It has been fun to see what the early version of the Millennium Falcon looked like before Han Solo won it from Lando in a Sabacc Tournament. We’ve seen some cool shots of it in action in the trailers that have been released for Solo: A Star Wars Story and we got a more detailed look at the Ralph McQuarrie-inspired design.
Now we actually have some additional details on the early look of the Millennium Falcon, what Lando used it for, and why Han Solo ended up turning it into a hunk of junk. It’s explained that the ship is like a living thing and that the “differences tend to reflect its current occupant.” Co-writer Jon Kasdan explains to EW:
“Where Han gave it a certain shabby coolness and a dinged up quality that reflected where he was at that point in his life, this Falcon reflects its owner very clearly in its shape and aesthetic and his needs, even if those needs be a little more space to entertain. One of the things Larry and I had talked about was the Falcon should always reflect the personality of its captain.”
Before Han got his hands on it, Lando was using it as a vessel to ferry goods. But that’s not all… it was also his own personal party vessel. I guess we should’ve expected that from Lando! The ship went through some pretty heavy changes between the time of Solo and A New Hope.
Remember in A New Hope when Han Solo said, “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.” Well, it seems maybe some of those special modifications included making the ship look like a piece of crap on purpose. Actor Alden Ehrenreich explained:
“It’s safer in the galaxy to fly something that looks like a piece of junk. People underestimate you — especially if you’re up to no good. Kinda like how you’re more likely to get pulled over if you’re driving a Lamborghini.”
So, by having a banged up and dingy Millennium Falcon, it was easier for him to fly under the radar as a smuggler. Of course, there’s no doubt that a lot of the battle scars on the ship come from Han’s reckless and fearless flying through the galaxy on his adventures.
Jon Kasdan also points out that the ship had a long history even before Lando got a hold of it.
“Remember, when the Falcon enters our movie, it’s already had a long life. Decades of existence. And it’s been modified even from its original design. What we tried to do with the whole movie was take things that we take for granted and love and turn them on their ear.”
I wonder if they will touch on that history in the film. The Millennium Falcon will continue to evolve as its journey continues in the Star Wars universe with Star Wars: Episode IX and beyond.