The Millennium Falcon, or Falcon for short, is a spacecraft in the Star Wars universe.
Starting life as a YT-1300 light freighter it has been radically custom modified for the purposes of smuggling. This results in a faster than light hyper-drive, improved weaponry, defensive systems and smuggling compartments.
Beneath the falcon's battered exterior hides a fast, tough smuggling vessel. It has a Class 0.5 hyperdrive, which is nearly twice as fast as the fastest imperial warships. It is fitted with a top-of-the-line (and highly illegal) sensor suite system to detect incoming Imperial ships long before those crafts notice the "lowly freighter'. And Solo has shielded smuggling compartments hidden throughout the ship's interior.
When combat is necessary, the Falcon is ready. It sports a deflector-shield system "liberated" from the Imperial maintenance facilities at Myomar. Two quad laser cannons are enough to stop TIE starfighters and pirateships, while concussion missiles provide short-range punch. Solo is an expert at the quick getaway: the ship has a remarkably short start-up sequence of about three minutes and sports a retractable repeating blaster for covering fire.
Solo's modifications push the ship far past the manufacturer's original specifications, but both the sublight drives and the hyperdrives are as finicky as they are fast, and Solo frequently has to crawl around inside the hull making last-minute repairs to get the ship flying. The Falcon's three droid brains often predict that the ship won't fly-but somehow Solo and Chewbacca manage to get the Falcon through countless scrapes, from evading irate Imperial Customs ships to dodging vengeful pirate corvettes.
Its most famous owner and pilot is the smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee first mate, Chewbacca. It's previous owner Lando Calrissian lost the ship to Solo in a game of Sabacc.
The ship features in all three of the Original Trilogy (OT) films and a brief appearance in Episode III. Immediately a fan favorite this icon craft has appeared in just about every format the star wars universe has been explored in: books, comics, cards, RPG, board games, computer games, toys and many other spin-offs.
Development and Design
When designing the Falcon Lucas rejected many traditional liner and aerodynamic shapes for the craft wanting something original and outstanding. He drew a hamburger with an olive on the side and asked the designers to work around that shape.
The Falcon as seen in Empire Strikes Back was built from a timber frame in West Wales and transported by truck to Elstreet Studios, London
Every major story arc featuring Han Solo features the Falcon at some point as its connection to the character's identity is so strong.