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When Obi-Wan Kenobi hired Han Solo and Chewbacca for a charter to Alderaan, the Jedi specified that he needed a fast ship. Han assured him he’d found one -- hadn’t the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? When Luke Skywalker first saw the battered freighter, he was convinced they’d been hoodwinked -- the Falcon looked like she might fall apart in her docking bay. But the Falcon lived up to her captain’s boasts, escaping the Imperial warships guarding Tatooine and proving maneuverable and tough in a firefight with TIE fighters patrolling space around the Death Star. Han and Chewie were at the Falcon’s controls when they blasted Darth Vader and his TIE wingmen off Luke’s tail, giving the young Rebel the chance to make the million-to-one shot that destroyed the Death Star.

Han decided to leave his friends with the Rebel Alliance and pay off his debt to Jabba the Hutt, but the Falcon wouldn’t cooperate -- he and Chewbacca spent hours in Echo Base’s hangar trying to get the balky freighter back in flying shape. Han barely got the Falcon off the ground, escaping Hoth just ahead of Darth Vader’s shock troops, but her hyperdrive failed with Star Destroyers and TIE fighters in hot pursuit. Unable to go into lightspeed, Han sought refuge in an asteroid field, where he made frantic repairs -- but the hyperdrive failed again. Han used every trick known to Corellians to escape and limp to the nearby star system of Bespin, where Lando Calrissian’s techs fixed the Falcon. Lando didn’t know the Imperials -- who encased Han in carbonite in Cloud City -- had deactivated her hyperdrive as a safeguard against escape attempts, but fortunately R2-D2 discovered the sabotage. The little droid reactivated the hyperdrive, allowing the freighter and her crew to escape.

Lando and Chewbacca discovered Boba Fett had taken Han to Tatooine, and hid the Falcon while they infiltrated Jabba the Hutt’s palace to rescue their friend. Han then lent his beloved ship to Lando for the Rebel attack on the second Death Star at Endor. The Falcon maneuvered like a fighter in the chaotic battle, diving into the battle station’s labyrinthine superstructure. Lando fired concussion missiles into the Death Star’s main reactor and raced for the surface, escaping just as the station exploded. The lowly freighter, once derided as a piece of junk, had destroyed the Empire’s greatest weapon.

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