Author: Ryder Windham
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Era: Galactic Civil War
The Millennium Falcon is one of the most famous vehicles in movie history, so it’s only fitting that Lucasfilm and Del Rey would finally give the ship its own book detailing nearly every aspect of the famous YT-1300 Corellian freighter. The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual combines all of the best aspects of James Luceno’s Millennium Falcon novel, the Incredible Cross-Sections, and the visual guides to give fans an in-depth look at the history, floor plan, and features of Han Solo’s “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.”
Like many Star Wars fact books, the Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual is set in-universe, and each section begins with an excerpt from the Corellian Engineering Corporation (CEC) YT-1300 Buyer’s Guide. It’s a great way to introduce each of the major sections of the book: The History of Corellian Engineering and the YT-Series, The Millennium Falcon, Piloting a YT-1300, YT-1300 Propulsion, Weapons & Defensive Systems, YT-1300 Engineering Systems, YT-1300 Sensors, and Crew Facilities.
The section on the history of CEC, the manufacturer of the YT-1300, is quite fascinating. It draws comparisons between each of the YT models, complete with floor plans and a retcon on why the Falcon’s floor plan is occasionally inconsistent in various mediums. The pages about the stock upgrades that CEC provides–including massive cargo holds attached to the top of the ship, pontoons for water landings, and a special armored mode which places the cockpit in a secure location in the middle of the ship–are especially interesting.
After a brief history of the ship–author Ryder Windham only included the most important aspects, allowing fans to discover the rest in Luceno’s aforementioned novel–the book analyzes each of the Falcon’s systems, including the hyperdrive, quad laser cannons, sensors, and even the personal quarters of Han and Chewbacca. Some of the information is occasionally repeated, but only enough to put things into context. If you’ve ever wanted to know how a particular part of the Falcon works, this is the book for you.
Windham often injects some humor too, like CEC’s caution that “striking the bulkheads above the cockpit entrance is not recommended” and a reference to Chewbacca’s comb, which has an entire shelf to itself. The artwork by Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas, both of whom are known for their work on such projects as The Essential Atlas, is excellent as well. The cross-sections look like what you might actually find in an owner’s manual, and the illustrations are beautiful.
Of course, the Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual is not without a couple of flaws. There are a few repeated images (even on one page) and the occasional typo or two. Nothing major. The biggest oddity crops up in the part about shield generators, where the book claims that “ray shielding does not stop solid matter.” A smaller version of a ray shield, however, prevents Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine–physical matter–from escaping the Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith. Thankfully, these are very minor nitpicks.
Overall, the Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual is a fantastic resource for those interested in learning more about the famous starship. I will admit that this book wasn’t originally on my radar, but its detailed analysis of each and every one of the Millennium Falcon’s subsystems makes this book a very fascinating read. I learned a thing or two reading this ultimate guide to the Falcon, and there’s a good chance you will as well.
Reviewed by William Devereux
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