Star Wars Episode VII: Fan accidentally snaps Millennium Falcon and X-Wing from the sky

"I grew up with Star Wars so I started jumping around," says Matthew Myatt, who was taking publicity pictures for a flying school

A photographer got a lot more than he bargained for when he took off on a plane to to take publicity photos for a flying school, only to discover that he had snapped the most iconic spacecraft in the galaxy. 

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Matthew Myatt, who was flying over Greenham Common, Berkshire, only realised the next day that he had taken pictures of a half-constructed Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter – albeit covered – from Star Wars Episode VII, which is filming in the UK. He then, of course, tweeted the picture. 

“It wasn’t too clear until I viewed the picture and then realised what it was,” he said. “I grew up with Star Wars so I started jumping around.”

Myatt, who works at Airbourne Aviation flying club as a simulations engineer, was photographing one plane from another during a flight from the school’s base at Popham Airfield, Micheldever, in Hampshire.

“I didn’t know it was there, and we flew down and did some orbits. It was based around the old cruise missile silo. We didn’t realise what we had. I looked at the pictures on the viewer on the camera but the resolution wasn’t brilliant. It wasn’t until I got back last night and started going through the images that it just jumped out at me,” he told BBC News.

“I was quite stunned. It was like, ‘wow’. That’s how the picture came about, purely by luck. I had to go and grab my son who’s a big Star Wars fan and get him to come and look at the picture and pinch me and make sure I’d seen what I’d seen. It was one of those unbelievable moments.”

The next film in the space saga is currently filming at Pinwood studios. Its cast includes original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher and newcomers such as British actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.

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Star Wars Episode VII is set for release at the end of 2015.