Even those who have never seen a Star Wars film before know what the Millennium Falcon looks like. It’s a sci-fi relic that has become so famous that it’s gained a life beyond its source material and become something so much bigger.
Some of the most thrilling moments from the original Star Wars trilogy are the times when the Millennium Falcon is saving the day and kicking ass. Han Solo is a fan favorite character from the franchise, but would people love him nearly as much without his iconic ship in tow?
As excited as audiences are to get a deeper look at the character in the upcoming anthology film, there are plenty of fans that just want to see more Millennium Falcon goodness.
In spite of the Millennium Falcon being so front and center through much of Star Wars’ marketing, the ship is still largely a cipher to fans. Audiences know the basics about the starship, but it has a history and list of accomplishments that arguably make the vessel as interesting as any of the flesh-and-blood characters from the franchise.
With production beginning to wrap up on Ron Howard’s Han Solo film, it feels especially timely to shine a brighter light on the starship.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon Could Do.
15 It Can Break The Laws of Physics
Everyone knows that the Millennium Falcon is big, but the verdict is still out on just how big exactly. In fact, when it comes to whether it’s the exterior or the interior of the famous ship that’s in discussion, it may feel like a physics problem is being entered.
The reason behind this is that the Millennium Falcon has a bizarre time-space anomaly situation going on where the inside is substantially larger than its outside.
While it’s probably best not to think too hard about this, it’s a weird detail that sometimes is evident, such as when the Falcon is docked within the Death Star. The scale of the ship in relation to Stormtroopers is drastically different than what the inside conveys, especially when considering the many other rooms and areas that are shown within the ship.
This discrepancy often goes overlooked due to the fact that the Falcon’s cockpit conveys a cramped look, but there’s no denying the copious space seen within the vessel. Plus, the ship is a cargo freighter meaning that it’s designed to be spacious.
14 It Shares Its Nuts And Bolts With A Ferrari
The Millennium Falcon is seen as a symbol of outer space and fantastical alien technology that’s meant to seem impossible. Star Wars is full of images that go beyond that of the imagination. So it’s pretty funny to think that the incredible starship actually shares a number of its parts with a Ferrari of all things.
The story behind this is that Industrial Light & Magic was located near a model-kit distributor. This led to a lot of "kit-bashing" going on, which is when model parts from other kits are used to complete different sets. Many models originating from companies like Tamiya and Revell were used for Star Wars vehicles and starships.
One of the most notable examples of this is in the case of the Millennium Falcon, which used spare parts from Ferrari and tank model kits to help fill in the starship's midsection. This was so practical that they did the same thing when the film needed to use a smaller Millennium Falcon model for shots.
13 It Operates Off Of Three Droid Brains
Droid brains, unsurprisingly, are the type of processing computer that are most commonly used in droids. That being said, droid brains can sometimes also be used in starships, enabling them with certain AI capabilities and an increased sense of navigation and awareness.
Among the many updates that the Millennium Falcon experiences is the installation of not one, but rather three, droid brains. The Falcon is the proud owner of an R3-series astromech droid brain, a V-5 transport droid brain, and a slicer droid brain.
As a result of these separate brains, the Falcon is actually prone to having schizophrenic arguments with itself and becoming erratic. At the same time, these brains are capable of cooperating when they absolutely need to in order to become an incredibly complex organism.
For instance, when all three brains are working together, it’s nearly impossible to get past their defenses and hack into the Falcon. Take that, one-brained starships.
12 It Can Destroy Most Other Ships In A Firefight
It’s been outlined here how impressive the Millennium Falcon’s speed and defensive capabilities are, but if the ship ever does find itself in a fight, it’s also got the means to blow its enemies into space rubble.
When it comes to weaponry, the Falcon decides to go with the “everything and the kitchen sink” approach. This thing is packing two CEC AG-2G quad laser canons, two Arakyd ST2 concussion missile tubes, and a Blastech Ax-108 Ground Buzzer blaster cannon.
That may just sound like a lot of tech jargon, but it’s some serious power. Lest anyone forget that the Falcon was instrumental in destroying a certain little structure known as the Death Star.
Basically Han’s approach here is to add as much firepower to the freighter as possible. There’s always more room for another quad laser canon or three.
11 It Can Completely Hide Smuggled Goods
Even though Han might have the Millennium Falcon souped up to operate like some sort of Space Ferrari, that doesn’t change the fact that it was originally a freighter and designed to carry goods. With Han playing on the more unscrupulous side of the tracks, it’s only fitting that he would customize the Falcon’s freighting capabilities to be a smuggler’s dream come true.
Legends have been told of Han and Chewie’s many runs as smugglers and the impressive loot that they’ve gotten on some of their missions. These two certainly can’t have customs or other starships inspecting their contraband, so the Falcon has hollow compartments that are ideal for stowing away cargo.
In fact, the Falcon’s smuggler’s compartments are so efficient that they end up saving Luke and company’s life in A New Hope. The gang utilizes these hidden compartments during their rescue of Leia and who knows if they’d have succeeded without them.
10 It Can Operate With Defective Equipment
The Millennium Falcon appears to have a deeply complicated cockpit full of many toggles and switches that give access to the ship’s myriad of abilities.
It takes precision and science for the Falcon to move at the speeds that it does and rightfully earn the title of being one of the most famous ships in the galaxy. That’s why it’s all too funny that in reality, the Falcon’s equipment was actually borderline broken.
During the production of A New Hope toggle switches were purchased for the cockpit’s interior, but due to the film’s lean budget, the switches had no springs in place. Accordingly, during scenes in the cockpit, switches would constantly be flipping down and needing to be reset when they were out of frame.
This might seem like splitting hairs, but it’s merely meant to emphasize how far along the Star Wars films have come since their humble beginnings in the ‘70s.
It’s next to impossible to think of the current Millennium Falcon having a cheap cockpit dashboard, but that’s part of the charm of the original film. Working dials or not, that ship still made audiences believe that it was going into warp speed.
9 It’s Capable Of Beating Most Other Spaceships In A Race
If someone is setting their eyes upon the Millennium Falcon for the very first time, they might have a hard time believing that the large vessel is capable of moving at some phenomenal speeds.
However, you can go ahead and tell these newcomers that the old thing can clear the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs and watch their disbelieving eyes pop out of their heads. The Falcon might hold the all-time best for clearing that Kessel Run, but it’s not as if it pulled off the stunt due to purely good luck. This freighter is packing some serious heat.
The Falcon is able to move unbelievably fast as a result of the modified Gyrodyne SRB42 sublight engines and the SLAM overdrive that Han’s got installed. It’s the sort of equipment that would make Dominic Toretto salivate.
All of this allows the Falcon to travel at a max speed higher than 1000 km/hr while in atmosphere of 3000 G in outer space. So yes, it’s faster than a pod racer.
8 It Can Make For A Mean Piece of Collateral For Gambling
The Millennium Falcon has a lot of uses and in many ways it’s one of the most efficient ships in the galaxy. Ironically enough, though, while the ship’s many abilities make it a genuine asset, these details also make the ship the perfect gambling chip in a game of space poker.
Part of the longstanding love-hate relationship between Han Solo and Lando Calrissian stands upon the fact that not only does Han own Lando’s former ship, but that he won it in a Sabacc match of all things. It’s an almost comical way for Han to acquire his iconic ship, but it’s a testament to just how attractive the vessel is. People need to have it.
In the expanded Star Wars universe, Lando himself even allegedly wins the Falcon from Cix Trouvee from a game of Sabacc. There's some nice poetic justice going on here, with the vessel apparently having a steady history of being a bargaining chip.
Here's hoping that Han never falls onto tough times and finds himself dropping the Falcon down as collateral in some high stakes Sabacc match.
7 It’s Capable Of Cooking A Full Meal
With the release of The Force Awakens, a slew of newly revised Star Wars literature and guidebooks were coming out. Jason Fry’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross Sections takes an incredibly detailed look at the nuts and bolts of Star Wars’ designs.
This, of course, covers the Millennium Falcon, which actually notes some interestingly canonical changes to the ship since Return of the Jedi. A humble, but complete kitchen now adorns the ship, with the book noting, “crew quarters were reconfigured to include galley as wedding gift for Leia Organa.”
While this present from Han to his wife was misconstrued to imply that Leia would be doing the cooking, it was clarified that the kitchen is there to assure that Leia has a certain standard of living. It’s not meant to restrict her, but rather let her comfortably travel-- so apparently Chewie is the one doing the cooking.
6 It Makes Antiques Cool Again
"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid." In spite of the Millennium Falcon’s dominate prowess in space, it’s actually quite the old ship and a glowing endorsement towards how newer isn’t always better.
The Millennium Falcon proves on many occasions how it can keep up with the newer, sleeker ships that are out there. Much of this is due to the many modifications that Han has put the Falcon under, but the ship’s longstanding endurance proves that retro can work.
When it comes to exactly how old the vessel is, the latest Falcon literature (which makes reference to the First Order, meaning it's thorough), states that the YT-1300 freighter has been operating for over "nine decades."
This means that, when the ship is first seen in A New Hope, it's pushing just over half a century in age at that point. The Expanded Universe goes one step further by explicitly stating that the freighter was built in 60 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), making the ship around 60 years old in A New Hope. Either age, the thing is still making oldies look good again.
5 It Can Be A Godsend When Designers Are In A Pinch
There’s no denying that the look of the Millennium Falcon is incredibly iconic and almost emblematic of Star Wars as a whole. That’s why it’s so crazy that not only was this famous look a last minute redo, but that it was the fastest the crew had ever come up with a ship design.
When George Lucas and crew discovered that their original plans for the Millennium Falcon ended up looking to similar to Space: 1999’s Eagle Transporters, the design was scrapped and ultimately became the prototype for the Tantive IV.
Joe Johnston, who’s since made a reputable career as a director, was responsible for figuring out the Falcon’s new look and he claims that his team finished their work within a day.
The team’s quick thinking paired with the visual of Lucas taking a bite out of a hamburger— that’s right— would result in the flat, circular look for the spaceship. Sometimes last minute scrambling can beat all of the planning in the world.
4 It's Got An Amazing A Radar System
If push comes to shove, the Millennium Falcon is capable of reasonably defending itself. However, why go through all of the hassle if battles can be sidestepped all together?
This is where the Millennium Falcon’s comprehensive radar tech comes into play. Alas, that gaudy satellite dish on top of the ship isn’t there just so that these guys can get interdimensional cable.
Han’s Falcon is equipped with a round military-grade rectenna (a rectifying antenna) and accompanying ANq-51 sensor array computer courtesy of the Fabritech corporation. This elite package includes active and passive sensors, powerful jammers, short-range target acquisition systems, and intership transmitters.
All of these make it so the Falcon can scout out any enemy spacecraft ages before it becomes a problem. Even with the new rectangular dish that Han installs after the ship’s damage in the Battle of Endor, the Millennium Falcon is still one of the stealthiest ships that are out there. You’ll never see it coming.
3 It Can Go Through A Lengthy Name Revision Process
The name “Millennium Falcon” just exudes so much coolness that it’s hard to believe that the ship was ever operating under a different name. Well, not only is “Millennium Falcon” a fairly recent title for the vessel, it’s actually just one name in a long list of flashy monikers.
Back when it was just a wee baby YT-1300 freighter, the ship was originally named Corell’s Pride. However, a slew of owners through the years also saw the ship going by such titles as the Fickle Flyer, Meetyl’s Misery, the Jackpot, the Second Chance, the Wayward Son, the Gone to Pieces, and many more.
There’s enough material there that Star Wars could do an entire set of anthology films looking at the Falcon’s many owners and the backstories for these curious names.
Finally, after the many modifications and upgrades that the ship underwent, it was said that the vessel was now durable enough to last a millennium and move as fast as a bat falcon. Just like that, the ship’s most famous name would be born. Although it looks like “Millennium Bat” might have been a close call…
2 It Can Host A Super Game Night
Sure, Han probably gets a big kick out of shooting off his ship’s stats and impressing other smugglers with the Falcon’s feats, but sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and not worry about political turmoil or the machinations of the Sith.
Thankfully the Falcon allows for such an option thanks to the hologame table that is boasts in its common room. This completely frivolous addition to the Falcon is essentially a three-dimensional version of chess known as Dejarik where holomonsters battle out on the board game. It’s just as cool as it sounds.
The recreational game is actually something that Chewbacca installed in the ship. Maybe space is getting too stressful for the guy and he needed a way to blow off some steam? He doesn’t just want people to let the wookie win-- he wants to earn that win.
1 It Can Crossover Between The Different Galaxies Of Franchises
If there’s one major capability of the Millennium Falcon that people are largely clueless to, it’s that the famous Star Wars vessel actually steps out of its franchise a number of times and crosses over with other popular sci-fi series.
AT-ATs might look awesome, TIE Fighters are evasive as hell, and the Naboo Starfighter is the most aggressive yellow spaceship the galaxy has ever seen, but none of these vessels ever pop up in Star Trek or Blade Runner.
The Millennium Falcon has earned such a reputation for itself that it’s become this timeless artifact that’s allowed to shift through timelines, as contradictory as it may be. The Falcon has made appearances in Starship Troopers, Blade Runner, Mel Brooks’ parody film, Spaceballs, and it’s even showed up to take on the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact.
Can you think of anything else Star Wars' Millennium Falcon is capable of even more? Has any YT-1300 awesomeness been overlooked? Power up your warp drives and fire off into the comment section!