The release of Solo: A Star Wars Story is only about a month away and there’s been plenty to speculate about, most notably regarding the flagship Millennium Falcon.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS
As all fans know, the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, making it a particularly famous and notable ship, especially considering its history in the Galactic Civil War. One of the biggest speculative mysteries still remaining from The Force Awakens is how the Falcon ended up on Jakku. In this post, I’m gonna entertain your mind with tidbits and ideas with how Solo can further our understanding of that mystery.
The Falcon’s Special Modifications
Based off of leaks that include a Monopoly Board, we can outline the movie to reasonable accuracy. The first major villain of the movie is Enfys Nest, who has a standoff with Han Solo as we can see in the trailer. Enfys is supposedly planning a train heist on the same cargo as Tobias Beckett’s (Woody Harrelson) crew. This is the monorail sequence we see in the trailers. What’s interesting to point out is how this train heist fits into the rest of the story.
From what we can pull from leaks, Han meets with Lando (Qi’Ra introduces Han to Lando) on the same planet as Han’s standoff with Enfys. It’s reasonable to assume that Enfys went after Han after Tobias’s crew successfully pulled off the heist and escaped with the cargo (It’s also possible Tobias was killed during the train heist). Obviosuly, Enfys is most likely killed in the standoff. Han then meets with Lando and is introduced to the Falcon, and probably wins the Falcon in a game of Sabacc.
But how would the train heist tie into the next sequence of the movie with Lando and the Kessel Run? It’s been common speculation that the cargo on the train heist is necessary to pull off the Kessel Run. Let your imagination run wild on what that cargo may be, but it allows the Falcon to not only do the Kessel Run, but also do it in as few maneuvers as possible. This would tie in with Han’s line about “making special modifications himself,” as he was the one to finish off the train heist (see: the shot of Han pulling up in a ship away from the exploding train).
The Falcon’s Future
The modifications made to the Falcon sit with it all the way through the OT and, presumably, through the post-ROTJ era. The modifications to the Falcon make it a healthy prize for smugglers, bounty hunters, etc. as it can “outrun Imperial starships.” This would be good reason for someone like Ducain or someone like the Irving Boys to go after the ship and make it their own. Where things get questionable is, how did Unkar Plutt get the ship? Why did he keep it hidden for so long? According to Rey’s Survival Guide, the Falcon has been on Jakku for as long as Rey can remember. With Jakku being a popular trade outpost, it’s rather head scratching as to why it was able to sit for so long without incident, or without Unkar doing anything with the ship. If my theory about the plot events of Solo are true, it’s possible Unkar is aware of these “special modifications” and is trying to figure out a way to use them to the best of his abilities, such as finding a way to identify the technology and reproduce it, or re-purpose the technology for his own gain rather than keep it within one ship that runs a high security risk for being so well-known. The Force Awakens had a deleted scene where Unkar confronted Rey on Takodana over the Falcon, suggesting he was rather adamant on keeping the ship.
On the back burner, I have further speculations about the importance of the Falcon in the movie and how it plays into its appearance on Jakku. Most of it relies on what Solo gives us and what it presents, e.g. this theory being mostly correct. Mentally note how hyperspace has been played with in canon; Starkiller Base rips a hole in space-time to fire its weapon. Refer back to the importance of the Unknown Regions and the possible circumstances that led to its condition. If this theory proves true, there may be a bigger picture here that involves other set pieces in play. For now, let’s enjoy the movie.