Even before he was trained in the ways of the Force, Luke Skywalker, son of one of the greatest star pilots and warriors of the Clone Wars, though he did not know it, carried within him the potential to match his father’s powers and skills and was already possessed of the deep insight and perception which is the mark of a Jedi.
“What a piece of junk,” were the words he spoke as he first saw the Millennium Falcon, a heavily modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter in Docking Bay 94 of the Mos Eisley Spaceport moments before an impromptu lift-off pursued by Imperial Stormtroopers in a series of events which would lead directly to the now-historical Battle of Yavin.
What Skywalker did not realise was that was precisely the impression that Han Solo wanted to make with his more than sixty year old freighter, the conscious neglect of the exterior giving the appearance of clapped-out salvage bait which concealed the modifications of a high performance hyperlight courier vessel, many of them illegal.
The tangled history of ownership, theft, smuggling, innovation and adaptation explored by Ryder Windham with illustrations by Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas in Haynes’ recently published YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Owners’ Workshop Manual, collectively they also have over sixty years professional experience within the Star Wars universe having worked on dozens of previous projects and publications.
Originally released in 2011 and substantially revised in this updated edition with new material from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and particularly Solo, in keeping with the traditional Haynes format it is heavily illustrated with both photographs and artwork alongside cutaways and detailed schematics which accompany the informational text as the exterior, interior, standard equipment and unique upgrades are catalogued.
Opening with a bold painting, as much propaganda as advertising, there are many excerpts from the Corellian Engineering Corporation’s YT-1300 Buyer’s Guide as the manufacturers champion the versatility and durability of their highly adaptable best-seller, the modular components allowing the owner to customise their vessel to any one of hundreds of bespoke arrangements depending on their particular needs and budget.
The Corellian Engineering Corporation dating to the Old Republic, that era spoken of with the nostalgic romance which only the remove of time can bring, it was undeniably a prosperous era of adventure and exploration which gave rise to the need for self-sufficient ships such as the YG series and their successors the YT series, the YT-1000 through to the YT-2400 favoured by Dash Rendar.
The YT-1300 the first Corellian vessel to feature the distinctive “wide bar” engine, the greater thrust controlled through multiple steering flaps meant the design was not without challenges but for a skilled and experienced pilot who was able to master the ship the astonishing maneuverability far outweighed the adaptability which was required of them.
The Star Wars universe always vague about dates, the timelines offer few specifics and the multiple variations will be of diminishing interest to many until the particular YT-1300 registered 492727ZED and originally called the Stellar Envoy is introduced in the second chapter, but the history of that singular vessel was marked with incident even before it passed into the hands of Lando Calrissian who renamed it the Millenium Falcon.
Also vague are the discussions of hyperspace (“a dimension of space-time that can be entered only at faster-than-light speeds”) and power sources (coaxium is “a form of hypermatter that bridges the dimensions of ‘realspace’ and hyperspace”), but with the YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Owners’ Workshop Manual clearly aimed more at the dedicated rather than the casual fan, it will offer them both hard information and clues to discuss and dissect.
The YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Owners’ Workshop Manual is available now from Haynes