The long-awaited Star Wars exhibition opened yesterday in an event which featured both fictional and real special guests.

The exhibition opened on Friday, May 20, focused on the building of the Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock in 1979, in the lead up to The Empire Strikes Back.

Many attended, such as Darth Vader, several stormtroopers and R2-D2, as well as three people who were involved in the construction of the ship.

Thanks to a donation from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust was able to build the exhibit over the last few months.

The exhibition features a model of the Millennium Falcon, along with many stories of those who played their part in what is known as ‘the worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock.’

Milford Mercury: The special guests inside the exhibition. Picture: Martin Cavaney PhotographyThe special guests inside the exhibition. Picture: Martin Cavaney Photography

Also featured is a ten-minute-long video, which has been given by LucasFilm to the heritage centre, of the construction of the starship in the Western Hangar.

Gareth Mills, trustee and treasurer at the heritage centre, who owned up to being more of a sportsman than a sci-fi fan, said: “It is LucasFilm quality, the video. We are so happy we’ve got our hands on this footage.

“It was an honour to oversee the project. I applied for the bid, but this whole thing would not have been successful without Mark Williams and the team of volunteers.

“The National Lottery put £8,000 towards it, and we put £3,000, and everyone is really pleased with how it is looking.”

Milford Mercury: R2-D2 enjoying the company of the centre's volunteers. Picture: Martin Cavaney PhotographyR2-D2 enjoying the company of the centre's volunteers. Picture: Martin Cavaney Photography

Malcolm Styles, who was involved in the construction of the ship, said: “It was my job to transfer the ship over to Elstree Studios in London.

“It was all very secret, so we wrapped the parts of the ship on the back of the lorry and drove it down the M4.

“At the studios, it was us, and then people from The Shining and Superman II. It was quite the group of films to be put together.

“I transported it to the studios, and the film’s art director said to me: ‘Can you do me a quick favour – can you assemble the Millennium Falcon?’

“They put me in the Grosvenor Hotel for a week. It was a brilliant time, and a brilliant story for my hometown of Pembroke Dock.”