Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

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9780345510051: Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

Climb aboard, buckle up, and prepare to jump to hyperspace for a dazzling adventure aboard the ship that launched a thousand fates.

Two years have passed since the death of the brutal Sith Lord Darth Caedus–once known as Jacen Solo. The galaxy is slowly healing from civil war, while Jacen’s family and friends are left to mourn his loss alone. For Han and Leia, still grieving for their son, the only bright spot is Jacen’s daughter, Allana, who has been given into their care. Now Allana introduces new adventure into her grandparents’ lives when she discovers a strange device hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon–a discovery that sparks a fact-finding expedition to retrace the people, places, and events in the checkered history of the famous spaceship. But the Solos are not alone in their quest: Crime lords, galactic pirates, rogue politicians, and fortune hunters alike will race to a final standoff for a prize some will risk everything to find–and pay any cost to possess.

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About the Author:

James Luceno is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars novels Millennium Falcon, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception, Labyrinth of Evil, as well as the New Jedi Order novels Agents of Chaos I: Hero’s Trial and Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, The Unifying Force, and the eBook Darth Maul: Saboteur. He is also the author of the fantasy novel Hunt for the Mayan Looking-Glass, available as an eBook. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and youngest child.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The first time Han laid eyes on her, standing with Lando on one of Nar Shaddaa’s permacrete landing platforms a few short years before he had thrown in with the Rebel Alliance, he saw the battered old freighter not only for all she was but for all that she might one day become.

Staring at her like some lovesick cub. Eyes wide, mouth hanging open. Then quickly trying to get hold of himself so that Lando wouldn’t know what he was thinking. Dismissing the ship as a hunk of junk. But Lando was no fool, and by then he knew all of Han’s tells. One of the best gamblers that side of Coruscant, he knew when he was being bluffed. “She’s fast,” he had said, a twinkle in his eye.

Han didn’t doubt it.

Even that far back it was easy to envy Lando all he already possessed, his extraordinary good fortune to begin with. But luck had little to do with it. Lando just didn’t deserve this ship. He could barely handle a skimmer, let alone a light-fast freighter best flown by a pair of able pilots. He just wasn’t worthy of her.

Han had never thought of himself as the covetous or acquisitive type, but suddenly he wanted the ship more than he had ever wanted anything in his life. After all the years of servitude and wandering, of close calls and failed partnerships, in and out of love, in and out of the Academy, victim of as many tricks as he’d played on others . . . perhaps he saw the ship as a chance for permanence.

Circling her, fairly orbiting her, he nursed sinister designs. The old freighter drew him to her gravity, as she clearly had all who had piloted her and added their own touches to the YT’s hull, mandibles, the varied techno-terrain of her surface. He took the smell of the ship into his nostrils.

The closer he looked, the more evidence he found of attempts to preserve her from the ravages of time and of spaceflight. Dents hammered out, cracks filled with epoxatal, paint smeared over areas of carbon scoring.

Aftermarket parts socked down with inappropriate fasteners or secured by less-than-professional welds. She was rashed with rust, bandaged with strips of durasteel, leaking grease and other lubricants, smudged with crud. She had seen action, this ship, long before Lando’s luck at sabacc had made her his property. But in service to who or what, Han had no idea. Criminals, smugglers, pirates, mercenaries . . . certainly all of those and more.

When Lando fired her up for Han’s inspection, his heart skipped a beat. And minutes later, seated at the controls, savoring the response of the sublight engines, taking her through the paces and nearly frightening Lando to death, he knew he was fated to own her. He would get the Hutts to buy her for him, or pirate her if he had to. He’d add a military-grade rectenna and swap out the light laser cannons for quads. He’d plant a retractable repeating blaster in her belly to provide cover fire for quick get­aways. He’d install a couple of concussion missile launchers between the boxy forks of her prow . . .

Not once did it occur to him that he would win her from Lando. Much less that Lando would lose her on a bluff.
Piloting the modified SoroSuub he and Chewie leased from Lando had only added to his longing for the ship. He imagined her origins and the adventures she had been through. It struck him that he was so accepting of her from the start, he had never asked Lando how or when she had acquired the name Millennium Falcon.

Corellian Engineering Corporation
Orbital Assembly Facility 7
60 years Before the Battle of Yavin

WITH HIS SHIFT WINDING DOWN, SOLY KANTT’S GAZE DRIFTED lazily between the chrono display mounted on the wall and a news feed running on the HoloNet. A tie score in last night’s shock-ball match between Kuat and Commenor, and strife among some spacefaring folk known as Mandalorians. A lanky human with a family on Corellia and ten years on the job, Kantt had his soft hands clasped behind his head and his feet raised with ankles crossed on the console that constituted his private domain at CEC, Orbital 7. A holozine was opened in his lap and a partially filled container of cold caf stood with two empties in the chair’s cup holders. Beyond the transparisteel pane that crowned the gleaming monitoring deck moved a steady stream of YT-1300 freighters fresh off the assembly line, though not yet painted, and shepherded by a flock of guidance buoys slaved to the facility’s cybernetic overseer. Thirty-five meters long and capable of carrying a hundred metric tons of cargo, the YT had been in production for less than a standard year but had already proved to be an instant classic. Designed with help from Narro Sienar, owner of one of CEC’s chief competitors in the shipbuilding business, the freighter was being marketed as an inex­pensive and easily modified alternative to the steadfast YG-series ships. Where most of CEC’s starship line was regarded as uninspired, the YT­1300 had a certain utilitarian flair. What made the ship unique was its saucer-shaped core, to which a wide variety of components could be secured, including an outrigger cockpit and various sensor arrays. Stock, it came loaded with a pair of front mandibles that elongated the hull design, and a new generation of droid brain that supervised the ship’s powerful sublight and hyperspace engines.

Kantt had lost track of just how many YTs had drifted past him since he’d traded glances with Facility 7’s security scanner eight hours earlier, but the number had to be twice what it was last month. Even so, the ship was selling so quickly that production couldn’t keep pace with demand. Setting his feet on the floor, he stretched his arms over his head and was in the midst of a long yawn when the console loosed a strident alarm that jolted him fully awake. His bloodshot eyes were sweeping the deck’s numerous display screens when a young tech wearing brightly colored coveralls and a comlink headset hurried in from the adjacent station.

“Control valve on one of the fuel droids!”

Kantt shot to his feet and leaned across the console for a better view of the line. Off to one side, bathed in the bright glow of a bank of illuminators, one of the YTs had a single fuel droid anchored to its port-side nozzle, where up and down the zero-g alley identical droids had already detached from the rest of the freighters. Kantt whirled around.

“Shut the droid down!”

Raised on his toes at a towering control panel, the tech gave his shaved head a shake. “It’s not responding.”

“Override the fuel program, Bon!”

“No luck.”

Kantt swung back to the transparisteel pane. The droid hadn’t moved and was probably continuing to pump fuel into YT 492727ZED. A form of liquid metal, the fuel that powered the freighters to sometimes dazzling speeds had ignited a controversy from the moment the concept ship had made its appearance. It had nearly been a reason for scuttling the entire line.

Kantt dropped his gaze to the console’s monitor screens and gauges. “The YT’s fuel cells are at redline. If we can’t get that droid to detach before warm-up–”

“It should be detaching now!”

Kantt all but pressed his face to the cool pane. “It’s away! But that YT’s going to fire hot!” Turning, he ran for the door opposite the one Bon had come through. “Come with me.”

Single-file, they raced through two observation stations. Third in line was the data-keeping department, and Kantt knew from the instant they burst in that things had gone from bad to worse. Clustered at the viewport, the Dralls who staffed the department were hopping up and down in agitation and chittering to one another without letup, despite efforts by the clan’s Duchess to restore order. Kantt forced his way through the press of small furry bodies for a look outside. The sit­uation was even worse than he feared. The YT had entered the test area for the braking thrusters and attitude jets. Superfueled, the ship had rocketed out of line, knocking aside and stunning a dozen or more gravitic droids responsible for keeping the line in check. As Kantt watched, three more freighters escaped the line. The YT responsible clipped one of them in the stern, sending it into a forward spin. The spinning ship did the same to the one in front of it, but in counter-rotation, so that when the two ships came full circle they locked mandibles and pirouetted as a pair into the curved inner hull of the ob­servation station on the far side of the alley.

As the test firing sequence continued, the enlivened YT jinked to port then starboard, leapt out of line, then dived below it. Kantt watched only long enough to know that all thoughts of returning to Corellia in time for dinner were up in smoke. He’d be lucky to get home by the weekend. Leaving the Dralls to bicker over how to balance the economic loss, Kantt and the technician stormed into the next station, where a mostly human group of midlevel executives were close to tearing their hair out. To a one, they looked to the newcom­ers for even a scrap of good news.

“A droid team is on the way,” Bon said. “No problem.”

Kantt gave the tech a quick glance and turned to the execs. “You heard him. No problem.”

A red-faced man with shirtsleeves rolled to his elbows glared at him. “You don’t think so?” His arm shot out, indicating the viewport. “See for yourself.”

Kantt hadn’t moved a muscle when two others grabbed hold of him and tugged him forward. The droid team had in fact arrived on the scene–a quartet of Cybot Galactica grapplers, angling for the bucking YT with clasping arms and waldoes extended. But the freighter was outwitting their every attempt at fastening to the engine access hatches. And though the line had been shut down, well behind 492727ZED a dozen identical units were heaped together where some of the displaced guidance buoys had ended their drift. Worse, the chain reaction of pileups had sent several fuel droids reeling from their respective freighters, and two of them were on a collision course.

Kantt squeezed his eyes shut, but the hellish flash that stabbed at his eyelids told him part of the story: one or perhaps both of the droids had exploded. His ears told him the rest, as gouts of molten metal and hunks of alloy began to pepper the transparisteel panel. Alarms blared throughout the monitoring stations, and streams of fire-suppression foam gushed into the alley from the semicircular structures that defined it. A collective moan of deep distress filled the room, and Kantt had a mental image of his bonus evaporating before his eyes. With it went the birthday earrings for his wife, his son’s game deck, the vaca­tion to Sacorria they’d been planning, the case of Gizer ale he was ex­pected to supply for the shock-ball finals party.

Kantt thought for a moment when he opened his eyes that the nightmare was over, or if not, that the explosion had reduced the unruly YT to blackened parts. But not only had the ship avoided the firestorm and flak, it had also managed to weave through the subsequent chaos and was closing fast on the sublight engine test-fire station.
Kantt gave his head a clearing shake and slammed his palm down on the console’s communicator button. “We need a live crew at Alley Four sublight test fire– now!

Sucking in his breath, he planted his other palm on the console and leaned forward in time to see an emergency sled nose from an up-alley vehicle bay. Little more than an engine surmounted by a cage of vertical and horizontal poles, the sled carried six wranglers outfitted in yellow EVA suits, helmets, and jetpacks. All carried assortments of cut­ting torches, hydrospanners, and shaped-charge detonators that hung from their belts like weapons. Kantt had a friend on the team, who like the rest lived for emergency situations. But a rogue ship was some­thing entirely new.
Initially the sled pilot appeared to be having as much trouble matching the YT’s maneuvers as the grappler droids had had. The freighter’s sudden jukes and twists owed to nothing more than inter­mittent firings of the thrusters and attitude jets, but there were mo­ments when the maneuvers struck Kantt as inspired. As if the ship were taking evasive action or in a race to reach the sublight engine test sta­tion ahead of its more compliant ilk.

Dire thoughts edged into Kantt’s mind of what might happen if the ship couldn’t be reined in by then. Would the overfueled YT burn itself to a cinder? Detonate, taking the entire alley with it? Open a vacuum breach in the facility and launch for the stars?

Gradually, the sled pilot found the rhythm of the firings and was able to bring the skeletal vehicle alongside the YT. Rocketing from the sled, the wranglers alighted on the freighter, anchoring themselves to places on the hull with magclamps and suction holdfasts. Raised up on its stern like some unbroken acklay in a creature show, the YT refused to surrender any of its determination to shake them off. But slow and consistent effort allowed one of the wranglers to reach the dorsal hull access hatch and disappear into the ship. When he did, the execs hooted a cheer Kantt prayed wasn’t premature.

Only when the ship quieted did he realize that he had been holding his breath, and he let it out with a long, plosive exhale, wiping sweat from his brow on the sleeve of his shirt. The cheering gave way to relieved backslapping and rapid exchanges as to how to get the line moving again. With waiting lists for the YT growing longer every day, production would have to be increased. Vacation leaves would have to be canceled. Overtime would become the norm.

Kantt and Bon didn’t linger.

“Born of fire,” the tech said as they were passing through the Dralls’ station. “That YT,” he added when Kantt glanced at him. “A hero’s birth if I ever witnessed one. When has that happened?”

Kantt made a face. “It’s a freighter, Bon. One of a hundred million.”

Bon grinned. “If you ask me, more like one in a hundred million.”

Coruscant
During the battle of Coruscant,
19 years before the battle of Yavin

“YOU GOTTA LOVE THIS SHIP,” REEZE SAID. “She knows her job, all right.”

Jadak slipped the freighter in between a Corellian transport and a Santhe/Sienar passenger ship, then stood YT 492727ZED on her side to ease past the transport and continue to maneuver toward the front of the pack. Reeze muted the cockpit’s enunciators so they wouldn’t have to listen to the pilots and navigators who were cursing them out.

“Maybe they’ll give us ownership after this run.”

“We can hope,” Jadak said.

“Ten years of sticking our necks out, Tobb. There should be a law.” “There should be, but there isn’t. Besides, I’m just trying to help keep the galaxy on course. What’s your excuse?” “Like I told you, I want this ship to be ours.”

Both pilots were human, Jadak a bit taller and twenty years younger, with a lighter complexion and a clipped beard that accented a square jaw. Reeze was graying at the temples but clear-eyed and as fit as an athlete. A traffic jam was the last thing they had expected to encounter at Coruscant, but the Separatists’ attack on the galactic capital had come so unexpectedly that nearly everyone inbound had been caught up in it. Some had arrived in time to hear the HoloNet announcement of Chancellor Palpatine’s abduction and witness t...

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Descrizione libro LUCAS BOOKS, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Climb aboard, buckle up, and prepare to jump to hyperspace for a dazzling adventure aboard the ship that launched a thousand fates. Two years have passed since the death of the brutal Sith Lord Darth Caedus once known as Jacen Solo. The galaxy is slowly healing from civil war, while Jacen s family and friends are left to mourn his loss alone. For Han and Leia, still grieving for their son, the only bright spot is Jacen s daughter, Allana, who has been given into their care. Now Allana introduces new adventure into her grandparents lives when she discovers a strange device hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon a discovery that sparks a fact-finding expedition to retrace the people, places, and events in the checkered history of the famous spaceship. But the Solos are not alone in their quest: Crime lords, galactic pirates, rogue politicians, and fortune hunters alike will race to a final standoff for a prize some will risk everything to find and pay any cost to possess. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780345510051

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Descrizione libro LUCAS BOOKS, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Climb aboard, buckle up, and prepare to jump to hyperspace for a dazzling adventure aboard the ship that launched a thousand fates. Two years have passed since the death of the brutal Sith Lord Darth Caedus once known as Jacen Solo. The galaxy is slowly healing from civil war, while Jacen s family and friends are left to mourn his loss alone. For Han and Leia, still grieving for their son, the only bright spot is Jacen s daughter, Allana, who has been given into their care. Now Allana introduces new adventure into her grandparents lives when she discovers a strange device hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon a discovery that sparks a fact-finding expedition to retrace the people, places, and events in the checkered history of the famous spaceship. But the Solos are not alone in their quest: Crime lords, galactic pirates, rogue politicians, and fortune hunters alike will race to a final standoff for a prize some will risk everything to find and pay any cost to possess. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780345510051

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Descrizione libro LUCAS BOOKS, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Climb aboard, buckle up, and prepare to jump to hyperspace for a dazzling adventure aboard the ship that launched a thousand fates. Two years have passed since the death of the brutal Sith Lord Darth Caedus once known as Jacen Solo. The galaxy is slowly healing from civil war, while Jacen s family and friends are left to mourn his loss alone. For Han and Leia, still grieving for their son, the only bright spot is Jacen s daughter, Allana, who has been given into their care. Now Allana introduces new adventure into her grandparents lives when she discovers a strange device hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon a discovery that sparks a fact-finding expedition to retrace the people, places, and events in the checkered history of the famous spaceship. But the Solos are not alone in their quest: Crime lords, galactic pirates, rogue politicians, and fortune hunters alike will race to a final standoff for a prize some will risk everything to find and pay any cost to possess. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780345510051

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