The most popular character in all of Star Wars isn’t a Jedi, a smuggler, or even a puppet; it’s the starship that has outrun Imperial ships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you. I’m talking about the big Corellian ships. So far, the Millennium Falcon has appeared prominently in six of the ten existing Star Wars films, and has a small cameo in Revenge of the Sith. So, by the time the famous ship flies in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, it will have been seen in eight Star Wars movies total, and, shockingly, has never been blown up, not even in someone’s crazy sad Force dream.
So if The Rise of Skywalker is really going to end an era of Star Wars, the beloved Falcon is totally going to be destroyed. Here are the three reasons why.
3. It’s the Ultimate Symbol of Nostalgia
Kylo Ren is all about letting old things die, and in some ways, by ending the Skywalker saga forever, it seems like Lucasfilm is, too. Beyond specific characters, the Millennium Falcon is a bigger representation of Star Wars nostalgia than perhaps any one specific thing.
Even without Han Solo and Chewie, the Falcon communicates what Star Wars is about: a high-tech concept with a low-tech vibe. In a sense, the Falcon is like a steampunk aesthetic fused with a cyberpunk belief system. Nothing about the tech of the Falcon makes sense, but our hearts tell us that it does. No single spaceship in a saga about spaceships comes close to it. Destroying it means Star Wars is breaking up with nostalgia. Maybe forever.
2. From an In-Universe Standpoint, It Feels Like It Would Be Broken Now Anyway
Look, from a canon perspective, the Falcon was really old even when it first appeared in A New Hope. If Han and Lando’s ship had been kicking around since 19 BBY (around the time of Revenge of the Sith), that means it’s at least 52 years old by the time of The Force Awakens. Sure, Star Wars has always casually posited a kind of technological regression, or at the very least, a tech production slowdown as a result of the rise of the Empire, but 52 years is really old for a spaceship.
Then again, if we think of the Falcon like a sports car, who wouldn’t want to drive a 1953 Corvette? Still, it’s not like Han and Chewie have maintained the Falcon in the same way Lando did. The fact that it’s still flying at all seems to be a minor miracle.
1. It Would Actually Be Shocking
Predicting something will happen and then saying that it will be shocking if it does happen sounds like a dumb paradox, but stay with me. I think that, logically, the Falcon should blow up or be destroyed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This doesn’t mean I’m emotionally prepared for that to actually happen. People knew the USS Enterprise would be destroyed going into Star Trek III: The Search For Spock; it was in the trailers! This doesn’t mean the emotional punch didn’t land.
Plus, relative to other sci-fi franchises, Star Wars has never done something like this. The TARDIS on Doctor Who blows up all the time. The Enterprise blowing up has been meaningless in Trek since 1986, but it keeps happening anyway. Star Wars has never played this card, which is why, if and when it happens, the fiery death of the greatest smuggling freighter in the galaxy will freak us all out more than any plot twist about Rey’s parents.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.