DESIGN: Like most of the other Star Wars Transformers, the Millennium Falcon has some minor distortions in proportions and details but otherwise does a fantastic job of evoking the original vehicle. The thing is chock full of details including paneling and various gizmos attached to the hull. I'm almost surprised they didn't include fuzzy dice in the cockpit! It's a little smaller than the original scale, though not by much—certainly not like General Grievous’ wheel bike. The gun pod mounted on the top, Chewbacca’s bowcaster on the bottom, and the missile on the left-hand side do kinda stick out, but at least they’re removable.
The same amount of care in design shows through in robot mode as well. When Hasbro first announced they would do a Han Solo/Chewbacca combiner for the Millennium Falcon a number of online fans “expressed concern,” shall we say, over the idea of a fuzzy Chewbacca being shoehorned into a metal body. Having seen the finished product, though, I think the designers made some good choices. For one thing, they stuck to a hard-core mech design aesthetic instead of trying anything techno-organic. Tubing details on Chewbacca's head and hands effectively evoke fur patterns while still looking mechanical enough to fit with the rest of the robotic body. Brown patches of color in the paneling on the rest of Chewbacca's body also suggest fur without actually putting fur anywhere on him. Angular designs on the forearm do an especially good job with this effect. There's even a detail on the engine block mounted on Chewbacca's back that recalls the ammo clip he wears around his shoulders. Flip-out paws on Chewbacca's feet complete the impression that this mech was modeled on an animalistic sort of creature, while the cockpit for Chewbacca mounted on his shoulder, his “bellybutton,” and his jet pack visually tie into his vehicle mode.
I think Han Solo's robot mode also effectively represents his character. As with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s Transformer figures, Han Solo's silver face manages to look both mechanical and like the character it's supposed to represent. In fact, I think Han Solo's head does this better than the other two. The Han Solo mini figure pilots his neck from a cockpit mounted on its chest. Both robot modes make good use of vehicle mode parts without too many extraneous chunks of ship hanging off them. Hans Solo's shoulder pads would be an exception to this, but at least they stay out of the way fairly well. Both modes do seem kinda blocky and primitive in a way, but I actually like that since it fits with George Lucas's vision of Star Wars as Neo-pulp science-fiction.
TRANSFORMATION: Starting with vehicle mode, you must first separate the Millennium Falcon into two halves. May the Excessive Force be with you. I get images of the Rangkor ripping into something every time I start transforming them. It sometimes helps if you loosen joints around the juncture where the two halves connect before trying to rip it apart. I also suggest growling as you do this—it’s kind of fun :} I would actually recommend using the directions to transform the limbs on each robot; they seem pretty arbitrary at first but they make sense after a few transformations.
|Date||July 1st 2006|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|
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