The Millennium Falcon has now become one of the defining features of not just Star Wars, but science fiction in general. It certainly ranks up there with the USS Enterprise and Serenity as one of the most famous spaceships known in fiction, but did you know how Han Solo's pride and joy got its name?
The extended universe (which is now considered non-canon by Disney) claims the Falcon was given its most famous name (it has had several over the years) by the opportunistic ship thief, Zenn Bien, who named it after the bat-falcon. However, now Reddit user wondergecko has suggested an interesting behind the scenes theory for the naming of the Falcon.
According to wondergecko, the initial designs for the Millennium Falcon were rejected because they looked too similar to the Eagle Transporter from British sci-fi television series, Space: 1999. Faced with this, the team came up with a new design and subtly referenced the Eagle in the name. They simply added a year to 1999 and arrived at the mockingly named 'Millennium Falcon.'
Now, this hasn't been confirmed by anyone at LucasFilm, and I can't find any other source to support this, but it does make some sense. The Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999 has the inspiration for many of the ship designs in Star Wars, including the Blockade Runner, and the show would certainly have been known by the design staff. Indeed, the original concept art for the Falcon does look quite similar to the Eagle.
Millennium Falcon Concept Art
Space: 1999's Eagle Transporter
As some of you may know, the Millennium Falcon was not the first name of the Solo's modified YT-1300 freighter. Previous names in the extended universe include:
- Stellar Envoy
- Corell's Pride
- Fickle Flyer
- Meetyl's Misery
- Wayward Son
- Second Chance
- Gone to Pieces
Of course, the Millennium Falcon is due to make its triumphant return in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. I'm sure fans are excited to see it again on the big screen, while its reveal in the initial trailer might have been the climax of the whole thing. Relive that moment in the video below: