An Ode to the Millennium Falcon
Spoiler Alert: If you have not yet seen Solo, please bookmark this article and come back to read it later!
After my third viewing of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I exited the theater and immediately opened the Notes app on my iPhone. You see, I had written a few memos to myself while watching the film and wanted to add a few more tidbits before the short drive home. Now, before you yell at me for sneaking my device out during the movie, it was an 11:30 am Tuesday showing in Suburbia, PA…so, cricket chirp.
Where was I? Ahh yes, my Notes app – the trusty failsafe for all writers and bloggers far and wide. Especially Star Wars fans and podcasters who are [happily] up to their eyeballs in content this week…and the foreseeable future, let’s be honest here.
Here is a list of my hastily jotted musings:
- MF Blog
- Dryden scars intensify?
- Hans blaster
- Qi’ra villain
I’ve started a discourse on Dryden, Han and Qi'ra in a coded twitter thread here (use rot13.com to decrypt and reply, if you’re interested in doing so!) but the Millennium Falcon deserved a spotlight treatment this go around.
I know not a single one of you are asking why it deserves as much, because hello, it's the Falcon, but there was a single point, a catalyst if you will, that solidified my wanting to pen this article: While I sat alone, watching the Falcon in Solo, every scene reminded me of just how important a character and role the YT-1300 Freighter has played in the Star Wars universe. And yes, while I would love to go all the way back to prequel era and straight on through to Solo insofar as details and battles sequences, etc., I'm not going to do that right now. Perhaps down the line we can dissect every appearance of our beloved ship, but this article isn't focused on that.
Rather, it's about the heart of the Millennium Falcon – its own heart. Not Han's, Chewie's, Lando's or Rey's. Not even L3-37's immortality, which we now know is irrevocably intertwined to the ship's navicomputer system. Which is simultaneously beautiful and tragic at the same time, I must say.
No, the ship has a heart of her own, a willpower, a drive (no puns intended) akin to that of a living organism. Okay maybe, just maybe, I'm personifying here but if we are made to believe droids can be sentient, and they are, then why not think similarly of a starship? Especially one that has an almost Rocky-esque underdog stigma that overcomes time after time. Should we dismiss this steadfast quality as nothing other than a well-built, semi-maintained mechanical body of work and no more? Or, or, is it the metaphysical presence of heart that keeps her afloat, keeping the Falcon amongst the endless star lines, where she belongs?
This could be otherworldly, too, in essence. Think back to the majority of character reactions upon seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time:
- Luke: "What a piece of junk!"
- Leia: "You came in that thing?"
- Rey: "That ship is garbage! ...Garbage will do."
...to list a few.
Now remember Han's reaction from Solo...
Exactly. If that doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy and loved, I don't know what will. In all seriousness, Han's reaction was that of awe and immediate appreciation; standing beneath that cockpit, Solo's gaze rose to meet the ship and moved around it, take it all in. Han was impressed and more than that, he was curious. Curious and smitten – I'd go so far as to say love at first sight even. Which would be a little unnerving, if we didn't already know the rest of Han and the Falcon's journey.
Alas, we do. There's a camaraderie that exists between the both of them – an equal partnership between Han and the Falcon, much like Han and Chewie. And last I checked, Chewbacca has a beating, trustworthy, failsafe heart underneath all that fur (or is it hair?), so is it any surprise at all to see mutual affection there? It's kindred spirits, plain and simple; when you find that one thing, that one person, you stick with and by it, no matter what crazy, unexpected circumstances the stars may throw at you. Not because of obligation or debt, but because it works. It's extraordinarily inexplicable when this happens, but it does happen, and we've glimpsed this sort of occurrence more than a few times in Star Wars. This being one of those occasions.
So, I believe maybe just maybe, the Millennium Falcon deserves a whole lot more credit than just riding on nostalgia's coattails. While it's fun to be the cool, reliable starship, it's also really dang neat to know that there's more to her than just aesthetics and snarky [quotable] character dialogue.
In closing, I want to thank Solo: ASWS for opening my eyes and inviting me to go beyond that nostalgia. I don't know if I ever would've gone this deep without the events that happened in what has now become one of my top Star Wars films. Hats off to you, Millennium Falcon!
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? We'd love to know!