The Millennium Falcon: Tracing the history behind the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy

Many Star Wars fan know the Millennium Falcon as the personal ship of Han Solo and his trusty sidekick, Chewbacca.  Over the course of three Star Wars movies, the falcon became a familiar and friendly old spaceship that accompanied the Star Wars characters on their adventures.  What’s less known is the ship’s entire history.  While the movies mention that Han won the ship from his friend Lando in a bet, the Star Wars expanded universe states the ship was built in 60 BBY.  In case you don’t know what BBY means, it stands for “before battle of Yavin”.  Kind of like how BC stands for “before Christ” back here on Earth.  Well in the Star Wars universe our friends use the explosion of the death star as a notable event in order to keep their timelines.  Figures.  Here, you’ll see a clip from Revenge of the Sith of the Falcon flying into a docking bay on Coruscant.  Notice that this is in 19 BBY, about 19 years before New Hope, also 19 years before Han Solo appears with the ship in the movie:

If the Falcon was made in 60 BBY, by the time of that clip the Falcon is already about 40 years old.  So we have a total of 60 years of Millennium falcon history to observe.  So i’ve decided to put together a timeline of the history of the Millennium Falcon as according to the Star Wars expanded Universe.  Here goes:

  • The ship is constructed in 60 BBY by the Corellian Engineering Corporation and used by Corell Industries Limited as a shipping spacecraft until they go bankrupt 12 years later
  • Kal and Dova Brigger then buy the ship and use it for smuggling.  They both end up hitting the dust doing such illicit business.
  • By 29 BBY the ship belongs to the Senate and Jedi Council where she’s given the name, “Stellar Envoy”.  As you can see from the clip above in 19 BBY she’s present in Coruscant, so that ties in with Revenge of the Sith.
  • Sometime after 19 BBY she’s hit by a freighter vessel, causing quite considerable damage so they end up putting the ship in an orbital junkyard for awhile
  • The ship’s scraps are later purchased and she’s rebuilt and goes back into service as a smuggling vessel.
  • The ship is later stolen from an Imperial Impound and used by the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil Wars
  • Lando acquires the Falcon in 5 BBY during a gambling bet
  • Han Solo acquires the Falcon from Lando in a bet in 2 BBY
  • In 1 BBY Han Solo picks up Luke in Obi Wan in Tattooine and in Star Wars: A New Hope the Falcon aides the alliance in the destruction of the first Death Star
  • In 4 ABY the Millennium Falcon is used by Lando in the Battle of Endor to destroy the second Death Star

For some behind the scenes information, the Millennium Falcon was inspired by a hamburger, according to Star Wars creator George Lucas.

Here’s the original concept art for the Millennium Falcon by Ralph McQuarrie.  This original concept art also inspired how the Tantive IV looked, which was Princess Leia’s ship in the beginning of A New Hope.

The original concept art for the Millennium Falcon

For more information:


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