Millennium Falcon (Red?) Headlights - Question

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DS Operative

Well-Known Member
I've been researching the movies and online photos of the Millennium Falcon and haven't been able to find proof of what I thought was true. I was wondering if anybody else had a similar memory to mine?

I "thought" I remembered seeing red (position/marker?) lights on the front of the Falcon next to the headlights on the mandibles. If I remember correctly, there are 3 circles on the front of each mandible. The center circle is for the headlights, correct? I thought I remembered there being red lights on the outside circles, but I can't seem to find any proof of this.

I thought I remembered seeing them on the landing pad in Cloud City, but after going back and researching the scene and looking for photo's, I haven't found any proof that they ever existed.

Is my memory wrong, or does anybody else remember seeing them also? Thanks!
 

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GF

Sr Member
the red lights that comes to mind are two above the boarding ramp, none on the front mandibles and these are only on the life size Falcon not on the miniature models.

Gerardo
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
DS, it is possible that you are recalling the flashing red lights visible when the falcon is coming into the Death Star hangar, on the framework near the entrance, yes? Of course, this may be a vague memory *of mine*! ;^)

R/ Robert
 

Timmythekid

Sr Member
Wait...that well-circulated publicity still ILM did for Jedi of the Falcon and a couple of XWs racing through the DS tunnel - doesn't that have red lights on the tips of the mandibles?
 

DS Operative

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the replies! No, I haven't found anything that corroborates my failing/aging memory....

rbeach84: I found this clip that illustrates what you mentioned, but this wasn't what I (thought) I recalled
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFQLub-22As

Timmythkid: Is this the photo you're referring to? I thought I'd see the red lights there too...
DS2_attack_run.jpg
 

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Jedi Dade

Sr Member
In ANH there were no lights on the mandible. in ESB headlights were Added to both the 5 footer and the 32" models... No Marker lights however. There are several lights on the bottom of the falcon added to the falcon set piece... A few of those were red. ESB 4:42 shows a side shot of the falcon with several red lights on the side of the cockpit tube and along the landing gear boxes, along with Several white spot lights pointing to the ground... AND ONE RED LIGHT ON THE MANDIBLE TIP

RED TIP.png

perhaps this is what you're remembering :D

Jedi Dade

RED TIP.png
 
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rbeach84

Sr Member
Thank you for the replies! No, I haven't found anything that corroborates my failing/aging memory....

rbeach84: I found this clip that illustrates what you mentioned, but this wasn't what I (thought) I recalled
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFQLub-22As

Timmythkid: Is this the photo you're referring to? I thought I'd see the red lights there too...
View attachment 458331
YUB-YUB! That's the one... red flashing light on the gantry. Memory perhaps ain't as 'shot' as I thought! Cheers!
Robert
 

DS Operative

Well-Known Member
I think I may have finally found it!! I don't know why my research missed this photo in the past, I'm sure it's existed for quite some time. Great help everyone!
.
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JEKvb.png
 
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astroboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you for the replies! No, I haven't found anything that corroborates my failing/aging memory....

rbeach84: I found this clip that illustrates what you mentioned, but this wasn't what I (thought) I recalled
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFQLub-22As

Timmythkid: Is this the photo you're referring to? I thought I'd see the red lights there too...
View attachment 458331

the interesting thing about that one is the sidewall lighting that no one ever seems to notice
 

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Jedi Dade

Sr Member
I think I may have finally found it!! I don't know why my researched missed this photo in the past, I'm sure it's existed for quite some time. Great help everyone!
.
.
View attachment 458366
I'm not 100% positive but if memory serves (funny that's how this started) that shot is a matt painting with the lower half being the set piece... but don't take that for truth... but it would explain the red lights. the red lights are not on the 32" or 5' models. closeups of the mandibles show that clearly.

Jedi Dade
 

Timmythekid

Sr Member
the interesting thing about that one is the sidewall lighting that no one ever seems to notice
The other interesting thing about that one is that I have a much older print of it where the headlights are much more orangey-red. Not the intense red of the docking ring light, or indeed that pic from Bespin, but definitely not that bright yellow-white. ILM Promo Still: The Special Edition.
 

Darth Humorous

Well-Known Member
In ESB, there ARE red INBOARD “parking” lights on the mandible tips, one on each mandible. The set falcon set has them as can be seen in the pix posted above. The “5-footer” has them inboard mounted in brass tubes which can be seen in a plethora of pix on the internet though they’re not always lit. And yes, the matte paintings have them as well which is consistent. While watching one of the various ESB releases, there was actually a quick closeup shot of one of these red, caged lights (looks just like the others) on one inboard mandible tip of the set Falcon while in the Hoth hangar bay. I think it was one of the earlier VHS versions, and I don’t believe I’ve seen it since.

Yes, the “32-incher” has 3 holes across each mandible. With the exception of the Bespin lift-off scene in various media releases, the only ones I ever saw lit on that model were the center lights, and those were intended to be the white headlights. The media release Bespin lift-off scene shows 2 red mandible tip lights, one per mandible tip, though it is too difficult for me to tell which holes the lights actually emanate from. Could be that the bulbs were changed out (or red lenses applied) in the same center holes because it was more expedient, and the filmmakers just relied on quick, short action and relative ship darkness to detract from it. Otherwise, I presume the inboard holes on the mandible tips of this model were intended to show the locations of these red “parking/marker” lights so as to be consistent with the other Falcons, though they were otherwise unlit (with the possible exception as noted above). What the outboard holes were intended for, I have no idea.

Mark
 

Jaitea

Master Member
Yeah the 32" can be seen with the red lights during the Bespin lift off,....(top image is the 5 footer)

.....this was likely to match the full-size set, because you can see them in every scene that shows the Falcon's mandible tips on location














The 5 foot falcon didn't have any lights on the mandibles till it was modified for ESB and they where the main headlights

J
 

Darth Humorous

Well-Known Member
The 5 foot falcon didn't have any lights on the mandibles till it was modified for ESB and they where the main headlights

J
True, the “5-footer” did not have lights on the mandibles until ESB. However, there are significant pix of red light emanating from the brass tubes retrofitted into the mandible tips of the “5-footer” for ESB. In some of the pix, the lights look almost white, but those are washed out or suffer from other camera artifacts/limitations of the day. Are there pix of the “5-footer” that emanates genuine, confirmed white light from the mandible tips? Perhaps, though I haven”t seen them, but frankly, I don’t think it matters much either way. Relatively recent pix of the set Falcon have surfaced where these lights are also shown as white, WITHOUT the cages of the red lights. I believe the red and white lights were originally made to be interchangeable, though the by the time of the original theatrical releases and subsequent media releases (until the more recent ones) this does not seem to be evident. The most recent DVD releases now show this while the Falcon is landed inside the asteroid. But the earlier releases I have seen do not. For this reason, I believe the filmmakers changed their minds on the dual color of these inboard mandible tip lights by the time of the theatrical and subsequent releases. Until the recent releases, the “32-incher” during ESB seems to be the only revelation of the centered white headlight. When the newest releases were crafted, there seemed to be a “show more” mentality that re-reversed this decision. This is odd since other scenes have missing parts in these newest releases. Knowing this, I tend to discount the newest releases as I do the notion that Greedo shot first.

When one is much more attached to the 5-footer” than to the “32-incher” (like me), I suppose it is tempting to assign the inboard mandible tip lights, the ONLY mandible tip lights, on the “5-footer” to be THE headlights. But then there is that pesky original theatrical release with the subsequent media releases showing the “32-incher” with a purposeful row of three (presumable) light holes in each mandible tip…and the set Falcon in the Hoth landing bay having the red, caged lights in the same exact location as the retrofitted brass tube lights on the “5-footer”. This strongly suggests there is a specific location for each kind of light — as first revealed to the public. But then it is very distasteful to think of butchering the “5-footer” mandible tips to include additional locations/holes for centered headlights.

Well, failing specific explanation of intent from ILM, there are various ways to resolve this. One way is to use the seemingly original intent that was discarded by the time of the theatrical release, and that is to have both lights occupy the same location, but of course at different times. Conceptually, this might bring to mind a complex light switching arrangement, and no doubt it would “work”. With enough thought, it could be made to be simple and elegant. Another way is, in fact, to butcher the mandible tip for a central headlight hole/port. Personally, I don’t like either of these options. However, I DO like the option I see presented in the DK book Incredible Cross Sections for the vehicles. In this book, the central section of the mandible tip is retractible to reveal the central headlight. Though the book does not show the mechanism, I have gone as far as to engineer one, though not physically, yet. It is not terribly complicated, and would look slick. Also, there is more than one way it could be designed. This is my take on it, and I’m sure you have yours. I know we each have a preferred outcome, and we like to believe we seek and adhere to the truth of the evidence, but the filmmakers’ presentations are not terribly consistent, so ultimately, we each must/get to choose.

Mark
 

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Jaitea

Master Member
Hi Mark, would you have any links to images of the red light on the 5 footer mandibles,...any retrofitted illumination I've seen are of the headlights....one rod per mandible,....as you say perhaps they switch it to be a red light, but I've never seen it in action:


J
 

Jedi Dade

Sr Member
This is an interesting topic but I think we need to be very clear about which version of the falcon we're talking about, and which had red light and which did not.

ANH

  • The original 5 ft. falcon for ANH did not have any lights
  • The Original Set piece in ANH did not have any lights.

ESB

  • 32" Falcon - built with lights - white headlights in the front. one per mandible in the center . the other black areas are weathering smudges.
  • 5 foot falcon - added lights mandibles. These were also white. the holes on the top and bottom (4 each) depicted above are part of the model part used for the 32" falcon. They are not actual holes.
  • Set piece - lights added all over this... white spots all around the bottom, and red marker lights on the landing gear and the front of the mandibles.


  • The Bespin take off shot - that was an addition during the Special edition makeover, as an FX. the model did not have red lights when filmed.

ROTJ

  • Setpiece - remained largely unchanged form ESB. although minor changes were present due to the set being torn down and reconstructed between movies. However IIRC the Falcon set piece does not show up in the movie as the sandstorm scenes were cut, and the rebel hangar is a matte painting.
  • The 5 foot and 32" models were almost identical to ESB. The only differences in the models being minor repairs and paint work to fix issues resulting from the models going into and out of storage.


The long and short is that the models only have had white lights on the mandibles.

The Set pieces had red and white lights added.

Clearly the Falcon is supposed to have red lights on the mandibles as well as white. due to the FX shot that added the red lights and the set piece having them.

The result is you can add them or not and be correct in your build :) as long as the "headlights" are white, and the marker lights are red.

Make sense ??? :rolleyes

Jedi Dade
 

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