“Punch it, Chewie!” – The Millennium Falcon Breakdown
She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the only ship to make the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs, the Millennium Falcon.
Is there a ship more infamous than the Millennium Falcon? She can outrun Imperial starships–and not the local bulk cruisers, mind you, but the big Corellian ships. Originally called The Stellar Envoy during the Clone Wars, this YT-1300f light freighter is one of the most heavily modified ships in the galaxy. When people think of Star Wars, this is one of the first ships they think of, next to the X-Wing and TIE Fighter.
The Millennium Falcon‘s Technical Specifications
One could say the Millennium Falcon was a YT-1300f light freighter. And technically you’d be correct. But that would be like saying Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker. Sure, but entirely rebuilt.
And so was the Falcon. Including the cockpit, the outer hull may resemble the convex saucer and front-facing mandible design of the Corellian freighter. But the Millennium Falcon is an entirely different ship under the hood.
Beneath its chassis, the Falcon has very little of her original parts. Take the Girodyne SRB42 sublight engines. A previous owner made illicit modifications to them, rebuilding them to support a SLAM overdrive system. This allowed the Falcon to pull off deceptively fast bursts of speed.
This meant that the Falcon could attain a top speed of 1,200 kph in atmosphere and 3,000 G in space.
And speaking of speed, the Falcon‘s stock hyperdrive was replaced with a heavily customized Isu-Sim SSP05 Hyperdrive.
It had been jury-rigged to operate at even higher speeds. The Millennium Falcon traded in reliability for potential and was given to frequent failures.
Still, it was deemed a “class 0.5 hyperdrive”, meaning it would go twice as fast as most of the warships in the Galactic Empire.
Here Comes the Boom
When it came to weaponry, the Falcon bore a resemblance to a freighter in name only.
She was armed with two CEC AG-2G quad laser cannons. The ship was also custom-fitted with enhancements to give them extended range and firepower over the stock models.
Two Arakyd ST2 concussion missile tubes, and a BlasTech Ax-108 “Ground Buzzer” blaster cannon gave it a surprising punch. She could bruise even much heavier ships in a pinch.
And it could take a punch, too. Duralloy plates meant for an Imperial cruiser gave the Falcon capital ship-class hull armor. And before worrying about punching through that, attacking ships would have to bypass three deflector shield generators.
The Millennium Falcon Changes Hands
Straight off the assembly line, The Stellar Envoy was designed as a tug, before it was requisitioned by the Republic as a freight transport during the Clone Wars. Unfortunately, it suffered a collision with a bulk freighter and ended up scrapped. The wreckage was recovered by a salvager and repaired. It changed hands many times before finally landing in the possession of Lando Calrissian, who won it in a game of sabacc.
Calrissian registered the ship as the Millenium Falcon and set to work modifying it for speed and luxury. A few years later, while fleeing the Kessel system, he was injured, and Han Solo flew it to help him escape. Calrissian took the ship after the mission ended, but eventually lost it to Solo in another game of sabacc. Solo further modified the ship for speed and firepower.
Solo lost the Falcon again at some point after the Battle of Endor, and it ended up in a junk heap on Jakku. Rey and Finn used the ship to escape Kylo Ren on Jakku, and flew it into deep space. It was captured by a junk trawler, which turned out to be captained by Solo and Chewbacca. The Falcon remained in Solo’s possession until his death when it passed to Rey and Chewbacca.
So What Makes Her So Famous?
The Falcon’s primary claim to fame is, of course, making the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs. Fans have pointed out since that this seems like a strange brag since a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. However, thanks to the 2018 film Solo, we got a better understanding of the boast.
The area around the planet Kessel with riddled with asteroids and sat dangerously close to an unstable cluster of black holes called The Maw. Making the Kessel Run usually required a more circuitous route of short jumps, running around twenty parsecs in length.
However, thanks to the Falcon’s sophisticated hyperspace system and Solo’s exceptional skill, he was able to cut across the route and accomplish the feat in only twelve. In short, his ship was so good at short, fast bursts of speed that it could outmaneuver any ship of similar size.
Throughout the conflict between the Empire and the Republic, the Millennium Falcon played a significant role. It rescued Princess Leia Organa from imprisonment on the first Death Star, helping evacuate the planet Hoth, as well as leading the charge against the second Death Star. Truly no ship is as infamous as the Millennium Falcon.
But is the Millennium Falcon the Fastest Ship in the Galaxy?
For a long time, yes, the Falcon was the fastest ship in the Star Wars Universe, with a top speed around 1100 kph. However, the recently extended canon has added a few ships that can meet or exceed its speed. Kylo Ren’s TIE Vendetta is one such ship, with a top speed of 1850 kph, is the fastest ship in the films. If we go by all media, though, there’s no ship that can match Din Djarin’s modified N-1, which is the only ship known to reach sub-lightspeed without a hyperdrive.
Who was the best pilot of the Millennium Falcon?