Happy Star Wars Day and May the fourth be with you! Get it? Because it’s May 4th? Anyway, this is a pretty big day if you’re a Star Wars fan so in honor of the occasion I decided to talk about everyone’s favorite YT-300F star freighter AKA the Millennium Falcon.
The Millennium Falcon has pretty much become synonymous with Star Wars due to its owner, Han Solo being arguably the coolest character in Star Wars canon.
But, is there more to what attracts us to the Falcon? What is that X-Factor that makes this ship so damn cool? Well, I have a theory about that. I think we are drawn to the Millennium Falcon because it is literally the “tuner car” or “hot rod” of Star Wars. Allow me to explain…
Within the Star Wars universe, upon first glance, most people think the Millennium Falcon is “junk” or “garbage”. That’s because the Falcon is at its heart a YT-300F model starship. In Star Wars canon, a YT-300F is pretty much the equivalent to an old beat up container truck. Not exactly, what you would picture a guy like Han Solo piloting right?
The thing is though, nearly every time someone expresses their disgust of the Falcon when Han is within earshot he makes sure to let people know that he’s made many “special modifications”.
What kind of modifications did Han Solo make to the Millennium Falcon? Let’s run down the list of known mods real quick:
- Military-grade Hyperdrive
- Sublight engines with illegally modified acceleration motor and Overdrive module
- Military-grade shield generator
- Dual quad-barrel blaster cannons
- Armor plating taken from an Imperial Star Destroyer
- Concussion missile launcher
- Belly-mounted blaster gun
I don’t know about you but that reads like a project car spec list to me. Well, minus the weapons that is. I mean the “Hyperdrive upgrade” is pretty much the same as a custom turbo-kit. And the modified “sublight engine with overdrive”? Why, that’s the Earth equivalent of a stroker kit with a limited slip diff thrown in to help get the power down. See? Many parallels here!
Something about the fact that even people who lived “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” still wrenched on their rides just like we do in this galaxy today.
I think that is what makes the Millennium Falcon so cool. Because Han wrenched on the Falcon himself he cared for it deeply and that’s something any car enthusiast can relate to. Han refers to the Falcon as “Her”, he added illegal modifications, and he is constantly getting hassled by the law over his ride! Han Solo is all of us!
Once we put our own hands on our ride to modify it, it becomes an extension of us and an expression of who we are. Take Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon for an example; He may have been a “scruffy looking nerf herder” but underneath he was the biggest bad ass in the galaxy.
Oh, and here is one more fun-fact: When the original Star Wars trilogy (episodes 4, 5, & 6) were made in the 70s and 80s, CGI wasn’t really a thing yet so the starships seen in the film were actually hand-built scale models.
When building the Millennium Falcon, the model builders used pieces from Ferrari and Tank scale model kits to fill out the middle section between the top and bottom halves of the Falcon. So the Millennium Falcon is part Ferrari and part Tank. Fitting isn’t it?
For more on the ship that “did the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs” check out the two videos below about the creation of the Falcon from its concept origins to what we know it as today.
Making of the Millennium Falcon video:
Millennium Falcon concept video: