November 19, 2019 – Ace badboy pilot Poe Dameron at last gets his chance to fly the Millennium Falcon in The Rise of Skywalker (premiering Dec. 20th). That tidbit of news comes courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, which recently published the following photo:
Poe joins a very short list of characters we have seen flying the Falcon since its first appearance in the original Star Wars (1977). On screen, we have seen but a handful of privileged pilots command the Falcon:
● Han Solo (of course)
● Chewbacca as co-pilot during Han’s life and then, subsequently, with Rey
● Lando Calrissian
● Poe Dameron will be the fifth pilot once The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters
But off screen, did other beings fly “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”? Presumably Yes, because after ownership of the Correlian freighter passed from Lando Calrissian to Han Solo (to pay off a gambling debt), the ship was stolen under unexplained circumstances.
In The Force Awakens (2015), we learn that a criminal by the name of Gannis Ducain has filched the Falcon from Solo. Ducain, in turn, is robbed of the ship by the Irving Boys, Toursant Irving and Vanver Irving. The line of thievery eventually leads to the junk boss, Unkarr Plutt, on the planet Jakku, where the Falcon lies idle for years.
Rey commandeers the ship (technically a theft, but she might have a legal defense of necessity) while trying to escape from the First Order in the first film of the sequel trilogy. She is accompanied by her then-new buddies, BB-8 and Finn.
The Falcon looms large in both The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017) as it ferries Rey and Chewbacca to Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker hides in self-imposed exile. By the end of Episode VIII, the surviving members of the Resistance board the Millennium Falcon to escape the clutches of the First Order.
A much older Lando reunites with the Falcon once again in The Rise of Skywalker (cue to 01:40), as revealed in the final trailer below. How and why Poe Dameron takes the wheel will be revealed late next month when the last Skywalker movie hits the big screen.