Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to reveal the backstory to a lot of original Star Wars trilogy moments: some obvious - how Han met Chewbacca and Lando - some less so - the two-finger salute Han and Lando shared in Return of the Jedi appears to be a smuggler hallmark. However, one of the biggest will be one of the most unexpected: it's looking like Solo will reveal the identity of the Millennium Falcon.
The Falcon in the Han Solo movie is a very different ship to the one audiences are used to, considerably closer to its factory default: it's got extra plating with a cool white and blue color scheme, an upwards-glancing radar dish, pristine-white interior, and most noticeably, an escape pod at the front of its mandibles. The changes are striking, yet fit within the canon (well, mostly - the newer look does create a strange plot hole due to its brief presence in Revenge of the Sith) thanks to Han's tease of making "special modifications"; it's expected Solo will explain how each of these aspects was changed ahead of A New Hope.
But those aesthetic changes aren't the whole story. What's also wanted by die-hards is an explanation for how the Millennium Falcon's computer works. After all, Han's ship isn't just his car: it's a Knight Rider.
Yes, The Millennium Falcon Has A Personality
The Falcon's top-end computer was established in the original Star Wars when Han used it to calculate a hyperspace jump, and elaborated in The Empire Strikes Back. When the hyperdrive is broken, Han had C-3PO to "talk to the Falcon, find out what's wrong with the hyperdrive." And he does mean "talk" in some technical sense; shortly after, Threepio is shown beeping with the ship and confronts Solo, saying "I don't know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has the most peculiar dialect." There, in 1980, it's established the Falcon has a proper consciousness on a level with the main droids.
Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know added to the story, saying that the personality came specifically from a mix of an astromech droid, a transport droid and a slicer droid. The Last Jedi's novelization has more recently expanded on this. Near the end of the book during the Crait battle, a passage details the Falcon's inner workings:
"When the Falcon mentioned something about barely being able to detect the back end of a bantha at high noon, R2-D2 suppressed an electronic sigh. The Falcon had always been cantankerous, its three droid brains quarreling endlessly unless forced to work together. Still, R2-D2 usually got along with the ship well enough. For one thing, none of the brains could stand C-3PO; for another, one of them had a fondness for both romantic gossip and dirty jokes, both of which R2-D2 had learned to provide in large quantities."
Ignoring that R2-D2 is essentially telling dick jokes, this clarifies how the ship's mind works and makes clear that the Falcon identity is on Disney's mind. Considering that the book also directly called out Han's childhood on Corellia in preparation for the prequel, it's likely this Falcon moment was also written with the upcoming movie in mind. And we have a theory about that.
Does L3-37 "Become" The Falcon?
What makes that passage interesting is that Solo features a cantankerous droid that already has conflicting elements. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's L3-37 has been described (per EW) as "a self-modified droid", "way up there in terms of IQ", with "a very strong personality". Scribe Jon Kasdan stated, "The idea is that she’s sort of a mutt, if you will, of various parts of different kinds of droids who has improved upon herself." Beyond that she's basically Lando's partner and is not present in the original trilogy, not much is known about the character. This said, considering her position in the story, it wouldn't be out of the question that she's a slicer droid.
Considering how in-depth the dangling thread resolution of Solo is shaping up to be - at this point, it appears every single reference to Han's past (bar his run-in with Jabba the Hutt) will be resolved - it would be strange for the Falcon computer to not be addressed, and from what we know the most obvious tie-in would come via Waller-Bridge's character. Could she sacrifice herself to save the crew, possibly during the intense Kessel Run, to give the ship more computing power and save the day? That would explain the "three droid brains" statement, and the "romantic gossip and dirty jokes" lines up with the comedy side of L3-37's characterization.
This is just a theory in many ways based on a lack of information for now, but what's important is that with the focus of that novelization paragraph it seems likely Lucasfilm are setting up Solo: A Star Wars Story to go deeper into what makes the Millennium Falcon tick than ever before. If they are going to be slyly retconning how we view Han, this is a doozy.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019