Disney’s 2015 Star Wars Celebration (Picture: Getty)
She’s one of the most recognisable vehicles in not only the Star Wars movies but sci-fi and film in general.
First seen in 1977’s A New Hope, the Millennium Falcon is an iconic ship, taking her owner Han Solo and his co-pilot Chewbacca across the galaxy on star-spanning adventures in the underworld as well as against the might of the evil, Galactic Empire.
The last time we saw her chronologically on the big screen was escaping the destruction of the second Death Star at the climax of Return of the Jedi.
Piloted by Solo’s old buddy Lando Calrissian she was a little worse for wear – Calrissian managed to knock off the radar dish while maneuvering her through the bowels of the Death Star – but other than a few scorch marks she escaped unharmed.
Now we’re just over 130 days away from The Force Awakens, and over three decades have passed since we last saw this legendary ship. In a galaxy far, far away, as on earth, technology moves on and fashions change, so what alterations can we expect to see in and on the Millennium Falcon?
Disney’s 2015 Star Wars Celebration (Picture: Getty Images)
Early photographs leaked from the set showed the Falcon with a very different decor inside.
Instead of the utilitarian and somewhat spartan designs inside, the modern ship boasted plush brown leather seats and wall padding. It very much looks like someone has finally given the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy the TLC it always deserved.
But what else could have changed, and will we see parts of the ship that we hadn’t seen before? In the original trilogy we saw plenty of the cockpit, the upper and lower cannons, the main hold and the access areas of the ship where vital repairs were carried out. The Empire Strikes Back took us around the ship more than any other film, from floor panels right up to the hull and the access hatch where Lando pulled Luke from a dizzying death drop underneath Cloud City.
Could we see the sleeping quarters? The secondary hold? The freight elevator? The toilets? There’s still plenty of this 27 meter long ship to explore and fingers crossed we get to do that over the coming movies.
As mentioned, the Falcon lost her top of the line sensor dish at the end of Jedi. Solo wouldn’t have been impressed as that cost him a lot of credits and had the capability to detect Imperial ships long before they were aware of him.
Until the announcement of the sequel trilogy we thought the Imperial threat was largely over, but as we are learning, the Empire persisted and still survives as the First Order by the time The Force Awakens starts.
Now the Falcon has a different sensor dish, one much more like the primary sensor array carried on top of Blockade Runners (the first ship we see fleeing a Star Destroyer at the start of Star Wars back in 1977). If that’s the case, the Falcon has maintained her all-important tactical advantage.
As as well as this the ship could have boosted its offensive capabilities with improved laser cannons and missile bays. More powerful shield technology is also possible, although all indications point to the advancement of technology being slowed down significantly.
In The Empire Strikes Back we saw just how susceptible the Falcon was to taking damage on her fragile hyperdrive systems. An older and wiser Han Solo would most likely boost those systems, making it more hardy and tough.
If that’s the case, the Falcon could still be one of the fastest ships in the galaxy.
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