The Millennium Falcon made by Land Rover (Post #458) 3/5/2014

Millennium FalconI was grounded this weekend with what is probably bronchial pneumonia. Lots of coughing, a very high heart rate from the medications, and an overall very tired feeling. Being relegated to the couch and bed all weekend, I watched a lot of television. I watched an entire afternoon of Star Wars movies. Episode 4 and Episode 5 mostly. I’m not a fan of The Muppet Show Episode 6 due to the ridiculous effort to cutesy-fy the franchise and merchandise the crap out of it. Okay back to the main point I came here to write.

The Millennium Falcon is obviously a Land Rover.

By now you must be saying “What.the.hell?” So hear me out….

What my Millennium Falcon looked like
What my Millennium Falcon looked like

My first car was a 1965 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon. I dearly loved that car. I bought it for 150$(US) from a little old lady who was using it for a storage shed in the parking lot of the old age home. It was 1982 just two years after Episode 5 came out and six months before I turned 16. I was a huge fan of the Star Wars series. Star Wars impregnated my friends and I’s lives so much we would duel with “light sabers” (broom handles) between band classes (try that today). So it was natural that when I got a car it would be named the “Millennium Falcon”. It, much like the movie Millennium Falcon, was a maintenance nightmare. I was a young kid and knew very little about cars.

I was driving her back from Oklahoma City when she threw a rod and left us just on the south side of the South Canadian River Bridge on Highway 62 north of Newcastle. When she was in her death throes, things that had never worked before like the speedometer and several gauges mysteriously started working. It was a truly magical thing.

So Sunday when I was watching Han Solo and Chewbacca fend off insults and repair the Falcon I couldn’t help but think of myself with my Range Rover. I found this video for a Haynes Manual for the Millennium Falcon. It demonstrates many of my points…

These are some excerpts from the Millennium Falcon entry on the Wookipedia page. These should demonstrate my points nicely.

“You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought.”
– Princess Leia Organa upon seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time

I have actually had someone say pretty much the same thing Princess Leia said about the Falcon to me in person.

“The cobbled-together nature of the ship presented many problems throughout its smuggling days and during the Rebellion. Systems were barely held together and apparently had many incompatibilities, resulting in numerous malfunctions. Years after the Battle of Endor, Han Solo and Chewbacca resolved these difficulties, much to the relief of Leia Organa Solo.”

I have resolved many problems over the 14 years I’ve had my Range Rover. Sometimes the things I solved were quite “cobbled-together” while I resolved them. Such is the way of the “rolling restoration”. You use her as much as she is capable and make due when she isn’t.

“In its search the Falcon’s power converter and energy cell were damaged by a squadron of TIE interceptors and a nearby Star Destroyer.”

It isn’t a squadron of TIE interceptors that keeps Range Rover Classics down. The energy cell is equivalent to our ignition coil and the power converter is the famously crappy ignition module. This is one of the first things you repair/re-fit/replace on a Classic. I now carry a spare coil in the tool bag just for this inevitability.

“The Falcon then attempted to make the jump into lightspeed, but was stopped short by an equipment malfunction.”

Sound like a fuel pump to anyone else? It does me. Browse any Land Rover forum and look at all the failed fuel pump threads.

“The crew were unaware that the recently repaired hyperdrive had been disabled by Vader’s men, and only a last minute patch by R2-D2 prevented the Falcon from falling into Imperial hands. Thanks to R2’s efforts, the hyperdrive was activated and the Falcon managed to make the jump at the last second and escape.”

This could be any number of things. I’m thinking of the viscous coupling or perhaps a failed CV joint. I’ve replaced these on mine and nothing will keep you from reaching lightspeed highway speeds like these failing. I don’t let the Evil Imperial Forces work on my Range Rover but I’m sure if you have you have probably encountered a problem similar to this.

Luke Skywalker: “What a piece of junk!”
Han Solo: “She’ll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.”

This reminds me of an exchange with several of my friends. I like the time when Paparazzi Ford came to me to borrow the Range Rover to pull out a friend when they got stuck in a snow bank during the great Snowpocalyse of 2009. At the time the Big White Bus, unbeknownst to me, only had front wheel drive. RovErica had inadvertently broken the rear drive shaft before she returned the BWB back to me. The extraction was easy and the Range Rover showed her very capable nature that day.

“Mynocks. Probably chewing on the power cables.”
-Han Solo

So when your fusible links are misbehaving or the diode pack in your alternator is failing and causing your battery to drain over night, imagine that Mynocks are gnawing your power cables and get out there and knock them off with a blaster.

May the Force be with you, thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

PS. I actually love “The Muppets“.


Images and text from Wookieepedia, The Star Wars Encyclopedia.