If you happen to be driving down the M3 outside of London and see a strange array of shipping containers, some Google Earth users discovered that they're actually hiding the iconic Star Wars ship the Millennium Falcon. While that would be practically impossible to detect from the ground, a number of GIF's and images have surfaced from Google Maps which make it clear that hidden behind these shipping containers is a real-life practical version of the Millennium Falcon. Why it's there remains to be seen, but it still is rather intriguing.
This Millennium Falcon was actually first spotted in June, on the backlot of Longcross Studios outside of London, just off the M3 freeway. It isn't known if this was actually used for production of the latest Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While production did take place in the U.K., it was primarily shot at Pinewood Studios, and there has been no indication that any shooting took place at Longcross Studios, which has been the home to films such as Murder on the Orient Express, Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange, just to name a few. There could be another reason that this Millennium Falcon is being hidden here.
It's possible that this Millennium Falcon will be put on display at the London premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Disney and LucasFilm did in fact bring out a full X-Wing fighter ship for the Hollywood premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so it's possible this Millennium Falcon is simply being stored behind these shipping containers until the premiere. Although, while this image was first noticed back in June, it's possible that it could be old and there is no indication as to when the original image was taken. Still, it's interesting because Longcross wasn't used as a production facility for any of the Star Wars movies, so why the Millennium Falcon is being "hidden" in this particular location remains to be seen.
Both Star Wars movies released in the newly-formed Disney era have become the biggest movies of their respective years. Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned a record-breaking $247.9 million opening weekend, en route to another box office record, smashing Titanic's all-time domestic mark of $760.5 million with $936.6 million, although its $2.06 billion global tally couldn't surpass Titanic ($2.1 billion) and Avatar ($2.7 billion). Rogue One: A Star Wars Story didn't fare nearly as well, but its $532.1 million domestic easily topped the domestic charts, although its $1.05 billion worldwide came short of the $1.1 billion worldwide earned by Captain America: Civil War. It seems likely that The Last Jedi will continue this massive success at the box office for this storied franchise.
This news comes on the heels of the groundbreaking announcement that Rian Johnson will direct a new Star Wars trilogy, although the dates, titles and story details for this new trilogy have yet to be uncovered. LucasFilm has yet to release Solo: A Star Wars Story, which recently wrapped filming under new director Ron Howard, with a May 25, 2018 release date in place, and Star Wars IX, which brought back The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to replace Colin Trevorrow. Take a look at a GIF and still image of this Google Maps section that reveals the Millennium Falcon hiding in plain sight in the U.K.