In Star Wars, characters always have “a bad feeling about this,” but how can that be possible when there’s such a good girl in the cockpit? Lucasfilm shared a video on Monday of Mark Hamill’s final visit to the Millennium Falcon set, and he brought his dog, Millie Grace, along for the emotional moment. It’s cute, but the dog’s presence actually brings things full circle in a nice way, since the Falcon’s normal co-pilot, Chewbacca, was originally inspired by George Lucas’s pooch.
“The whole experience has been so completely unanticipated. I’m able to appreciate it in a way I didn’t the first time around,” Hamill says as he wanders around the Falcon in the video, which Lucasfilm released to promote The Last Jedi’s Blu-ray release this upcoming Tuesday. “It’s like closing up a house and moving somewhere else, soaking it all in and knowing that you’re not going to be back.”
Along for the ride is Millie Grace. When she sits on his lap in the cockpit, she’s a makeshift Chewie in more ways than one. Back when Lucas was first coming up with what would become A New Hope, he was inspired to create a shaggy, hairy co-pilot because his own dog, Indiana, would sit shotgun whenever he drove around town.
“I had an Alaskan Malamute when I was writing the film. A very sweet dog, she would always sit next to me when I was writing. And when I’d drive around, she’d sit in the front seat,” Lucas wrote in a 1997 Star Wars magazine. “A Malamute is a very large dog—like a hundred and thirty pounds and bigger than a human being and very long-haired. Having her with me all the time inspired me to give Han Solo a sidekick who was like a big, furry dog. Not quite like a dog, but intelligent.”
A real dog probably wouldn’t be nearly as helpful in the cockpit of a spaceship, sure, but pups like Millie Grace are much less likely to rip your arms off.
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