The Millennium Falcon is the most famous spaceship ever and is featured in the Star Wars movies. The ship was made famous with Han Solo at the controls and his growling Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca, as his co-pilot.
The ship has seen many battles in the galactic wars between the Rebel Alliance and Imperial Forces under the rule of the Empire. The Falcon’s intervention, at the end of Star Wars, enabled Luke Skywalker to capitalize on the Death Star’s weakness and blow the destroyer of planets to bits.
The Millennium Falcon and its distinguishable design have surpassed American Pop Culture and grown into the status of a global phenomenon. The Falcon has become a profitable staple for the Star Wars line of merchandise, has inspired academic architectural design, athletic footwear, and so much more.
We have compiled a list of 15 of the most interesting facts about the Millennium Falcon and its cultural influence that you probably did not know. Strap yourself in. We are about to hit hyper speed!
15. Original Name
The original name of the Millennium Falcon was YT-1300 492727ZED. Why someone would even try to use this as the name of a spaceship in a movie is beyond even us. Can you imagine Han Solo or other characters having to spit out those numbers every time the ship is mentioned? Was this the name given by the manufacturer when the ship came off the assembly line as part of the background story or is this something George Lucas came up with? The ship is a YT-1300 light freighter with many modifications. The Corellian Engineering Corporation constructed the Falcon in the year 60 BBY. We consider ourselves to be Star Wars fans, but this is just too much history for a spaceship.
14. Millennium Falcon Sneakers
The Millennium Falcon inspired the design of a pair Stan Smith trainers in 2010. Stan Smith is a former #1 ranked U.S. tennis player and two-time Grand Slam champion. Adidas put the sneakers out as part of a Star Wars marketing campaign. There is no question that Stan Smith is a world class athlete who performed at the absolute top of his sport. However, in 2010, Smith was already well into his sixties and not exactly popular among the current generation of sports fans. If the goal was to introduce Star Wars to a younger and newer audience, this was a bad idea. Why not select Deion Sanders or another famous Atlanta Falcon to market the shoes since the name of the ship was called the Millennium “FALCON.” The shoes did not fare so well and had since been frozen in carbonite like Han Solo was.
13. Real Space Ship Named After The Millennium Falcon
Space X, as it is known, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company based out of Hawthorne, California. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation was founded in 2002 by none other than Elon Musk with the prime directive of lowering costs associated with space transportation and making the colonization of Mars a reality. The space-related firm launched a series of Falcon rockets which it states are named after the Millennium Falcon. There is a Falcon in outer space.
12. Millennium Falcon High School
The campus of Parkland High School in Pennsylvania looks just like the Millennium Falcon from an aerial view. The Star Wars connection stops there, though. There are no Jedi training classes. Darth Vader is not the Assistant Principal who answers only to Principal Palpatine. Storm troopers do not serve as campus security who monitor the halls for tardy students. Although, it would be fun if the school allowed students to dress up as Jawas and Sandpeople on May 4th every year. May 4th is known as Star Wars day because the date is read as May the Fourth, as in “May The Force Be With You.” So clever!
11. Han Solo Won The Millennium Falcon
Han Solo won his coveted spaceship from Lando Calrissian on Cloud City in a game of Sabacc. Of course, we can’t tell you what Sabacc is because we have no idea about its rules or how to play it. Sabacc wasn’t worthy of an elaborate origins story like the Falcon was. Sabacc is, however, a popular card game in the galaxy so we can assume it’s like poker in some ways. Solo entered a tournament where the entry fee was 10,000 credits. In the finals, he faced his old chum Lando Calrissian, and the two had a side bet where Lando risked the Falcon.
10. Grand Theft Spaceship
At some point after Return of the Jedi‘s battle on Endor, the Falcon was stolen from Han Solo. Over the years, the Falcon changed hands several times through theft. Eventually, it wound up on Jakku and sat in a junkyard owned by Unkar Plutt. This is when Rey, Finn, and BB-8 steal it one final time to escape from the First Order. Han Solo reclaimed the ship in the Force Awakens, and he and Chewbacca take their seats as pilot and co-pilot once again to battle the evil forces of the galaxy. Eventually Solo is a victim of patricide when his son Kylo Ren kills him with a lightsaber. Rey and Chewie assume possession of the ship, and we will have to wait and see what the future holds for the Falcon in upcoming Star Wars movies.
9. Fastest Ship In The Galaxy
The Millennium Falcon is reported to be the fastest ship in the entire galaxy. It’s Gyrodyne SRB42 sublight engines were modified considerably when a SLAM overdrive was added to reroute energy for sudden bursts of acceleration. This changed to make it possible for the Falcon to travel at a maximum speed greater than 1000 kilometers per hour while in an atmosphere and 3,000 G in outer space. The hyperdrive has also been altered. This makes the ship twice as fast as most warships from the Empire. The biggest accolade of the Millennium Falcon is that it completed the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. A parsec is a distance used in astronomy that is equal to about 3.26 light years.
8. Advanced Weaponry
The weaponry of the Millennium Falcon belongs on a much larger warship. The Falcon has two CEC AG-2G quad laser cannons—one ventral and one dorsal. The cannons include enhanced laser actuators and gas feeds which provide maximum range and sustainable damage. The forward mandibles contain two Arakyd ST2 concussion missile tubes each holding a four-missile magazine. A Blastech Ax-108 Ground Buzzer blaster cannon is mounted near the ventral boarding ramp and allows the crew to defend the ship while it is docked. So, it can be said that the Millennium Falcon is packing some serious heat.
7. Superior Armor
The Millennium Falcon’s exterior armor is fashioned using plates salvaged from an Imperial battle cruiser. This affords the Falcon a capital ship class hull. The ship has three deflector shield generators, the bow is protected from lasers, and concussion missiles by Torplex and Nordoxicon units. A Kuat Drive Yards generator shields the stern. This makes the Millennium Falcon an extremely well-protected vessel. This is why we see the Millennium Falcon absorb so many blasts when it encounters Tie Fighters and Star Destroyers. The Falcon seemingly just experiences a slight bump when it takes a hit.
6. Smuggler Compartment
Inside the ship, there is a smuggler’s compartment. Han Solo was a space pirate for some time before he joined the Rebel Alliance. He would often smuggle goods for Jabba The Hutt. His product of choice was spices. It’s apparently hard to get salt and pepper out in space. Solo would often hide his shipments in the hidden compartment. Han once dumped a cargo in space when Imperial Troops boarded him. This is what caused the friction between him and Jabba the Hutt, causing the obese slug to place a bounty on Solo’s head. We see the secret hiding place used in Star Wars when Han and Luke use it to hide when the Death Star captures the Millennium Falcon using a high-powered tractor beam. The Stormtroopers think no one is aboard after a quick visual inspection of the craft.
The Millennium Falcon can be seen in Revenge of the Sith, long before Han Solo and Luke Skywalker were fighting the Empire. A digital depiction is used when we see the Falcon on Coruscant. George Lucas himself has stated that it is the Millennium Falcon we see and not a similarly-designed ship. The Millennium Falcon, with its iconic recognizable shape, has appeared in Star Trek: First Contact, Blade Runner, Starship Troopers, and the Star Wars parody of Spaceballs. In the Star Trek film, the Millennium Falcon can be seen if you zoom in close on the shot where Star Fleet ships are battling the Borg cube. The Falcon joins them in their fight, but it is unknown if Han Solo was the pilot. This crossover took place because a Lucas ILM employee was working on the effects and decided to put the Falcon in the sequence.
4. Previous Owners
Now, it’s time for more fantasy creatures and beings as part of the spaceship’s biography. The Millennium Falcon has had many previous owners according to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The Corell Industries Limited Shipping Firm was the initial owner of the vessel. Other owners include Dova and Kal Brigger, the Republic Group, Rej Taunt and Bammy Decree, Dr. Parlay Thorp, and Molpol’s Traveling Circus. Lando Calrissian has also reportedly won the Millennium Falcon from a gambling debt between him and Cix Trouvee before Lando finally lost the Falcon to Han Solo.
3. Previous Names
We already covered the Falcon’s original name, but it has had many different names under its many different owners. Corell’s Pride was the name of the Falcon when it was under control of the Corell Industries’ shipping outfit. Other names have included Fickle Flyer, Meetyl’s Misery, the Jackpot, the Wayward Son, the Second Chance, the Stellar Envoy, the Hardwired, and the Gone to Pieces. Eventually, through all its modifications and upgrades, the ship was said to be resilient enough to last a millennium and as fast as bat falcon. This how we arise with its current moniker, the Millennium Falcon.
2. Let Go My Legos
The Lego Company is a Danish firm that has been manufacturing interchangeable colored blocks since 1949. The toys are not only popular among children but are often used as an adult relaxation tool or a social experience. Lego clubs, conventions, contests, and more exist globally. As of 2015, the company has distributed over 600 billion of their trademarked Legos. That number has been steadily increasing since the last count and must be much closer to one trillion today. There have been many themed sets offered by Lego, especially from Star Wars. However, the Millennium Falcon is the single most popular Lego set ever sold. The latest version, from The Force Awakens, has over 1,300 pieces and retails for $150. The Millennium Falcon continues to smuggle in the bucks to this day.
1. Hamburger, Fries, Coke, And A Spaceship
The original design of the Millennium Falcon looked much like the Spaceship from Space: 1999, a British TV show from many years ago. It was not from 1999, though. It was from 1975 and set 20 plus years in the future. Star Wars was conceived and written right around this time. It was when George Lucas was brainstorming, perhaps over lunch, that he came up with the design of the Millennium Falcon. The ship’s designers from Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic team refer to the ship as, “The Porkburger.” This is because Lucas came up with the design based on a partially eaten hamburger and an olive. We have heard equally strange stories about artists creating their works of art using less than conventional means. Songs have been written on napkins and pizza boxes, and now you know that the Millennium Falcon’s existence might be attributed to a bitten Big Mac.