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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Spacecraft
One of the spacecraft production designer Charles Wood and his team designed for the film was the Milano, Peter Quill's ship, which is a Ravager ship and part of Yondu's fleet. Less high-tech technology was used in the design to give the idea that Quill wants to have more hands-on control and experience the ride-much like a driver who prefers stick over automatic.

Constructed as a double-level composite set, with an upper flight deck and lower living quarters, it was a 14-week build involving several trades. "Our biggest inspiration for the Milano was Chuck Yeager and the early test flights and missions that took place in the late '50s, early '60s," says Wood. "So we looked at a lot of that footage. James wanted to come up with an environment for Quill that was reminiscent of Earth and had a tangible quality-mechanical with chrome and leather and a muscle-car look. A little boy's dream."

In order to have the sense that Quill thought of his ship as home, Wood and set decorator Richard Roberts worked to collect and build items that would evoke 1980s nostalgia. "Rich and his team got together all of the ephemera and other bits and pieces to remind him of home," says Wood. "The Milano itself was probably the biggest construction thing that we did and unusually for a prop master, I'm also involved in the manufacturing of the set decoration parts. So we did an immense amount of work going from the beds to all of the flight seats. Everything in the Milano was created from scratch."

Richard Roberts echoes, "We made everything. We bought ejector seats from jet fighters and completely remodeled them and we worked from a lot of concept work that Charles Wood created. So we were creating a ship that looks like it's got some '80s notes, but we built it so it was really just the personal items that we bought that are from the '80s."

Among the items the filmmakers built was a cassette player built into the spaceship that looks like a car stereo. They also installed shag-type carpet of various colors and a black light in the living quarters. With the idea that Quill had a backpack with him when he was abducted from Earth, Roberts peppered the interior of the Milano with iconic items that would have been in a 9-year-old's possession in the 1980s: Alf stickers, baseball cards and Troll dolls, among other items.

Wood's efforts were not lost on Chris Pratt, whose character Peter Quill commands the Milano. "I couldn't believe it when I first saw it and I have been in awe ever since," enthuses Pratt. "Inside it, I felt like I was on a ride at a theme park, something people would wait in line all day just to get a glimpse of and I got to pretend it was mine. It was pretty amazing and helped inform my performance."

Wood and his team also crafted the Dark Aster, Ronan's spaceship, which is a Kree warship. Suggestive of a flying mausoleum, the design is minimal and brutal-a stark, gray, colorless world devoid of any set dressing whatsoever, relying purely on its heavy concretelike architecture to convey its tone and function. Lee Pace, who plays the villain Ronan, was impressed with his "ride." "You've never seen a spaceship like this. It's massive: the size of the Empire State Building turned over on its side three and a half times," says Pace. "A colossal, steel flying device. It's awesome."

On the flight deck of the Dark Aster, four Sakkaran pilots guide the ship using glowing balls that they manipulate with synchronized hand movements. The filmmakers hired synchronized dancers so that the hand movements would be perfectly in sync.

Part of Wood's build was a large wall where Ronan communicates with others. It acts like a big screen, but it has an uneven finish with texture and carvings. When Ronan is communicating with people, their faces appear in the wall.

The Dark Aster also houses Ronan's fleet of Necocraft in its massive wings.

Yondu's mother ship is called the Eclector and it is the second largest spacecraft in the movie. It houses the entire Ravager fleet. It boasts a room called the Strategarium, which is like a conference room with manually operated screens.

Co-producer Jonathan Schwartz sums up Charles Wood and his team's work best when he says, "The sets are genius. Charles has done an absolutely incredible job of making the script come to life. If you read the script and tried to envision it, it would be impossible. It's so different, so crazy, and like nothing else we've ever done before. You don't fully understand the movie until you see it spring up around you in a full 360-degree set."

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