J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars: Episode VII team have done an impressive job of reducing the amount of unauthorized photos from the set of the film after a flood of images found their way online in June. Still, there’s only so much a production this big can do — and as a photographer learned this week, sometimes you end up with unofficial photos of the Star Wars set entirely by accident.
According to Sky News, photographer Matthew Myatt was taking photos for Airbourne Aviation flying school near the town of Newbury in Berkshire, England, earlier this week. After loading the raw photos onto his computer to edit, he discovered something strange in the images that were shot around the closed air force base at Greenham Common: The Millennium Falcon.
Well, half of the Millennium Falcon, actually.
It turns out that Myatt had photographed another location being used for filming on Episode VII, and along with the full-size, half-built Millennium Falcon occupying one of the open areas of the former air force base, the shape of a tarp-covered X-Wing fighter craft can also be glimpsed on the set.
“I grew up with Star Wars but this is something I never thought I’d see in real life,” he told the outlet. “It was a real shocker.”
In related news, video recently surfaced of the same air force base from a different angle (less airborne this time around), offering a better image of the bunker and its array of bays — including one that’s occupied by another X-Wing fighter. While it doesn’t offer anything more detailed than the photo shot by Myatt, it does offer some perspective on how the bigger picture (literally) that the location may provide for the film, with X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon docked in underground bays.
Here’s the video (via ComicBookMovie.com):
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters December 18, 2015.