Welcome, Fanatics! Last week we sparked quite the debate over how Disney will treat the Star Wars franchise now that it’s made its money back on the Lucasfilm investment. This week’s Fan Feature comes straight from the comments of Sunday’s Star Wars Fanatics show. This one is sure to spark some good debate as well. Today we answer the question of which ship is better, the Millennium Falcon, or Dash Rendar’s Outrider?
Let’s start with the basics. The Millennium Falcon is a Corellian YT-1300 light freighter. Original specs pretty much end there, as both Lando Calrissian and Han Solo made their share of “special modifications” to the ship. Its Girodyne sublight engines feature a SLAM overdrive that made it much faster (over 1200 km/hr in atmosphere). Its hyperdrive, however, is what really made the ship fly. Specially modified, it made the Millennium Falcon faster than almost any ship in the galaxy. What truly sets it apart is its central computer, and amalgamation of three droid brains. That includes that of L3-37, Lando’s former co-pilot, whose core contained one of the best navigational systems in existence.
The Outrider is a different story. Also of Corellian design, the Outrider was a newer, YT-2400 model. It too was heavily modified. (Since the Outrider IS canon, we are considering the Legends specifications to have been incorporated into the canon ship.) While it was fast, it frankly wasn’t as fast as the Millennium Falcon. Dash Rendar fitted the ship with military-grade ion engines, but they only gave it a top speed of 800 km/hr in atmosphere. The Outrider also featured an upgraded hyperdrive, but it still couldn’t match the Falcon.
Edge: Millennium Falcon
Armament, Hull and Shielding
This is where both ships’ modifications shined. Dash Rendar fitted the Outrider with reinforced titanium armor, giving the ship a “dark, chrome gleam.” Add in improved sensors and a countermeasure/stealth package, and the Outrider was one of the most elusive smuggling ships to fly. Personal modifications to the weapons system (dorsal and ventral-mounted heavy cannons and added concussion missiles) added quite the punch to the ship’s defenses. Allowing operation of the cannons from the gunnery stations or the cockpit gave Dash a lot more defensive flexibility.
The Millennium Falcon, on the other hand, had similar but not as heavy modifications. Its hull featured salvaged Imperial cruiser armor plates, giving it capital-class ship armor. It too featured duel laser cannon stations, and also concussion missile pods between the forward mandibles. Both ships featured deflector shields as well.
Edge: Outrider, but just barely.
Millennium Falcon v. The Outrider: Intangibles
Let’s be honest – it’s the ships’ respective intangibles that truly sets them apart, not the least of which is their primary pilots. Han Solo set out to be the best pilot in the galaxy. Judging by how long he survived at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, it’s a safe bet that he earned that honor. Despite the ships reliability problems (explained to some extent in the Star Wars Marvel comic series), The Falcon survived, generally intact, and will continue to fly in Star Wars: Episode IX. Han’s modifications certainly had a hand in that.
Dash Rendar is no slouch pilot, however. The Outrider assuredly survived more than it should have because of Rendar’s piloting. Likewise, modifications that allowed the ship to go two standard months or more without resupplying made it the perfect smuggler’s vessel. With Dash at its controls, the Outrider was formidable, indeed.
Edge: Millennium Falcon
And the Winner is…
So which ship is better, the Millennium Falcon or the Outrider? All things as stated, the nostalgia factor tips the scales in favor of the Falcon. The Outrider may be flashier, but when it comes to the Falcon, she’s got it where it counts, kid.
This Fan Feature topic came straight from the comments of Sunday’s Fanatics show. Keep watching, commenting, and sending your thoughts to me via Facebook for a chance to have your ideas posted here on That Hashtag Show’s Star Wars page. Until next week, Fanatics, may the Force be with you!
[Writer’s Note: I hope you’ll forgive my use of Wookipedia sources because a) I have a day job and research time is limited; and b) there is so much information out there and I don’t get paid to buy research material. Still, the information I found seems factual, as factual as it can be when talking about fictional spaceships. Cheers!]