the World War II.

Know Before You Go

The heritage center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is £6.50 for adults, £4 for children 18 and under.

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January 8, 2024

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