01/02/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Haynes and Del Rey/Ballantine Books. 125 page illustrated large hardback. Price: $28.00 (US), $33.00 (CAN), GBP14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-345-53304-3.
check out websites: www.haynes.co.uk , www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com
It’s been noted in the UK for a little while that the publisher Hayes had been widening its work manuals from cars to fiction and although I did query for possible review copies, never heard anything. Therefore it was with some surprise and interest that Del Rey’s American edition of this particular book, ‘Star Wars: Millennium Falcon: Owner’s Workshop Manual’, arrived at my door.
Rather than an examination of the Millennium Falcon from our perspective, writer Ryder Windham and artists Chris Reliff and Chris Trevans do it from within the galaxy far, faraway.
The first section of the book examines the Corellian Engineering company and their YT-1000 model spacecraft and all its variants. Sadly, now, the vehicle is now obsolete. Generally, a dogsbody of a vehicle that its modular design could be adjusted for passengers or freight or both and explains the forward giant pinchers, even if they aren’t used. It then goes on to the YT-1300 and its history before falling into the hands of Lando Calrissian and then Han Solo. All information, according to the back of the book, being derived from the films and tie-in books. I can’t speak for the latter but the considerable number of photos from the films should make all ‘Star Wars’ fans eagerly hand over their money for it.
When it gets down to the specifics of the Falcon itself, whether you would be expert at flying the real thing or not is debatable. After all, unlike Han Solo himself, you didn’t attend the Imperial Navy Academy nor have his or Chewbacca’s knowledge to modify the spacecraft. However, this book will guide you all around the Falcon from propulsion to armaments and defence, sensors and crew/passenger accommodation. At the back of the book, there is a size comparison to other spacecraft. The Falcon might be big compared to an X-Wing fighter but to an Imperial Star Destroyer, it looks a midget.
About the only thing it doesn’t really address is Han Solo’s claim to do the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs. However, considering the hyperdrive engines are co-ordinated through time and space, one can presume from reading this book that Han Solo found a tim short-cut and arrived earlier than he should.
This is actually a very fascinating book to read and at the end, you can look at the cover and identify all the details you’ve seen inside which shows how effective it is. With the earnest ‘Star Wars’ audience, this book has a ready audience. For the more modest ‘Star Wars’ viewer, it makes for an interesting talking point book for the coffee table that will ensure you do body searches of all visitors for contraband before leaving your house.
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