Beneath its hull, though, the Falcon packs many powerful secrets. Its owners made "special modifications" on the freighter, boosting its speed, shielding and performance to downright illegal levels. Its weaponry has been upgraded to military-class quad-turbolaser turrets. To cover rapid escapes, the Falcon sports a ventrally mounted hatch-concealed antipersonnel repeating laser. Between its forward mandibles rest concussion missile launchers. The habitable interior of the vessel also has a few surprises, such as concealed scanner-proof smuggling compartments.
The Falcon pays a heavy price for its augmented performance, though. It is extremely recalcitrant and often unpredictable. Its reconditioned hyperdrive often fails. Its current captain, Han Solo, has even been seen to restart a failed ignition sequence with a hard rap on the bulkhead with his fist.
A vessel employed in the shady fringe business of smuggling, the Falcon was owned by Lando Calrissian before Solo won it in a heated sabacc game. Under Solo's command, the Falcon became a famous starship, completing the Kessel Run at unprecedented speeds. Solo and his first mate Chewbacca maintained the Falcon, constantly modifying and tinkering with it, coaxing the maximum speed from the ship.
This speed became quite useful as Solo and Chewbacca were drawn deeper into the Rebel cause, and the Falcon began flying missions for the Alliance. It was the Falcon that provided covering fire for Luke Skywalker's final attack run on the first Death Star. The Falcon became Princess Leia Organa's escape transport during the Battle of Hoth. During the decisive Battle of Endor, the Falcon flew point for the Alliance Fleet. Under Lando Calrissian's command, it soared into the heart of the incomplete Death Star, and delivered a missile volley that helped seal the Empire's fate.