If I could be any spaceship in the galaxy, why I’d choose to be the Millennium Falcon. It’s true! And this week on the show (which you can listen to below), I’m sharing why. As a big sci-fi fan, and someone who has loved Start Wars since I was five, the Millennium Falcon has been a spaceship that I feel I’ve come to know and love, and, it’s role in the Star Wars Franchise has been one that’s full of inspiration and impact. So, when this unusual (OK so it’s pretty weird) idea hit me for the podcast, I decided to run with it.
So, here are the top 7 reasons why, if I could be any spaceship in the galaxy, I’d choose the Millennium Falcon.
1. The Falcon is a named character in the movies, with personality, and a story arc.
Unlike many ships in the sci fi genre, The Falcon is one that has a known name beyond it’s make and model (which is a YT-1300 Corellian light freighter). In other stories, a ship is often referenced by a naming convention such as the USS Enterprise, or the Battlestar Galactica. Unlike these, the Falcon has a name that is used regularly, and that it keeps as it changes owners.
In it’s own story arc, the Millennium Falcon is the vehicle, both literally and figuratively, that allows Han to become the character we know in A New Hope. When Han meets Lando and wins the Falcon in a game of Sabaac, the Falcon represents the means for Han to start a new life. He’s left Corellia and his life as an orphan slave. By the time Han arrives on Tatooine, he’s an established smuggler with a ship that has a reputation, and it offers him the ability to take on Luke, Obiwan, and R2 as his next passengers.
The ship itself is the butt of many jokes, and an easy and familiar running joke due to it’s dilapidated appearance. The other characters in the franchise seemingly love the ship, and love to make fun of it, and it endears us all to The Falcon. The way the ship is portrayed makes it very much like the kid on the playground who is equal parts admired and joked with, this is a ship that has personality and skills.
2. The Millennium Falcon is fast, or, is it really just super smart?
Known for having the best navigation system in galaxy, we learn in Solo that the system is actually the hardware that was originally part of the female droid know as L3-37. L3-37 is a self built droid, and she created herself from both astromech and protocol droid parts. She’s glitchy, ornery, funny as hell, an activist, and a feminist. And, she’s a very “special” friend of Lando’s, who has an extensive navigation system. When she is fatally shot, her nav system is loaded to the Millennium Falcon right before it’s fabled (and record setting) Kessel Run.
How did a light freighter become the second fastest ship in the galaxy? Upgrades, sure – both Lando and Han talk about having made modifications to the ship. My point of view? The ship is fast because it has an advanced means of navigation, in addition to the modifications. L3 is and was quirky and unusual, and she’s a great match for the ship. When you layer in the fact that both Han and later Rey seem to have an intuitive match for the way The Falcon works, you’ve got a powerful set of factors that make the ship so very fast.
3. This ship is part of something much bigger than itself.
The Falcon is a gun for hire, since it’s Han’s ship. It plays a part in the resistance, in aiding the Jedis, and fighting for the Force in the galaxy. If I were a ship, I’d want to be on the side that’s fighting for good.
4. For good or bad, The Millennium Falcon has a reputation
On the positive side of the Falcon’s story – The galaxy knows that the Falcon made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, and it’s clear that this story/legend has been spread throughout the galaxy by the time we meet Rey on Jakku (which is a remote desert planet described by Luke as being “nowhere.’), which would make it reasonable to assume that the story was spread far and wide.
Less positive? The Empire and later the First Order hate the Falcon. Finn states as much when it arrives for a battle on Crait; and what’s interesting about this comment (“Ah, they hate that ship!”) is that the dislike runs so deep that it’s remembered even though the Falcon itself has been sitting in a junkyard on Jakku for an undetermined amount of time. Even with the ship out of commission, the Dark Side knows it and detests it.
If I’m gonna be a ship, I’d love to have a reputation like that.
5. The Millennium Falcon is a symbol of hope
Whenever the ship shows up for a fight, you know it’s a good sign. Sometimes it’s because it’s bringing fire power and backup to the fight, or, sometimes it’s a good sign because it’s carrying main characters who are about to impact the plot. We saw the way the Falcon embodied this hope when in “The Last Jedi,” it’s the ship that takes the literal last of the resistance off Crait and out to regroup. We saw it when Han started his new life with the Falcon.
6. The Falcon is always waiting for the right people, and it’s a great get away vehicle.
My first and favorite Falcon scene is when Han, Luke, Leia and Obiwan are leaving A New Hope, and the trusty Falcon is waiting for them in the hanger. Time and again, the Falcon is the ship that is waiting for the heroes – it’s there for Rey on Jakku (side note: it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that both Rey and the Millennium Falcon are on this desert planet, and that they likely arrived at about the same time), it’s the ship that picks up Luke as he’s hanging off the Cloud City after losing his arm and fighting his father, and it’s the ship that takes Rey to Luke and waits for them as Rey does her training.
7. The Millennium Falcon is a home.
The Falcon is home for both Han Solo and Chewie, both of whom are without their own people or family. While the audience knows that this is their abode, we all become fully aware of how important this ship is to Han when he returns to it in The Force Awakens. As Han and Chewie enter the ship, Han says, “Chewie, We’re home.”
It’s a pinnacle moment for all three of these characters; Han has finally returned to a place that feels like home, and is acknowledging that Chewie is part of his chosen family. It’s an odd juxtaposition that Han says this while we know that he’s had a son with General Leia, and spent the better part of the last few years not knowing where the Millennium Falcon was.
For all of this, it’s Han’s return to a ship who’s past and story has been intricately entwined with his own. The Falcon was built on the same planet that Han was born. Han’s father worked at the company that built these very ships, and it’s not a stretch to assume he helped build The Falcon. And so it makes sense that this ship, for all that it’s been through with Han and Chewie, is recognized and embraced as their home. And if I was a spaceship, I would think that being considered someone’s home would be the highest of honors.
Episode 3: Matthew Wood (The Voice of General Grievous in Star Wars) on Crafting Joy in the Crossfade
Episode 59: Finding Joy in “Star Wars in the Yard” with Russell Hurst
The Ways the Millennium Falcon Were Different in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”
L3-37’s Story Changes Everything We Knew About the Millennium Falcon
Solo: A Star Wars Story on Wikipedia
Solo: A Star Wars Story Has Franchise’s First Main Female Droid
Will Star Wars 9 Blow Up the Millennium Falcon?
Rey first meets Han Solo and the “Chewie, We’re Home” line in The Force Awakens: