There aren’t many stories about the vintage Kenner Milliennium Falcon that start with a potentially tragic story about a baby bird… But then this isn’t really a normal Star Wars story.
After a session of gardening at home this lunchtime, my wife and I started the process of clearing up. As I raked across the driveway gravel something caught my eye and made me jump in shock – a tiny baby bird, covered in down and wriggling on its back.
After a quick Google and a phone call we made a makeshift nest for it out of a shallow tub and grass clippings, covered it over with cotton wool for insulation and hit the road to the local vets.
We were lucky. The veterinary nurse on shift today was a self-described bird person, and even took us to the backroom to show us a blackbird she had been rearing from a similar situation. But she was also honest, and told us that it was unlikely that the baby bird we had brought in was going to live.
With nothing more to do, we left. I felt deflated. We had done all we could, but still.
The car was already full with the garden waste we needed to take to the tip, but as the detour to the vets had changed our plans we decided to go to a different recycling centre to usual. We dumped our junk in the pouring rain and ran back to the car, and had just started driving off when something distinctive caught my eye, stacked up in the household recycling…
We stopped, I jumped out the car, and sure enough my eyes had not deceived me. I had spotted the unmistakable engine stickers of a vintage Kenner Millennium Falcon.
Found it in the Junk Pile?
I’ve been lucky before, but this is a next level score. Sure, she doesn’t look like much; in fact she desperately needs a clean, as you can see in the photos. But as an unexpected starting point for my very own vintage Falcon, she’s absolutely perfect.
All three legs are present and in good shape. All side panels are present, and there’s no sign of wear or acid damage in the battery compartment. The cardboard interior is in good shape. As you’d expect the interior pieces are long gone (no training ball tucked away anywhere), except for the arm of the gunner chair.
If you’re a longtime reader this may all sound a bit familiar – and you’d be right. The POTF2 Millennium Falcon was in a similar condition when I scored her for a great price on eBay, and I’ve since been restoring it with 1995 pieces as and when they come up for reasonable prices. That restoration is almost finished (and I’ll be sure to post about it when it’s done), so today’s find could not have come at a better time.
The Garbage Will Do
What this Millennium Falcon means for the Green Card Back collection may not sit well with some readers, but it makes perfect sense to me.
I’ve had the 1995 Han Solo and Chewbacca posed outside of the Falcon alongside a 5POA Rey from The Force Awakens. While this ship has always been lined up to be the centrepiece of my eventual POTF2 display, it had crossed my mind to use it for Rey and the modern 5POA figures as well.
Now though, she has a ship to call her own.
When the “garbage” is restored, Rey will captain the vintage Millennium Falcon in a display of modern 3.75″ figures. Hopefully The Rise of Skywalker will be good enough to encourage me to pair this vintage Falcon with that crew.
It’s a nice testament to the fact that, even if the films have fallen short, JJ Abrams still created characters that continue that sense of wonder and adventure in the Star Wars universe.
As amazing as this find is, my thoughts are of course still with the baby bird. We’re back at the vets on Monday with our cat; I’ll be sure to post an update whatever the news.
Incredibly the bird made it through Saturday night and was still going strong as of this morning! I was told by the reception that the vet we had left it with was running back and forth with hot water bottles to keep it warmed up, but by the sounds of it her work has been paying off.
Fingers crossed we managed to save two falcons this weekend…