We always knew Han Solo had made a lot of “special modifications” to the Millennium Falcon over the years by the time we first glimpsed her in Star Wars: A New Hope, but leaked images from LEGO sets for Solo: A Star Wars Story, thanks to r/LEGOStarWars (hat tip SWNN) give a full look at the design before Han won it from Lando. The design has already been recently revealed in leaked images, but at the time, Lucasfilm denounced them as unofficial.
The differences to the run down bucket of bolts we all know and love are fairly apparent, and also a little more drastic than one would assume. The obvious (and previously rumored) white and blue paint job immediately stands out, but the alternate port side dish also lays flat instead of the more upright dishes seen in both the round one from the original trilogy and the rectangular dish from the sequel trilogy. The biggest structural difference, though, is in the front mandibles. The Falcon’s classic two-pronged bow is gone for a slightly longer, sleeker, singular point.
The exact purpose of the changes that Han made to create the look we’re more familiar with isn’t clear, but various plans for the Correlian freighter have indicated that the area between the mandibles houses a concussion missile launcher as well as a freight elevator. Both of those things sound essential to a run-and-gun smuggler ship, but it’s not clear if that’s the reason for the design difference, or if that functionality already existed in the original ship, with the structural changes being made for another reason. If the details of the LEGO design are to be taken as canon (they probably shouldn’t), there appear to be missile launchers on either side of the bow instead of the center, which would indicate a major change.
The specific LEGO set is labeled as the “Kessel Run Millennium Falcon,” confirming (as previously assumed) that the Kessel Run will play a role in the movie, but also interestingly suggesting that the Millennium Falcon’s greatest bragging rights were a feat accomplished by a drastically different ship than the one Han Solo is known for flying. Ironically, if the modifications negatively impacted the Falcon’s abilities (which seems to be the case, since the ship doesn’t have an apparent post-modification claim to fame), the Falcon Luke and Obi-Wan hire in A New Hope might not be “the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs” anymore, which would be very fitting for Han, who’s reputation in the Star Wars galaxy seems to be more for being a braggert, a gambler, and a swindler, with his reputation as a pilot only being lauded by his own lips.
In addition to the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon, a number of other sets were revealed, including an Imperial Patrol Battle Pack, Han Solo’s Landspeeder (possibly the one teased by Ron Howard), and an Imperial TIE Fighter. The biggest reveal from these other sets is the appearance of the new stormtrooper, called a “range trooper.” The range trooper design is consistent with other stormtrooper designs of the original trilogy era, but the armor is accented by more black, making it appear as a sort of stormtrooper/scout trooper hybrid.
While many people assume Solo: A Star Wars Story will only be retreading familiar characters and situations, it’s nice to see that some things, even the Falcon herself, will at least get a fresh look. Although it makes great business sense, too. The Falcon is the most famous ship in Star Wars (or, arguably, sci-fi in general), so if you want collectors to open their wallets again, the Faclon in Solo needs to be something different than the version everyone already owns.
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