The Millennium Falcon was the famous starship of Han Solo and Chewbacca. The Falcon began life as a standard Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 stock light freighter. Solo won her from Lando Calrissian during a Sabacc tournament. Under both Calrissian and Solo, the ship endured many adventures and upgrades which led to her dilapidated exterior appearance.
The ship was constructed in 60 BBY on Corellia. The Millennium Falcon was present in the Galactic Senate docking bay on Coruscant shortly after the Second Battle of Coruscant, but not much else is known of the ship's early history.
Lando Calrissian purchased the Falcon used circa 5 BBY. After learning how to pilot from his new friend Solo, as well as his droid friend Vuffi Raa, Calrissian took the ship through many escapades in the Rafa system, the Oseon belt, and the Starcave of ThonBoka, just to name a few. He also made modifications to the ship in order to better protect himself during his smuggling runs. The Falcon gained one of her most significant battle scars, a huge tear near her entry ramp, when a Renatasian Confederation starfighter rammed her.
During a high stakes Sabacc game, the final round of a large tournament on Cloud City, Calrissian threw in a marker for "any ship on his lot" (at the time, he was the owner of a used spaceship lot). 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 Calrissian.
After winning the Millennium Falcon from Calrissian, Solo began to add to Calrissian's modifications. His enhancements included upgrading her armor, weapons, speed, sensors, and sensor jammers. The jammer that Solo installed was so powerful that the first time the jammer was tested, it disrupted the information relays inside the ship.
Solo's first trip in the Falcon was a trip to Kashyyyk for the benefit of his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca. For a time, the Falcon left Imperial Space for the Corporate Sector, smuggling goods for crime bosses like Big Bunji and Ploovo Two-For-One. Frequently, the crew tangled with the Corporate Sector Authority. Her Captain was responsible for destroying the secret Authority prison installation, Star's 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 her return from the Corporate Sector, the Falcon continued her work smuggling goods, mostly smuggling spice for Jabba the Hutt. Just a few months before the Battle of Yavin, Solo was forced to jettison a load of Jabba's spice when he was boarded by Imperials.
A Fateful Trip
A few months later, the ship's destiny was forever changed when she was chartered by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker to deliver R2-D2 and the stolen Death Star plans to Alderaan.
When challenged by Obi-Wan about his ship's speed, Solo famously replied, "She's fast enough for you, old man,” and cited that the Falcon was capable of attaining "point five past lightspeed."
The journey to Alderaan proved to be much more than a simple delivery run. The Falcon was forced to blast her way out of Mos Eisley when a garrison of Imperial Stormtroopers tried to blast the Falcon and her passengers and crew to death. She 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 TIE fighter towards what appeared to be a small moon, the Falcon was captured within moments by one of the 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. She was searched by Imperial stormtroopers, who reported that there were no passengers onboard. Their search had managed to miss the crew and passengers who were hidden in a series of secret smuggling holds, which were shielded against most types of scanners.
In a matter of hours the Millennium Falcon had once again escaped the Imperial Navy, this time with the rescued Princess Leia Organa onboard. Upon seeing the Falcon for the first time, Princess Leia had remarked, "You came on that thing? You're braver than I thought!" Finally, the ship arrived at the secret Alliance base on Yavin IV. Unfortunately, the Empire had planted a tracking device onboard the Falcon. As the Rebels scrambled to organize an attack on the massive battle station, Solo loaded his promised credits on board the Falcon and departed the moon. However, her smuggler captain had a change of heart. As Darth Vader prepared to blast Luke into oblivion, the Falcon roared out of hyperspace in a hail of laser fire, knocking Vader off Luke's tail and providing cover for him as he launched his proton torpedoes into the bowels of the Death Star.
During the trip back to Tatooine to pay off Jabba, the Falcon was boarded by a pirate force lead by Crimson Jack. With his payment gone, the idea of joining the Rebellion suddenly became the best option available to her young Captain. From that point on, the Millennium Falcon was one of the premier ships in the rag-tag Alliance fleet.
Adventures with the Rebellion/New Republic
The Falcon was undergoing repairs in the main hangar of Echo Base as the Empire began its assault on Hoth. As the Alliance hurried to escape the base, Solo and Chewie hurried to make her spaceworthy. When Leia was cut off from her shuttle by a tunnel cave-in, she was forced to make her escape from the Hoth on board the Falcon accompanied by Han, Chewie and C-3PO. While traveling at sublight velocities, the Millennium Falcon was not a particularly fast vessel; in several encounters with Imperial-class Star Destroyers, the larger ships were able to keep up with her. The true strength of the Falcon involved the skill of her crew and her high supralight speeds. However, the Falcon was considerably more maneuverable than these Star Destroyers. Solo used the maneuverability and his piloting skills to elude three Star Destroyers that were attempting to block the Falcon from escaping from Hoth. The Falcon's evasive maneuvers nearly made the three Star Destroyers collide with each other. The Falcon then attempted to make the jump into hyperspace, but was unable to due to her overpowered hyperdrive's habit of shorting out when it was needed the most. Forced to take drastic measures to avoid capture, Solo made the decision to pilot the Falcon into the nearby asteroid field in an attempt to lose the Imperial pursuers.
After a near disastrous encounter with a space slug, the Falcon journeyed to Bespin's Cloud City, where Lando had won the position of Baron Administrator. Unfortunately the Empire had arrived first, and the crew of the Falcon was taken hostage by Darth Vader. 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. However, the crew did not know that the recently repaired hyperdrive had been disabled by Vader's men, and only a last minute repair by R2-D2 prevented the Falcon from falling into Imperial hands.
During the following months, the Falcon served as home base to Leia 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 the Imperial Center. After finally rescuing Han from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, the Falcon rendezvoused with the Rebel Fleet, which was preparing to assault the newest Death Star.
During the Battle of Endor, Lando flew as Gold Leader and piloted the Falcon at Han's insistence. After the shield protecting the Death Star was destroyed, the Falcon, accompanied by several Alliance fighters and pursued by several TIE fighters, entered the incomplete battle station and headed towards the reactor core. The Falcon and an X-wing piloted by Wedge Antilles were the only Rebel ships to make it to the core. Lando targeted the main reactor, launched a volley of Concussion missiles, and headed for the exhaust port. The Falcon barely succeeded in outrunning the massive explosion of the crippled battle station.
After the Battle of Endor, the Millennium Falcon was one of the few ships left in fighting condition that were able to drive back the invasion of the Ssi-Ruuk at the Battle of Bakura. In the years following the Battle of Endor, the ship became a New Republic diplomatic courier for the Skywalker-Organa-Solo family. Towards the beginning of the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, Han Solo painted the Falcon mylar black.
The cobbled-together nature of the ship presented many problems throughout her smuggling days and during the Galactic Civil War. Systems were barely held together and apparently had many incompatibilities, resulting in numerous malfunctions. C-3P0 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/or Chewbacca appeared to have resolved these difficulties, much to the relief of Leia Organa-Solo. The resolution of those problems may have involved a virtual rebuild of her internal operation systems; this was never discussed in detail.
Layout and Modifications
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 her hull. 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 her 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 the ship in combat.
In an effort to reduce his expenses and maintain his privacy, Solo modified the Falcon so that most of her major systems could be accessed through the cockpit or the engineering station in the main cargo hold. The myriad of 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 herself.
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. In addition to the hidden cargo holds under her deckplates, she also had a cargo-jettison feature. The Falcon lacked a bacta tank, and to make up for it she 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.
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. 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 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. During the events surrounding the reborn Emperor Palpatine, the missile launchers were temporarily replaced by a giant lightning gun.
The Secret to Her Speed
Without a doubt, the most famous attribute of the 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 Imperial warships. The secret to her speed were Han and Chewie'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.
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 half a dozen false names by 8 ABY. Known ones include:
Behind the Scenes