The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy gets a makeover…
The Millennium Falcon.
She is the most iconic craft in Hollywood history, a legitimate Star Wars character in her own right, and has been bequeathed with a cult-like status amongst the fans of the galaxy far, far away…
Her legacy is one closely guarded by the protective fans of the franchise and now, thanks to her role in Solo: A Star Wars Story we are on the threshold of welcoming a brand-new incarnation of the Millennium Falcon into the annals of Star Wars greatness. With Solo: A Star Wars Story serving as an origin story for franchise stalwarts Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, the iconic Millennium Falcon has been redesigned accordingly to give us our first look at the iconic freighter in her infancy.
The freighters’ redesign has received mixed reactions from the fans, but now thanks to Hasbro we have been given the chance to own our very own version of the new-look Millennium Falcon. But is she worth the £100.00 plus price tag?
The new look Millennium Falcon from Hasbro is fantastic. The vehicle comes complete with blast off panels, hyperdrive light effects, rumble pack vibration features and a Han Solo action figure exclusive to this set. When opening the box, the Millennium Falcon from the original trilogy emerges from its cardboard prison which is a pleasing sight, but the cheap plastic appearance seizes your attention straight away. As glorious as she looks, the plain white and basic looking plastic is a little underwhelming, prompting the potential for a weathering procedure at a later stage.
The scale of the vehicle is surprising, and not in a good way. After purchasing the original edition, the saga re-release, the deluxe Legacy Collection version and The Force Awakens version, I was surprised to see that the new Solo Millennium Falcon is the smallest to date. In fact, its tiny in its original form, but fear not, the disappointing scale is rectified by some degree when the accessories are attached to its pristine frame.
Another disappointing feature is the traditional storage space or “play area” which is practically non-existent. Every other incarnation of the Falcon has boasted a living space playset feature complete with a smugglers compartment, but the new look Falcon affords us no such facility. In fact, the rear compartments are as basic as they come and only afford us room enough to store a single action figure.
Next up is the underside of the pristine hull, and another disappointment awaits us. Unfortunately, the new design is almost featureless. The landing gear is not extendable, the underside mounted cannon is secured in place, the traditional glass of the gunner’s terminal has been replaced by solid white plastic and the boarding ramp is not extendable. It is as basic as it comes. A single moulded sheet of plastic. The rear battery compartment is fastened in place by a single screw and there is a switch that allows you to either deactivate the sound and vibration features, set them in test mode or activate the full range of features which come alive in stunning fashion. The forward landing ramp serves as a motion sensor which once lifted, activates the blast off engine sound effects.
Turning the Falcon over and we finally get to embrace the beauty of the accessories which is where the scale of the overall vessel is somewhat rectified. Once the nose cone, which acts as a secondary craft is attached, the overall length of the new Millennium Falcon is revealed in all its glory. The craft itself, which is enabled with the new Force Link 2.0 interactive software is basic but once attached adds a pleasing element to the overall finish. It comes complete with an opening compartment large enough to fit an action figure which can be adjusted to sit at the controls.
The blast of panels secures onto both the back quarter and the forward sections of the fuselage and click into place with ease and once attached, reveal the sleek new look of the Falcon. The single, top-sided gun turret secures in place with a click, but matching the underside terminal, the glass has been replaced by the disappointing white plastic. The deflector shield easily clicks into place, and thanks to a firm fixture, remains in place preventing any unwelcome movement.
Once fully assembled, the Millennium Falcon is breath-taking. Her sleek, new design is a triumph and screams fresh off the assembly line and despite the disappointing scale is a grand vehicle. But it’s in the hyperdrive light effects and rumble pack vibration feature where the beauty really lies.
Once activated, the Falcon roars into life as soon as she leaves the ground and a button located on each side of her ample frame allows you to activate both the blaster cannon sound effects and flight noises. The latter serving as the control switch that activates the blast-off panel facility. With the craft literally lit up like a Christmas tree and flashing with bright blue and red LED lights, the panels fly off with a spring-loaded effect which came as a bit of a surprise, albeit a welcome one. Not only do the rear panels launch from the craft, but the forward panels eject seconds later revealing the illuminated section of the vintage Falcon we know and love.
Once placed into a landing position, the Millennium Falcon erupts with a resonating sound of the famous malfunctioning hyperdrive engine made famous during the events of the Empire Strikes Back. This triggers a pleasant feeling of nostalgia which when blended with the sleek and contemporary design gives you a fresh off the assembly line quality. Moving on, and the cockpit itself is another anti-climax. Once the compartment is opened, the underwhelming amount of detail afforded to the Falcon’s inner workings is revealed and the cramped confines hamper your efforts to fit your new Han Solo action figure behind the controls. However, just when my disappointment was rushing back, the control terminal folds forward on a hinge allowing you to position your action figure in place, but the limitations will make it difficult to position the mighty Wookiee, Chewbacca alongside his faithful companion.
The new Hasbro Millennium Falcon, despite its stunning features is a mixed bag.
The scale is a massive disappointment and boasts very little in the way of playability, but what it lacks in scale is more than made up for by the incredible light and sound effect features that restore a balance to the Force. The pulsating LED lights are vibrant enough to illuminate even in daylight and the vibration feature is a surprisingly pleasant addition, and when the blast off panel feature is added into the mix, the pros outweigh the cons.
The nostalgic sound effects are 100% movie accurate and the redesign, while being sleek and pristine, is reminiscent of a lavish and luxurious sports car restored from scratch by a pair of loving hands. But, the biggest detraction for me is the overall lack of detail added to the fuselage and the inner workings of the vehicle itself which are far too basic for a release of this significance.
If these features, plus the overall scale of the vehicle had been treated with the care and attention they deserve, this new incarnation of the Millennium Falcon would surely have rivalled the superb Legacy Collection deluxe edition release of recent years. Instead, we are left with a disappointingly scaled version which despite boasting some exciting new light and sound features is an inferior release when compared to its predecessors.
With a price tag of up to £100,00, which is an inflated amount due to the addition of the import charges, feels a little excessive when weighed against the scale of the vehicle emerging from the box. Granted, the Millennium Falcon looks incredible and the interactive features are a very welcome addition over previous incarnations, but overall the vessel is sadly inferior to its predecessors. Despite that, I would recommend you rush out and add it to your collection as soon as possible. The lights, sound and vibrations alone make it worth your while and affords this version of our beloved Millennium Falcon an irresistible quality, which I, for one could not resist.
She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and deserves to take her rightful place in your Star Wars collection!
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