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The trailers for Solo: A Star Wars Story raise several questions about the Millennium Falcon, some more nerdy than others. Fortunately, we have the Lego Kessel Run Millennium Falcon, Lego’s latest version of the beloved spaceship, to suggest some answers.
Somewhere at the highest levels of that nerdiness is a question about the Falcon’s radar dish: Why is it flat against the ship rather than upright, as it is when we “first” see the ship in A New Hope? Let’s save that one for the people who really care about the same dish being rectangular in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Realistically, it’s probably a pretty small focus group.
The more intriguing question is: Exactly when do Han Solo and Chewbacca become hard-core chain smokers? It’s the only explanation for how the ship’s interior goes from gleaming white to resembling a heavily used ashtray in later movies.
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The same goes for the exterior. Did Han and Chewie fly the Falcon into a giant pile of Exogorth dung and then leave it there for a couple years?
A spaceship showing signs of age over the course of several decades is to be expected, but the Falcon’s later ghastliness—it’s “garbage,” according to Rey in The Force Awakens—is something else entirely.
Will the Solo prequel, which tells the story of the young swashbuckler before he became a freedom-fighting, Harrison Ford-portrayed, nerf-herding scoundrel, explain it? The smart money is on “no”—or some throwaway line about the filth making the Falcon less attractive to steal.
One mystery that is likely to be explained in the film, though, is the odd protuberance on the Falcon’s front. Rather than the twin “noses” that have come to define what is perhaps the most famous spaceship in pop culture, this new-old Millennium Falcon has a single, elongated bow.
On this front, it might be Lego to the rescue—at least until the movie hits theaters on May 25.
The Danish toy maker has a habit of spoiling movie plot points with its sets, which can be released weeks or months before the film. While the toys don’t necessarily give away complete details, they do often provide hints that can be extrapolated upon.
The new Kessel Run Millennium Falcon features all the modifications mentioned above, as well as the requisite spoiler for what is going on with the front of the ship.
If the Lego set holds true, the nose houses a secondary craft that detaches from the main ship. The box photos and instruction booklet hint that this pod could have something to do with Emilia Clark’s character Qi’Ra—or Space Khaleesi, if you prefer. (Clark also plays Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones.)
Also included is a Kessel Operations Droid which, along with the set’s own name, indicates that the planet Kessel will figure prominently in the film. The Falcon did fly a certain run there in 12 parsecs, after all. (Fun aside: Parsecs are measures of distances, not time, and no one, including George Lucas himself, has provided a satisfactory explanation of that fact yet.)
Aside from that, this fifth full-size version of the Falcon—not including last year’s mammoth 7,541-piece Ultimate Collectors Series model—is largely similar to Lego’s previous two installments.
It’s essentially cut from the same cloth, er, plastic as the 2015 Force Awakens set, featuring the same Technic-inspired stability and basic framework. It has the same features, including a retractable entrance ramp, sliding turret seats, and a removable cockpit, all centered on the hinged flaps that reveal the ship’s interior.
The inside features themselves have been only slightly tweaked, with better seats around the holo-chess table and a less complicated hyperdrive at the rear.
The Kessel Run Falcon comes in at 1,414 pieces, or just a bit more than The Force Awakens version at 1,329, with the extra elements likely accounted for by the secondary nose craft. All told, it still takes about three hours to construct.
Aside from Space Khaleesi and the Kessel Operations Droid, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian mini-figures are included. Both look younger than previous mini-figures, obviously to reflect the actors playing the characters: Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, respectively. Chewbacca is naturally along for the ride too, but he’s ageless.
Rounding out the characters are Quay Tolsite, who Wookieepedia pegs as a bad guy working for the evil Pyke Syndicate on Kessel, as well as DD-BD, which is apparently a class of droids working on the planet.
The Lego Kessel Run Millennium Falcon is a fun build and decent pickup for those who don’t already have one of the many previous versions of the ship, or for completists who must have them all, but it’s not essential.
Now if it came with Lego cigarettes that the characters could smoke to explain the ship’s eventual discoloration, that would be something else entirely.
Peter Nowak is a technology reporter whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail and the CBC. He was the 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Science and Technology Reporting award from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. Nowak lives in Toronto and is the author of two books, including Humans 3.0: The Upgrading of the Species.