Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual
by Ryder Windham
Published by Del Rey
Adrick's Rating: 4 out of 4
The Millennium Falcon is a legendary spaceship, made famous by its adventures under the command of smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, who made numerous special modifications to transform the beat-up Corellian light freighter into one of the fastest ships in the galaxy.
This Haynes Manual traces the model history of the Corellian Engineering Corporation’s YT series of spaceships and the development of the YT-1300 model line before focusing on the Millennium Falcon, itself a modified YT-1300. Onboard systems, controls, and their operation are described in detail and supported by a host of photographs, line art, floor plans, exploded diagrams, and stunning computer-generated artwork, all newly created by acknowledged Falcon experts Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas. Text is by Ryder Windham, author of more than fifty Star Wars books.
Covering operational history, piloting, propulsion, weapons, engineering systems, sensors, and crew facilities, this is the most thorough technical guide to the Millennium Falcon available.
This Haynes Manual is fully authorized and approved by Lucasfilm.
So I’d love to say that I’m familiar with the Haynes guides from hours of hot-rodding custom cars in my uncle’s shop, or something cool like that. But I was really only aware of them after they made the rather neat USS Enterprise manual, which focused on the vessels from that other Star franchise.
Similarly, for a Star Wars fan, I was sadly unfamiliar with its most famous ship. The various novels and other sources have presented such a bewildering number of compartments, cabins, weapons, and other elements to the Falcon that I could never get a good mental picture of where everything was, or how it all fit on such a small ship.
Fortunately, the Haynes Millennium Falcon manual is here to help. It’s definitively an improvement on the Enterprise edition, which tried to cover all eight Enterprises. The scope is smaller here, although we do get a nice overview of the history of the YT line. I liked this section because, aside from Dash Rendar’s YT-2400 Outrider, I had no idea what the other models in the line looked like. Fortunately, there are illustrations of a number of other ships, making this a must-have for fleet junkies.
But the main attraction here is the Falcon herself, and the Haynes guide does not disappoint. There’s a ton of material that gets under the hood, with plenty of great photos, illustrations, cutaways and diagrams that really show how the Falcon operates. Every major button and lever in the cockpit is detailed, which is really fun. There are also a lot of drawings of things we’ve never seen before. It’s pretty common knowledge that the Falcon operates on three interlinked droid brains, for example, but as far as I know this is the first time they’ve been illustrated or have had their makes and models listed.
This is the kind of stuff that detail oriented fans will love. I have fond memories of seeing the holochess table prop on display, so I particularly enjoyed the cross section that displayed its inner workings, as well as the names of each creature on the board. Another section details the support craft available for YT-1300s, which is sure to interest fans of the toy line.
The deck plans are also intriguing, and I particularly enjoyed reading about how the systems and layout of the Falcon have changed over the years. The Haynes guide works to reconcile the different versions of the Falcon’s interior we’ve seen over the years, and hopefully it will help reduce gaffs like the recent reference to multiple decks in Shadow Games.
I was quite impressed by this book, and I hope we see more in this promising series.
My only disappointment was that this book wasn’t more of an in-universe guide to the Falcon—maybe something that Han Solo cobbled together to list his modifications. Still, once I saw the amount of stuff that was in here, any disappointment I had quickly vanished.
The K’lor’slug holochess piece is pretty darned ugly.