- "You know, that ship's saved my life quite a few times. She's the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!"
- ―Lando Calrissian
The Millennium Falcon became famous as the personal smuggling starship of Han Solo and Chewbacca. It began life as a standard Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 stock light freighter. Eventually it was won by Solo from Lando Calrissian in the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament. Throughout its operational lifetime, the ship endured many adventures and upgrades which led to its dilapidated exterior appearance. Under both Calrissian and Solo, it played a vital role in the Galactic Civil War and later conflicts.
The early years
Constructed as unit YT 492727ZED in 60 BBY by the Corellian Engineering Corporation in their shipyards at Orbital Assembly Facility 7 as a YT-1300f light freighter, the Falcon existed in its stock state for several years. The ship was set apart from the others during an accident with a fuel droid on the assembly line, and the ship rocketed out of control, taking almost the entire assembly line with it. It took multiple Human workers to keep the ship under control. One commented that the ship was 'one in a million.' The first owners were the Corell Industries Limited shipping firm, who possessed the ship for twelve years. In that time, the ship — which would be known in the future as the Falcon — earned a reputation as being both remarkably swift and stubbornly unreliable. A string of temporary monikers bore witness to these traits; Corell's Pride, Fickle Flyer and Meetyl's Misery. Eventually, CI Limited went bankrupt and in 48 BBY, the YT, then known as the Jackpot, was sold to Kal and Dova Brigger. The siblings used the newly rechristened Hardwired for various and increasingly illicit cargo runs, making the most significant early modification to the ship: an upgraded hyperdrive. Cularin's Smugglers' Confederation took notice, and after a broken deal, the Brigger siblings became targets of a bounty by Confederation leader Nirama. Dova was executed, but Kal survived to give the ship a new handle, Wayward Son, and a place in Iaco Stark's Commercial Combine. Kal met his fate at the Fifth Battle of Qotile, devoured by Challat eaters.
By 29 BBY, the vessel was both owned and used secretly by members of the Senate and Jedi, as part of an organization known as the Republic Group. Tobb Jadak and Reeze Duurmun became the primary crew of the ship — known then as the Stellar Envoy — for the next decade. In 19 BBY, the ship was present during the Battle of Coruscant, landing at the Republic Executive Building docking bay on Coruscant shortly after the shuttle that brought Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to safety after their crash landing in the nose of the Invisible Hand.
Shortly after this, the Stellar Envoy was hit by a bulk freighter over Nar Shaddaa, causing massive critical damage to the entire frame. What was left of the ship was interned in an orbital junkyard near the Smuggler's Moon. The ship rested there for about a month before it was purchased as scrap by an enterprising technician named Bammy Decree, with assistance from crime lord Rej Taunt. Under Decree's co-ownership, the Envoy was reconstructed from core to hull, and various systems were replaced with updated versions. Though the effort purportedly required a great deal of time and effort, the technician committed himself to finish the job as a test of skill, and also perhaps a labor of love. It was during this time that several sections of the ship were refitted with modular components from an old YT-1300p light freighter that had previously been used for diplomatic missions before meeting a similar fate.
Renamed the Second Chance, it served its new owners only briefly, performing a single botched smuggling attempt before languishing in Imperial impound at Nilash III for the next few years. It was then stolen by an opportunistic ship thief, one Zenn Bien, working with Rebel agents Quip Fargil and Luufkin. The Second Chance was briefly rechristened the Gone to Pieces during this operation, but when he began flying the ship for the Alliance, he rechristened her the Millennium Falcon, after the bat-falcon — the name that the ship would carry through the remainder of the Galactic Civil War and on through the Second Galactic Civil War.
The Falcon was to be used in a Rebel strike at Bilbringi in 9 BBY, but Fargil had second thoughts and pulled out of the operation, taking the Falcon with him. Unable to live with his guilt, he donated her to Doctor Parlay Thorp. After spending several years on Hijado with Thorp, the Falcon was sold to Molpol's Traveling Circus, and was the collateral of at least a few wagers before coming into the hands of a young Lando Calrissian. The ship's identiplate was removed during this time to facilitate its new career in smuggling by one such owner, and each also added their own "special modifications" so that, by the time it came into the hands of Lando, it was already able to out fly almost any vessel of its size.
- "Take good care of her, Solo. That ship saved my life quite a few times over the years."
- ―Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian acquired the Falcon in a game of sabacc on Bespin around 5 BBY from a certain Cix Trouvee, a professional gambler who couldn't cover his debt.. After learning the basics of its controls from his new friend Han Solo, he collaborated with his droid Vuffi Raa and operated as a freelance transporter. Calrissian piloted the ship during his smuggling missions in the Rafa system, the Oseon belt, and the Starcave of ThonBoka. He continued to make modifications to the ship in order to better protect himself during these runs. During this time, the Falcon suffered a large tear near its entry ramp when a Renatasian Confederation starfighter rammed it.
During the final round of the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament, Calrissian threw in a marker for "any ship on his lot" (at the time, he was the owner of a used spaceship lot on Nar Shaddaa, where the Falcon was parked). Solo, the other contestant remaining in the tournament, accepted the marker, knowing that Calrissian had taken a cruise ship to the tournament and left the Falcon behind. When Solo won the game, he claimed the Falcon as his own on the technicality which had been overlooked by his unlucky opponent.
After winning the Millennium Falcon from Calrissian, Solo began to add to the prior owners' modifications. His personal enhancements included upgrading the armor plating, weapons, engines, sensors, and sensor jammers (the jammer that Solo installed was so powerful that the first time the unit was tested, it disrupted the information relays inside the Falcon itself, just as an Imperial corvette was launching. Luckily for Solo, the system was so powerful that it jammed itself and shut down. Solo managed to escape without notice).
Solo's first mission with the Millennium Falcon was a trip to Kashyyyk for the benefit of his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca. Proceeding from there, the Falcon left Imperial Space for the Corporate Sector, smuggling goods for crime bosses like Big Bunji and Ploovo Two-For-One. As a result of its less-than-legal activities there were frequent run-ins with the Corporate Sector Authority. Its captain was responsible for destroying the secret Authority prison installation, Stars' End, as well as helping to expose a slave trade ring that involved some very prominent Authority executives, in addition to participating in the ill-fated search for the lost treasure of Xim the Despot. After its return from the 'Sector, the Falcon continued its work smuggling goods (mainly spice) for Jabba Desilijic Tiure. Just a few months prior to the Battle of Yavin, Solo was forced to jettison his cargo of glitterstim when he was boarded by Imperials.
Around this time, Urai Fen of the Zann Consortium hired the crew of the Millennium Falcon to pick up crime lord Tyber Zann from the spice mines of Kessel under the guise of a spice run. After retrieving Zann from Kessel, the crew continued their attempts to repay Jabba for the spaced load. The Falcon was later snagged by the tractor beam of a Star Destroyer while she visited Corellia but the Sundered Heart was able to help free the ship and in return, Solo agreed to take the Falcon to the Vergesso Asteroids in order to complete a vital mission where he dueled with Boba Fett and the Slave I.
One time, the crew of the Millennium Falcon was contracted to bring supplies to Firebase Alpha, an illegal energy-mining station in the Rishi Maze. Solo and Chewbacca successfully evaded a Star Destroyer and flew into the Rishi Maze. Once inside, they were attacked by a set of drones launched by a derelict Sith warship. The Falcon's computer was able to interact with the warship's engines, and fired them into the drone fleet, disabling them. After receiving landing clearance from Firebase Alpha, Chewbacca discovered an energy signature coming from the cargo bay. Solo pried open the container and discovered they were carrying an Imperial baradium bomb. The inside locks to the cargo bay had been damaged during the fight with the drones, so they could not jettison the bomb. Solo then put on a spacesuit so he could open the bay from the outside. His suit became damaged during the attempt, but he got the door open. Chewbacca flew the Falcon into a spiral to jettison the cargo, and came back to pick Solo up just as his suit ran out of air. The two then planned on dropping off the cargo and returning to Mos Eisley to talk to the man who had given them their cargo.
A Fateful Trip
- "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."
- ―Leia Organa upon seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time
The Millennium Falcon's destiny as a tool for a small-time smuggling operation was changed when it was chartered by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina only months later for passage to Alderaan.
The journey to Alderaan proved to be much more than a simple passenger flight. The Falcon was forced to blast its way out of Mos Eisley when a garrison of stormtroopers attacked the ship in an attempt to recover its cargo. It also narrowly avoided capture by a couple of Star Destroyers before making the jump to lightspeed.
The Falcon emerged from hyperspace into the remains of Alderaan. After chasing a single TIE Fighter stranded in what appeared to be empty space, the Falcon was captured by one of the first Death Star's tractor beams and secured aboard the massive space station. Thanks to quick thinking by those aboard the Falcon, the ship was made to appear as if the crew had escaped soon after taking off from Tatooine. It was searched by stormtroopers and it was reported that there were no passengers on-board. Their search had managed to miss the crew who were hidden in a series of secret smuggling holds who then proceeded to kill a scanning crew before they could be detected by the scanner.
In a matter of hours, the Millennium Falcon had once again escaped the Imperial Navy, this time with the rescued Princess Leia Organa onboard. After a fleeing battle with Imperial fighters and a trip through hyperspace, the ship arrived at the secret Alliance base on Yavin 4. During the ship's stay on the battlestation, the Empire had planted a homing device onboard the Falcon which it used to pursue the Princess to this location. As the Rebels scrambled to organize a preemptive attack on the massive Death Star, Solo loaded his reward on board the Falcon and departed the moon. However, thanks to Chewbacca, its smuggler captain had a change of heart. Solo and his ship returned just in time to cover Luke Skywalker in his last-ditch effort to destroy the station and secure the safety of the Rebel Alliance. The ship's surprise attack destroyed Darth Vader's two wingmen and sent Vader himself spining off into space, allowing Luke to successfully complete his attack and destroy the Death Star.
During the trip back to Tatooine, the Falcon was boarded by a pirate force led by Crimson Jack. Robbed of Jabba's credits, the idea of joining the Rebellion became the best option available to its young Captain. Thus the ship became the fastest in the motley assortment that constituted the Alliance's fleet.[source?] During the period between Yavin and Hoth, Han (along with Renegade Squadron) used the Falcon to find the Holocron over the asteroid field that was once Alderaan. In its search the Falcon's power converter and energy cell were damaged by a squadron of TIE interceptors and a nearby Star Destroyer. After the encounter in the Alderaan system, the Falcon and the Mon Calamari Cruiser of Renegade Squadron entered the junkyard planet of Ord Mantell. With the necessary repairs done Han and the rest of Renegade Squadron escaped the planet before a local Star Destroyer squadron turned up. Finally, the Falcon served as an escape transport from Boz Pity.
Escape from Hoth
- "Punch It!"
- ―Han Solo to Chewbacca
In 3 ABY, the Falcon was undergoing repairs in the main hangar of the Rebel installation Echo Base as the Empire began its assault on Hoth. As the Alliance scrambled to escape the base, Solo and Chewbacca hurried to make the ship spaceworthy. Princess Leia was cut off from her transport by a tunnel cave-in and was forced to make her escape from Hoth on board the Falcon accompanied by Han, Chewbacca and C-3PO. Solo used the ship's uncanny maneuverability and his piloting skills to elude an Imperial Star Destroyer chasing them, and two more emerging from hyperspace. Han's maneuvers in the Falcon caused the two Star Destroyers approaching and the one pursuing to nearly collide with each other. The Falcon, in order to create an opening to escape due to their escape route being cut off, also disabled an already damaged Star Destroyer. The Falcon then attempted to make the jump into lightspeed, but was stopped short by an equipment malfunction. Forced to take drastic measures to avoid capture, Solo made the decision to pilot the Falcon into a nearby asteroid field in an attempt to lose the Imperial pursuers. However, a near disastrous encounter with a space slug forced the crew of the Falcon to exit the asteroid field into the firing range of the Avenger. Han then used the landing claw of the Falcon to attach to a blind spot on the conning tower of a Star Destroyer. Adhering to standard Imperial procedure, the Star Destroyer ejected all scrap and garbage before entering hyperspace. Han then signaled Chewbacca to release the claw, allowing the Falcon to "float away with the rest of the garbage." Boba Fett, however, saw through this ruse, and waited behind in the Slave I, following the Falcon as it left the system.
- "Oh, great. Well, at least we can still outmaneuver them!"
- ―Han Solo
After its close encounter with the Empire, the Falcon journeyed to Bespin's Cloud City, where Han's old acquaintance, Lando Calrissian, held the position of Baron Administrator. The Empire had arrived first, however, due to Boba Fett tailing the Falcon to Bespin. The crew of the Falcon were captured, interrogated, and detained. Han was encased in carbonite and given to the bounty hunter Boba Fett. The remaining members of the crew, joined by Lando, escaped to the Falcon. After rescuing Luke, who was dangling from a weather vane on the underside of Cloud City, the ship left the planet and attempted to jump to lightspeed. The crew were unaware that the recently repaired hyperdrive had been disabled by Vader's men, and only a last minute patch by R2-D2 prevented the Falcon from falling into Imperial hands. Thanks to R2's efforts, the hyperdrive was activated and the Falcon managed to make the jump at the last second and escape.
During the following months, the Falcon served as home base to Leia, Luke, and Lando as they tracked Fett in an attempt to save Solo. The Falcon flew through dangerous canyons on the spaceport moon of Gall, and, despite being one of the most wanted Rebel ships in the galaxy, managed to infiltrate Imperial Center. It then participated in the space battle at Prince Xizor's personal skyhook. After the battle, the Falcon returned to the Alliance's secret base. After successfully rescuing Han, the Falcon rendezvoused with the Rebel Fleet, and prepared to assault the newest Death Star.
Battle of Endor
During the Battle of Endor, Lando and Sullustan copilot Nien Nunb flew the Falcon as Gold Leader. After the planetary shield protecting the second Death Star was destroyed, the Falcon and several Alliance fighters entered the battle station through a conduit port and headed towards the reactor core. Space was limited in the conduit tunnels leading to the core and the relatively large Falcon lost its sensor dish when it smashed into a bulkhead. Lando was able to pilot the craft into the energy core housing the main reactor, launched a volley of concussion missiles, and headed for the exhaust port. The Falcon barely succeeded in outrunning the massive explosion that destroyed the powerful battlestation. Soon afterwards, the Imperial fleet retreated and the galaxy celebrated the death of the Emperor.
Han, however, would never let Lando live down the fact that he had knocked off the ship's sensor dish while inside the second Death Star, after promising before he left that "she won't get a scratch!".
- "According to the official records on file with Coruscant control, the Falcon is now a nice, normal light stock freighter. All of the illegal weapon systems and smuggling hardware removed. Except Han never did get around to removing all the handy little modifications and add-ons and military-specification sensors and weapons."
- ―Lando Calrissian in 18 ABY
The cobbled-together nature of the ship presented many problems throughout its smuggling days and during the Rebellion. Systems were barely held together and apparently had many incompatibilities, resulting in numerous malfunctions. Years after the Battle of Endor, Han Solo and Chewbacca resolved these difficulties, much to the relief of Leia Organa Solo.
In 8 ABY, Han used the Falcon to kidnap Leia Organa. Having won the deed to the planet Dathomir in a sabacc game, his plan was to win her heart by presenting her with the planet as a gift. He also wanted to get Leia away from the Prince Isolder of the Hapes Cluster who was courting her. The Falcon was captured by the Imperial garrison stationed on Dathomir, after a nasty crash inside a poorly maintained EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate and then a "happy" landing on the planet, and later stolen back by Han and was pivotal in disabling the Super Star Destroyer Iron Fist, killing Warlord Zsinj in the process.
Shortly after the events on Dathomir, Han and Leia were married and used the Falcon on a mission to Tatooine to recover the Shadowcast intelligence code hidden on the Alderaanian moss painting Killik Twilight. They concealed the ship in an old smugglers hideout where it remained hidden until the completion of the mission.
In 11 ABY, Han and Chewie flew the Falcon to Kessel, on a diplomatic mission for the New Republic. However, on their arrival in the system, they were attacked by the Kessel mercenary fleet and the ship crash landed on Kessel. Han and Chewie were enslaved and sent to work in the spice mines, while the ship was repaired and pressed into service with the fleet. The ship was later liberated by Lando, though Han, Kyp Durron and Chewie nearly destroyed the ship with the Sun Crusher before finding out that Lando had taken over the ship. Soon after, Lando disputed the validity of the sabacc game in which Han had originally won the Falcon from him, leading to a series of rematches between them. In the first, Lando won the ship back from Han and started an attempt to upgrade and rationalize the Falcon's computer systems. It was not quite finished when in a second game, Han won the ship back. In a final game—which both men agreed would be their last rematch over the Falcon—Lando won the ship back again, but in a public attempt to impress Mara Jade, gave the Falcon back to Han.
Before the Black Fleet Crisis in 16 ABY, the ship was rebuilt by a New Republic team over several months. The ship was stripped down to its basic spaceframe with deformed members replaced. Then it was rebuilt from the ground up. New technology was augmented to improve efficiency; the electronics were properly grounded and pulse-shielded, mechanicals shock-mounted, cables bundled and tagged, and other parts documented and labeled. Roughly 15% of its structural parts were replaced and it weighed 300 kilograms less. The ship's tractor beam, sensors, shield lenses, lower deflector emitters and hyperdrive motivator were all upgraded and recalibrated. The crew quarters and holds were recarpeted, the sanitizer was recharged, and a YT-1300 battery regulator was duplicated from Corellian specs. A Sienar Systems augmentor was also installed and the missing escape pods were replaced.
Han, to Chewbacca's exasperation, was aghast at how perfect his ship performed and how smoothly it operated, declaring that he would need to go and 're-loosen' some of the nuts and bolts again, so he could tell when the ship was straining. Han was known for "flying by feel" and dialing down the inertial compensators to 95% instead of the usual 99-100% that most pilots used. This technique, he said, helped him to feel the condition of the ship better despite it sometimes catching newer passengers off guard with the unexpected G-forces being exerted during flight.
Yuuzhan Vong War
After Chewbacca's death at the beginning of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Han Solo gave the Falcon a matte-black surface coating, Han said this was to disguise it, but Leia wondered if it was also in mourning for his co-pilot and best friend. During this time Han Solo rescued a Ryn named Droma on Ord Mantell, and for a short period of time, Droma became the first co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon after the death of Chewbacca. Eventually Leia Organa Solo became the new co-pilot, a role she would embrace. Han Solo replaced the massive co-pilot's chair that previously belonged to Chewbacca, to make things more comfortable for Leia. Han and Leia escaped Coruscant in it during the Fall of Coruscant.
During the war, the Falcon performed well as usual, helping the New Republic, and eventually the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, develop methods for effectively destroying Yuuzhan Vong Coralskippers. Anakin Solo realized that, by adjusting the angles of the quadlasers so that they were on slightly intersecting courses, when they hit a coralskipper at least one laser would penetrate the skipper's dovin basal defensive field.
Han and Leia later flew it from Mon Calamari to Bastion in the Imperial Remnant, to make a deal with the Empire to gain old Imperial maps of the Deep Core. They were looking forward to have some time alone together during the long journey and asked Leia's Noghri bodyguards to stay behind. However, their plans were ruined as they were forced to take Commander Vana Dorja with them. During the journey, they were pulled out of hyperspace by Yuuzhan Vong mines on the Hydian Way. They were attacked by coralskippers and were able to fend most of them off, before Jagged Fel and his squadron arrived to help them.
About three months later, the Falcon participated in the Battle of Ebaq 9. Han was given command of a Smuggler's Alliance squadron and he used the Falcon as his flagship, despite Booster Terrik offering him the use of the Errant Venture.
Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo used the Falcon as a base of operations as they re-established communication checkpoints throughout the galaxy.
Second Galactic Civil War
By the time of the Second Galactic Civil War, the Falcon (now in its centennial year) was in need of engine repairs. While attempting to land on Coruscant, the engine vibrations began to shake the ship apart. Even with Han and Leia piloting, the ship was on the verge of crashing. Leia used the Force to try and slow their descent, but lacked the fine control to do so. However, with Jacen remotely bolstering her abilities with his own, Leia was able to hold the ship together for a safe, but rough landing. The ship was out of commission for the next few weeks while R2-D2 slowly repaired it.
During the battle in the skies over Hapes, the Millennium Falcon attempted to avoid combat with Leia Solo at the helm. Jacen Solo, believing that his parents were terrorists and had set him up, ordered the Anakin Solo to open fire on the Falcon (under the transponder codes for a ship known as the Longshot). A single long range turbolaser blast was fired, destroying the central core and gun turrets of the Falcon. Unfortunately, the two Noghri Cakhmaim and Meewalh were inside the turrets when they were destroyed. The Falcon managed to escape, but with serious damage.
The Falcon was repaired in the Gyndine system at the Tendrando Refueling and Repair Station with new turrets and central core. The Falcon later participated in the Battle of Kashyyyk, Battle of Centerpoint Station, and the Battle of Shedu Maad and survived them.
In the aftermath of the Second Galactic Civil War, Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo and their granddaughter Allana went on a mission to investigate the Falcon's origins after Allana found a mysterious object on board. The three discovered an old failed plot to overthrow Palpatine. The mission began when Allana, exploring the ship, discovered an old mechanical device with mimetic properties. Subsequent investigation led them to discover it was put into place by a former owner who had been a member of a group dedicated to restoring Republic honor. Although in a coma, the man, Tobb Jadak, awoke, whereupon he joined the crew to seek the original symbol of the Republic, which had been mounted in the Galactic Senate. The device hidden on-board was the key to finding it. When they stopped at Taris, they met the Jedi Seff Hellin, the first Jedi to fall victim to Abeloth's summonings. They eventually located a planet in the Unknown Regions where the Republic symbol was stored. The temple started to collapse after they learned the symbol was a fake. The former owner along with Jadak and his partner, Flitcher Poste, then parted ways with the Solos to pursue the real symbol.
The Solos would continue to use the Millennium Falcon as a mobile home when they assisted Luke Skywalker during his exile from Coruscant. They would respond to a distress call from him on Dathomir.
Layout and modifications
- "Modified. Heavily modified. Illegally modified."
- ―Hound's Tooth's computer, scanning the Millennium Falcon
Under the ownership of both Lando and Han, the Falcon endured countless modifications and rebuilds. Lando had hidden cargo sections installed under the Falcon's deck-plates that proved to be crucial. They provided both Lando and Han easy storage for their smuggled cargoes and hid the crew when the ship was captured by the first Death Star. Lando also increased the ship's shields and installed a pair of smaller blasters on the bow mandibles.
The Falcon featured duralloy plating over most of the vital areas of its hull and a sheet of armor plating from the Liquidator aft of the starboard docking arm. In addition, the ship was equipped with a set of advanced Kuat Drive Yards, Novaldex, and Nordoxicon shield generators "liberated" by Solo from the Myomar shipyards. These shield generators provided the Falcon with warship-grade shielding, allowing it to survive laser hits that would destroy an ordinary YT-1300. A set of high-grade sensor suites were tied into the Falcon's over-sized rectenna sensor dish. Powerful sensor jammers also protected the ship in combat.
In an effort to reduce his expenses and maintain his privacy, Solo modified the Falcon so that most of its major systems could be accessed through the cockpit or the engineering station in the main cargo hold. The myriad ship control functions were funneled through what was once a Hanx-Wargel SuperFlow IV computer. It has since been modified with three droid brains, which caused the Falcon to have schizophrenic arguments with itself.
The Falcon's unkempt interior matched her dilapidated exterior. The interior corridors were littered with all sorts of mechanical gear. The main hold contained a lounge area with a holographic game table, installed at Chewbacca's request. In addition to the hidden cargo holds under her deck plates, it also had a cargo-jettison feature. The Falcon lacked a bacta tank, and to make up for it, was equipped with a cryogenic hibernation capsule. This could be used to for the transport of live cargo or to keep the critically injured stable until acceptable medical facilities were reached.
The ship was frequently required to make a quick escape. Interestingly, the Falcon had a remarkably quick start up time of about three minutes. When more firepower was required, the pilots could call on the ventrally mounted, concealed, anti-personnel repeating blaster cannon near the loading ramp.
The cobbled-together nature of the ship presented many problems throughout her smuggling days and during the Rebellion. Systems were barely held together and apparently had many incompatibilities, resulting in numerous malfunctions. C-3PO commented that he wasn't quite sure where the ship learned to communicate. (However, that may be a reference to the ship's "dialect", leaving open the possibility that the ship's computer uses slang and/or vulgar language, thus upsetting C-3PO's sensibilities.) Years after the Battle of Endor, Han Solo and Chewbacca resolved these difficulties. The resolution of those problems may have involved a virtual rebuild of her internal operation systems; this was never discussed in detail.
The Falcon's customized Class 0.5 hyperdrive is twice as fast as Imperial warships.This enhanced capability is mostly due to Solo's innovative modifications to "streamline" the ship for hyperspace jumps. A Quadex power core and jury-rigged components ensure a three-standard-minute start-up sequence for the hyperdrive.
In addition to the hidden laser cannon, the Falcon was equipped with a pair of dorsal and ventrally mounted Corellian Engineering Corporation AG-2G quad laser cannons, which drew their power directly from her Quadex power core. They were originally installed by Lando to replace the mandible mounted blasters. When Han took over ownership of the Falcon, he modified the cannons extensively by adding enhanced powercyclers, high-volume gas feeds, and custom laser actuators. This increased the cannons' output to the point where they were able to destroy a TIE Fighter with a single shot. These cannons, though typically manually operated, could be remotely accessed and controlled from the cockpit by Solo. He once found himself in need of this capability during the Blockade of Kashyyyk in 0 ABY. The ship also had a pair of Arakyd ST2 concussion missile launchers mounted between the forward mandibles, which were technically illegal for a civilian to possess; these were used in the Battle of Endor, destroying the Reactor Core of the second Death Star.
After becoming the diplomatic courier ship for the Skywalker-Organa-Solo family, the Falcon was refitted with military-grade power generators, propulsion, and weaponry. The quad blaster cannons were replaced by light turbolasers. The turbolaser turrets were destroyed by the Star Destroyer Anakin Solo's long-range turbolaser in one shot under a false transponder code Longshot during the Battle of Hapes in 40 ABY. The turbolaser turrets were then eventually replaced with newer light turbolasers.
During the events surrounding the reborn Emperor Palpatine, the missile launchers were temporarily replaced by a giant Ganathan lightning gun mounted in place of the portside bow mandible, which was destroyed in a shoot-out with Boba Fett's Slave I. Han didn't particularly like the modification to his ship and was quick to return the Falcon back to normal once the troubles with the reborn Emperor had ended.
The secret to her speed
- "What a piece of junk!"
"She'll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Han Solo
The most famous attribute of Millennium Falcon was her hyperdrive. The hyperdrive system onboard the Falcon was fully twice the size of the hyperdrive in a standard YT-1300 freighter. This system gave her a hyperdrive class of 0.5, which was twice as fast as most Imperial warships. The secret to her speed was master starship tech "Doc" Vandangante's modifications that "streamlined" the ship in hyperspace by controlling the warp of the space-time continuum around her. Several other ships have tried to match the Falcon's speed without these "streamlining" modifications and have blown themselves into space dust.
Another key element to the Millennium Falcon's speed was its navicomputer, which could locate the quickest route from Point A to Point B while still avoiding obstacles such as star systems and asteroid fields.
- "And our stormtroopers were outfought, our starfleet evaded? How is this possible? Whose ship was it?"
"That is difficult to say. She had false identification markings and a forged registration. Moreover, she was an extremely fast and elusive vessel, probably piloted by one of the smugglers who congregate in that region."
- ―Wilhuff Tarkin and Darth Vader
Over the years, due to the clandestine nature of its operations, the Falcon's owners have given it numerous false designations. Han Solo alone had given it over a dozen false names by 8 ABY. Known ones include:
- Close Shave
- Sunfighter Franchise
- Sunlight Franchise
- Regina Galas
- Sweet Surprise
- Shadow Bird
- Princess of Blood
- Victory Ring
- Naboo Duckling
- Star Tripper
- Star Princess
Under Lando Calrissian
- Lando Calrissian (captain)
- Vuffi Raa (co-pilot)
- Nien Nunb (co-pilot, Battle of Endor)
- Airen Cracken (gunner, Battle of Endor)
- Blount (crewman, Battle of Endor)
- Unidentified Rebel navigator (navigator, Battle of Endor)
- Ace Azzameen (Battle of Endor)
- Chewbacca (co-pilot)
Under Han Solo
- Han Solo (captain)
- Chewbacca (co-pilot)
- Droma (co-pilot)
- Leia Organa Solo (co-pilot)
- Allana Solo (co-pilot)
- Noghri Bodyguards (gunners)
- Dordi (gunner) (Barabel)
- Zal (gunner) (Barabel)
- Wilyem (gunner) (Barabel Jedi)
- Jarik Solo (gunner)
- R2-D2 (astromech droid)
- C-3PO (protocol droid)
- Luke Skywalker (co-pilot)
Behind the scenes
The original model for the Millennium Falcon was changed at the last minute because it too closely resembled the Eagle Transporter ships used in the Space: 1999 television series. The replacement is said to be based on a half-eaten hamburger next to an olive on a toothpick held by George Lucas, which led to staff at ILM referring to the Falcon as "the Porkburger". Ralph McQuarrie's original design was modified to become the Blockade Runner starship seen at the beginning of Episode IV, and the original design was also used for the diplomatic transport that brings Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Naboo at the beginning of Episode I.
The cockpit design of the Millennium Falcon is also heavily based on the design used in the famous B-29 Superfortress.[source?]
Like many science fiction spacecraft, the Falcon's interior sets can not actually physically fit within the exterior sets. Subsequent Expanded Universe plans are consequently a compromise attempt at squeezing the interiors in (often with detriment to headroom). These compromise plans often also result in the Falcon having rather small engines for a ship considered notable for its speed.
This has led to some inconsistencies in the recording of the length of the vessel in different Star Wars publications, with many different lengths given over time. The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (2003) states that the Falcon is 26.7 meters long. In August 5 years later, Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection gave the length as 35.37 meters while the Millennium Falcon novel, published in October gave the length to be 35 meters long. The StarWars.com Encyclopedia, updated in September 2011, stated a length of 34.75 meters, which is the same as that of stock YT-1300 freighters. The most recent publication to give a length of the ship, the Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual, published in the UK in November 2011 and in the US in February 2012, gives a measurement of 34.37 meters. As no recent sources agree on a measurement, the most recent length given in the Owner's Workshop Manual is used in this article.
For A New Hope, the exterior set of the Falcon that was built for the Docking Bay 94 and Death Star scenes consisted only of the starboard half of the ship, presumably due to physical space limitations and/or financial considerations. The omission is evidenced by the absence of the sensor dish in the Docking Bay 94 scene, where it should be clearly visible. This version of the Falcon lacks the forward starboard- and port-side landing pads, which were added for The Empire Strikes Back to better support the weight of the full Falcon exterior set that was constructed for that film. In the position where the forward starboard landing pad would later be added, a weight-bearing support (disguised as a fuel hose) is visible descending from the underside of the Falcon to the ground in both of the A New Hope docking bay scenes.
In Tyrant's Test, Chewbacca states that the quad-lasers aboard the Falcon are "large-bore Dennia quads", designed originally as crew-served weapons aboard Dreadnaughts. This would seem to contradict the presence of the Corellian-manufacture AG-2G cannons; alternatively, Dennia might have been the subcontractor who built the AG-2Gs.
Han Solo's famous comment, that the vessel "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs," comes off a little incongruous—a parsec is a measure of distance, not time. George Lucas has stated that this was intentional[source?] – the point was that the Falcon's navicomputer could figure out a shorter way to complete the Kessel Run than any other ship. However, in the original novel, Solo uses the word "timeparts" instead of "parsec." In the 4 DVD special edition of the original trilogy, Lucas explains that the remark meant that the Falcon's computer was so advanced that it was able to plot a shorter route through hyperspace than any other ship, and thus travel faster. An alternate explanation is that Solo was most likely trying to impress his travelers with plausible-sounding yet meaningless bragging (it should be noted that while Han is talking about this, the camera does cut to Obi-Wan looking rather skeptically at him, and the original script supports this). Some novelizations have retconned the statement as meaning that the ship was so fast Captain Solo was able to hug closer to the black hole cluster known as The Maw without being pulled in, shaving off distance (and thus time). The fact that Han makes this statement is parodied in the non-canon Star Wars spoof Family Guy: Blue Harvest, when Peter, who plays Solo, says that the Falcon made the run in under twelve parsecs, Luke, played by Chris, questions him, saying, "Um, isn't a parsec a unit of distance, not time?". Solo blows him off in response.
The design of the Ebon Hawk, developed for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, was inspired by the Falcon. Both ships also serve as mobile "bases" for the main characters of their respective series.[source?]Many fans claim to have seen a duplicate Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. During the chase through the asteroid field, in a shot from the Falcon's cockpit, you see the Millennium Falcon flying in the distance.[source?]
It was speculated that the Falcon would make an appearance in Revenge of the Sith to further tie the prequel trilogy to the original trilogy, and the ship did indeed make a cameo in the movie. At the beginning of one shot closing in on a docking bay on Coruscant, a YT-1300 freighter is seen flying in to dock. This was confirmed by Lucas that it was the Millennium Falcon itself and not just some other YT-1300 freighter.
The Courtship of Princess Leia features the Falcon using weapons not normally attributed to it, such as ion cannons and proton torpedoes in addition to the normal quad laser cannons and concussion missile launchers. Champions of the Force in The Jedi Academy Trilogy also has the Falcon using proton torpedoes against the Death Star prototype near Kessel.
While one of the Imperial officers examining the Falcon aboard the Death Star noted that several escape pods had been jettisoned from the ship, it is unclear where such pods are actually located. This is another consequence of the Falcon's last-minute redesign: in the original design, the escape pods were clearly visible from the outside.[source?]
The Millennium Falcon also appears throughout the 2001 video game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. It may be destroyed in the Battle of Endor alternate-historical simulation in the Darth Vader campaign.
A CG model of the Falcon was inserted in the battle in the film Star Trek: First Contact, engaging the Borg cube with the rest of Starfleet. John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic, which did the special effects for the film, as well as having just completed work on the Special Edition of A New Hope, inserted the Falcon in the battle, although it is hardly visible. It can be seen as the Defiant begins its first attack against the cube in the early stages of the battle.According to Joss Whedon, the Millennium Falcon was a primary inspiration for his show Firefly. The ship also inspired the ship Serenity, which played a major role in his show.[source?]
In "The Dig", a Point and Click Adventure game released by LucasArts in 1995, several light bridge control panels bear "alien designs" carved into them, including some that appear to be Star Wars Easter Eggs. One such panel features simplified line drawings of the Millennium Falcon and a Star Destroyer of unknown classification.
In the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the Millennium Falcon makes a non-canon cameo appearance. When the main character, Galen Marek, finds the 4th out of a series of holocrons on "Imperial Raxus Prime," returning to the main platform on that game level allows the player to view a ship resembling the Falcon. It can also be viewed on the first visit to Raxus Prime in the game, near a hyperdrive core.
Although the Millennium Falcon is technically a freighter-class capital ship, various video games, including the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games, allow the player to play as the Millennium Falcon as if it were a starfighter.
In the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination traveling exhibit a reproduction of the Millennium Falcon's cockpit is featured within a miniature planetarium.
A YT-1300 freighter, similar to the Millennium Falcon, can be seen for a second on the landing platform of the Space Diner in the Mel Brooks space parody, Spaceballs.
In February 2007, LEGO Corporation announced the release of the Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon, scheduled for October 1 2007. The model is scaled to LEGO Minifigures, it measures 33" long by 22" wide. At 5,195 pieces, it is the second-largest LEGO Set ever produced, and the most expensive.
One of the Falcon's aliases—"Argos"—is an actual Greek city. The city may or may not have inspired the alias, although the alias could be a play on the name of the Argo, the ship of Jason and the Argonauts fame.
The original, life-size model of the Falcon was built in the huge wartime Sunderland bomber hangars, in the former Royal Naval shipyards in Pembroke Dock, a small harbor town on the Milford Haven waterway in Wales in the UK. The completed model was then disassembled into sections, and transported by road to the film studios in England.[source?]Hasbro released what is known to fans as the “Big Millennium Falcon” toy on July 26th, 2008. When the original Kenner mold for the toy broke down after 30 years of use, Hasbro brought in the original designer of the toy, Mark Boudreaux, to re-design the iconic ship. The completed product is approximately 30% larger than the Kenner version.  It can hold up to 18 figures.
In The Essential Guide to Warfare, the Millennium Falcon's power core was stated to be the same as the B-wing starfighter used by the Rebel Alliance. Paul Urquhart elaborated on this claim in part 12 of Jason Fry's Endnotes for the book by stating that they were made by the same manufacturer and thus possessed similar components, but were not identical drives, citing the development of the USS Zumwalt and its use of the same engine as that of the Typhoon fighter jets in the British Air Force as an example.
Notes and references
- Star Wars TITANIUM LIMITED Die Cast Episode III Millennium Falcon Vehicle - Hasbro Die-Cast toy
- Millennium Falcon on Wikipedia
- Millennium Falcon/Legends on SWG Wiki
- Millennium Falcon on Memory Alpha
- "The Falcon's speculative voyage from Hoth to Bespin" - A Pablo Hidalgo StarWars.com blog entry
- The Millennium Falcon: Ship of Riddles (Archive.org copy)
- Jason Fry's Endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare: Part 12