Star Wars Book Review: YT-1300 Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual

Star Wars Book Review: YT-1300 Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual

Without question, the Millennium Falcon is legendary. Part of Star Wars from the very beginning, the Falcon has been a touchstone for just about every character passing through the saga. From A New Hope, through The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, to her reappearance in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and her origin story (of sorts) in Solo: A Star Wars Story, you would think we already know everything there is to know about the old girl. Not so, as it turns out! There are still things to learn about what is arguably the greatest love of Han Solo’s life.

That’s what makes the Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in the remarkable YT-1300 Corellian freighter.

Written by Ryder Windham, with illustrations by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff, the Owner’s Workshop Manual delves into the history of the Falcon, and lays out all the technical specifications in an easy to understand and comprehensive manner. I’ll confess that ships aren’t really my thing. I know the basics, as any Star Wars fan does, but getting down into what makes one ship different from another, or what makes them function, beyond what’s obvious, has never been my forte. But after seeing Solo a few times this past summer, I knew I needed to find out more about the Falcon and what makes her so special. We see the moment Han falls in love with her, but why was he so moved, so quickly? This book is an excellent place to start discovering the ‘why.’

In Solo, we hear Han mention to Lando that his father worked for the CEC (Corellian Engineering Corporation) plant, building ships just like the Falcon, before he was laid off. In the Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual, we get much of our information from the CEC.

The manual starts off with a rundown of the YT series transports produced by the CEC, from the YT-1000 to the YT-2400. The Falcon started ‘life’ with the designation YT 492727ZED, and is a YT-1300f transport — designed for freight — as opposed to the YT-1300p, which is more of a passenger transport.

We find out that Lando Calrissian was not the first owner of the Falcon, and under her previous owner, she had a different name. Lando won her, dubbed her the Millennium Falcon, and outfitted her with all sorts of luxuries suited to his tastes and lifestyle. He also equipped the Falcon with military-grade equipment and made some not-quite-legal modifications.

One thing interesting to note: Lando made the Falcon more attractive in part so he could get away with his smuggling. If the Falcon looked outwardly like a luxury craft, he could avoid suspicion. After Han Solo won the Falcon from Lando, he and Chewbacca did quite the opposite. After the Kessel Run, the ship endured some significant outer damage. Han replaced and repaired what was necessary, made further modifications (some legal, some not), but preferred to keep the Falcon looking beat up, also in an effort to avoid suspicion. Who looks twice at a “hunk of junk,” or “garbage?”

Aside from the historical knowledge we glean from this book, there’s also a wealth of technical information, divided into the following sections:

  • Piloting the Ship
  • Propulsion
  • Weapons and Defense
  • Sensors
  • Crew facilities
  • Engineering systems

Within those chapters, we find out about hyperdrive, cannons, shielding, sublight drives, navigation, crew quarters, escape pods, and much more. Including where the bathroom — I mean the refresher — is located! That’s the first thing I looked for, actually.

Thanks to the wonderfully informative illustrations throughout, we see the different versions of the YT series transports produced and how to tell them apart. We get cutaways and floor plans for the Falcon, both during Lando’s ownership and Han’s. I’ve always loved the cross-section books, so I enjoyed seeing some of that used in this book — albeit on a smaller scale. There’s even a size comparison chart which gives you a good idea of just how large, or small, some of our favorite starships are.

Overall, this was a fun book to read. It’s largely consistent with what we’ve seen in the films, and helps to broaden our knowledge of the people and ships populating the galaxy far, far away. Author Ryder Windham and illustrators Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff have contributed a valuable resource with the Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual.

You can purchase your copy of the Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual now from Amazon.

Thank you to Insight Editions for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.

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