The Millennium Falcon: Five Facts Every Star Wars Fan Should Know
Arguably the most famous ship in all of pop culture and science fiction, the Millennium Falcon has captured the imagination of many a boy and girl since it first graced the big screen in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. But how much do you really know about this legendary starship, and can you truly call yourself a true fan of George Lucas’s fictional creation?
With a real-world lifespan stretching more than 35 years, we are still learning weird and wonderful things about our favourite hyperspeed traveller, so read on below to discover (or rediscover) ten fascinating facts about the Millennium Falcon.
1 Birth of the Ship’s Iconic Design
The Millennium Falcon’s design is famous the world over, but initial plans had it looking far less unique. Shaped more like the standard science fiction space ships of that era, the original Falcon bore a strong resemblance to the Eagle Transporter from the British television series “Space: 1999”, starring Martin Landau. Rumour has it, George Lucas found the inspiration for the now-famous design after he saw a half-eaten burger with an olive on a toothpick beside it. Who are we to argue with his genius?
Simply put, the ship is named after a beautiful bird of prey – the Bat Falcon
2 A Ship by Many Other Names
It’s fair to say that the Millennium Falcon’s name is pretty great, and paints the picture of a ship that is fast, dangerous, and can last the ages. But where did the name come from, and was that all it was called?
Simply put, the ship is named after a beautiful bird of prey – the Bat Falcon. Despite being the main pilots of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars episodes IV through VI, neither Han Solo nor Lando Calrissian named her. That honour belongs to one Quipp Fargil, a Rebel agent and pilot, who stole the YT-1300 light freighter with the assistance of fellow Rebels, Zenn Bien and Luufkin.
At this time the ship was named “Gone to Pieces”, before Fargil dubbed her the Millennium Falcon when he flew for the Alliance. Other names for this illustrious spacecraft, found in various stories across the wider Star Wars universe, include the following:
- Correll’s Pride
- Fickle Flyer
- Meetyl’s Misery
- The Jackpot
- The Hardwired
- The Wayward Son
- The Stellar Envoy
- The Second Chance
Unfortunately for Calrissian, his ownership of the Millennium Falcon only lasted two and a half years
3 Calrissian’s Good (and Bad) Fortune
Born on Socorro – a smuggler’s paradise in the Outer Rim Territories of the Star Wars galaxy – Lando Calrissian had a reputation as a cool and charismatic entrepreneur, smuggler, general, and professional gambler. It was this last trait that landed him the biggest prize of all, when he won the Millennium Falcon from Cix Trouvee in a game of sabacc – a card game comprised from a seventy-six card deck.
Unfortunately for Calrissian, his ownership of the Millennium Falcon only lasted two and a half years, eventually losing the ship to Han Solo in another game of sabacc.
“It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”
4 Kessel Run and the Parsec Problem
When Obi Wan requires some convincing of the Millennium Falcon’s speed in Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo states: “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”
At a glance, this sounds like Solo is referring to a measure of time. Unfortunately, a parsec is actually a unit of distance, meaning that Han’s statement comes across as slightly nonsensical. So why did he say this? There are three possible explanations, as follows:
- A screenplay error – It is possible that George Lucas simply liked the sound of the word parsec as a sci-fi unit of time, without doing due diligence on the word’s actual definition.
- Han Solo was testing Obi Wan and Luke – Presented with a potential high payload, he may have thrown out this nonsense statement to see whether his new passengers would call him on it. If they let it slide, he could assume they were unaware of what his ship could do – and charge them more for the ride.
- He really did mean distance – as established in the Expanded Universe, the general route of the Kessel Run is approximately 18 parsecs long. Therefore by stating he was able to do it in only 12, he is telling Obi Wan that he achieved it by taking a shortcut. By cutting the time by a third, he would have had to navigate a dangerous route through a series of blackholes, so his statement is more a boast about his skill and bravery as a pilot.
5 Close to the Real Thing
While there are several different Millennium Falcon scale models on the market, all of varying sizes and quality, we are proud to state that the DeAgostini ModelSpace 1:1 replica of the Millennium Falcon is one of the most accurate models currently available, thanks to the stunning work carried out by master model maker Stephen Dymszo.
This video details Stephen’s involvement in the creation of the Millennium Falcon replica from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, which formed the template from which our scale model was designed.
As avid fans of all things Star Wars, we are proud to be a part of its legacy by offering the 1:1 movie prop replica of the Millennium Falcon. If you would like to build your very own version of this incredible ship, click here and subscribe today.
We wish you all the best with your building journey, and may the force be with you!
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