Haynes Manuals are a UK phenomenon. One of the typical rites of passage for a British teen is that after getting your hands on a (usually poor quality) second-hand car, the next thing you would buy is a Haynes Manual for that model of car. Each book contained detailed instructions “based on a complete stripdown and rebuild.” The idea being that you could probably fix your old banger if needed. It’s appropriate then, that Haynes has produced a book for the ultimate second-hand vehicle in the Star Wars universe, the Millennium Falcon. This “Owners Workshop Manual” deals specifically with the modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter, but does go into some detail about the Corellian Engineering Corporations YT series of freighters. It is not a full stripdown and rebuild however, so if you’re looking to replace the hyperdrive motivator on your old YT-1760, then you’re probably on your own.
The book itself is lovingly arranged affair. The first chapter breaks down the YT series, concentrating mostly on YT-1300. Glossy model shots and schematics are the order of the day. The section on accessories is particularly delightful. There’s something about the idea that the Falcon could be fitted with a shuttle or aquatic pontoons that just seems fun. The rest of the book focuses on the Falcon herself. We also get a good look at the ship’s history; the old girl has certainly been around the block.
We get deck plans, schematics and profiles on pilots - namely Chewie, Lando and Han. Once we’ve gone through the overview, we get into the specifics. If you’ve ever wondered how the hyperdrive works or what all the buttons do on the various consoles, this book will cheerfully walk you through the process. Basic operational and flight instructions are provided. This is a Haynes Manual, so it’s very, very detailed. If you ever find yourself in the Star Wars universe, you’ll be glad you’ve read this. The writing is warm enough to be entertaining, but it’s designed as a manual first; the facts are the key thing here.
For those of you who care, many of the specific details about the Falcon’s chequered past come from the James Luceno novel Millennium Falcon, which was written before Disney reset the canon. However, given that Luceno is now writing Star Wars novels for the new canon, it’s a moot point. Which is good because it’s a fun background and very entertaining to read. It’s nice to imagine that the Falcon got up to hi-jinks before Han Solo got his hands on her.
Overall, this is an amazing artefact. Haynes have applied all of their know-how to bring to life one of the most iconic spaceships in science fiction and have delved deep to provide the most accurate and in-world explanations for all the quirks that the Falcon has. It’s a great bit of fun and sure to delight any and all Star Wars fans.
MILLENNIUM FALCON MANUAL: 1977 ONWARDS (MODIFIED YT-1300 CORELLIAN FREIGHTER) (OWNER’S WORKSHOP MANUAL) / AUTHOR: RYDER WINDHAM / ARTIST: CHRIS TREVAS, CHRIS REIFF / PUBLISHER: J H HAYNES & CO LTD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW