Little-known sci-fi fact: Millennium Falcon appeared in Blade Runner

Two of Harrison Ford's most famous characters, Han Solo from Star Wars and Rick Deckard from Blade Runner, never met, but that didn't stop Deckard from getting thisclose to Solo's beloved Millenium Falcon.

That's because the Falcon makes a cameo appearance in Blade Runner, albeit disguised as a building. But now thanks to BRmovie.com, you can see exactly where the Falcon shows up in the film.

How did it get there in the first place? Seems that visual FX man Bill George was doing miniature design and construction for Blade Runner, while at the same time building his own model Falcon for fun. But when the production needed more buildings to fill out the future cityspace of Los Angeles, George's five-foot-tall Falcon model was put to work.

As model maker Mark Stetson told Paul Sammon in his book Future Noir:

"At the time we were so frantic to get more buildings into the cityscape that we grabbed Bill's ship, bristled it with etched brass, and plopped it into different shots. Instant building.

If you want to pick out the Falcon in that Hero Spinner landing sequence, look at the first of the two separate model shots making up that scene. The Millennium Falcon is right in the mid-foreground of the frame. In fact, the camera flies right over it during the beginning of that first shot. Just look for this little flashing blue Pan Am sign in the upper left of the frame at the start of that first shot, before the Hero Spinner starts coming in for a landing. The big, dark pointy building dead center in the foreground is the Millennium Falcon." 

Admittedly it's difficult to see in the screen grabs provided by BRmovie, which have been brightened to some degree for a better look. But if you do look hard enough, you can see that it's the Falcon -- altered somewhat and disguised by lighting and additions -- but still very much Han's ship.

Apparently the Star Wars visual FX crew stuck a few Blade Runner spinners into The Phantom Menace years later as a return gesture, but they're even harder to find.

Now if they only had found a way to make Indiana Jones' fedora into some sort of glider, you could have had a Harrison Ford trifecta...

And check out these other little-known sci-fi facts:

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James Cameron played the Alien Queen

Why HAL 9000 sang 'Daisy' in 2001

What inspired Alien chestburster scene

3 ways George Lucas' wife saved Star Wars

The brawl that got Mel Gibson the Mad Max gig

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Tolkien killed a Beatles LOTR movie

How Ghostbusters pissed off Isaac Asimov

The lyrics to Star Trek's opening theme

The famous "Wilhelm scream"