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The Millennium Falcon has changed hands several times. In the Star Wars film saga, we mainly see it being used by small crews for clandestine purposes: smuggling, rescuing princesses, and destroying Death Stars.

In normal commercial operation, how many crew members would a YT-1300 light freighter like the Millennium Falcon have?

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This link mentions 2, with a minimal crew of 1... Although I find that pretty hard to believe since you'd have a pilot, copilot, and up to 2 gunners (if you need them)... So 4-ish? I guess it depends on what you're doing... – DangerZone Jan 6 at 16:25
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@DangerZone- to be very specific, this is a Wookiepedia (user generated Wiki) and the crew #s on that page are not sourced at all, which means chances are, someone made that datum up, based on the fact that we see a crew of 2 in the films. – DVK-in-exile Jan 6 at 16:26
    
Although, they DO give a sourced (from " Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual") number of passengers as 6-15. – DVK-in-exile Jan 6 at 16:27
up vote 44 down vote accepted

Per an image DVK posted in another answer of his, the Falcon "sleeps 7".
Millenium Falcon schematic drawing

(There are two rooms with triple bunks in them, and there's an additional bunk next to the lounge seat.)

However, we all know that a tent that "sleeps N" will only fit N - x actual human adults, where x is between 2 and N-1. The same seems to be true of the Falcon, because -- as the schematic also shows -- there are only 4 vacuum suits provided, and more critically, only 5 oxygen masks.

It's possible that the vacuum suits are for EVA work, rather than emergencies, so there is no need to provide one for every crew member. However, it seems to me that on a spaceship, oxygen masks serve the same function as life preservers on boats: in the event of an emergency, they provide a little bit of life support. (In both cases, the cold will kill you before the lack of oxygen/buoyancy will, but let's not talk about such morbid things.)

So, at least according to this schematic, the maximum crew complement of the Falcon is 5, at least for a responsible captain; an irresponsible captain (whose crew is not up to date on the specifications of the ship, and/or breathes something other than oxygen anyway) can employ as many as 6 people, for a total crew of 7. The Force Awakens showed that the minimum required to fly it is 2, because there are vital controls that you can't reach from the pilot's seat.

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@Martha - it will make you feel safer and less panicked – DVK-in-exile Jan 6 at 19:43
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"The Force Awakens showed that the minimum required to fly it is 2", unless, of course, you are Luke Skywalker. Then you can fly it and fire the guns as well, all by yourself. – Kevin Jan 6 at 20:49
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@Kevin: when does Luke ever fly the Falcon? – Martha Jan 6 at 20:51
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@Martha I believe it was in "The Courtship of Princess Leia" – Kevin Jan 6 at 20:55
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What about hotbunking? – Joe Jan 6 at 22:34

Based on the Falcon's schematics, it would be between 2 and 6 depending on mission profile:

  1. Can't be more than 6. Falcon's schematics show two 3-bunk rooms. And more importantly, only one head.

  2. Can't be less than 2.

    • The Force Awakens clearly shows (especially novelization text) that 1 person simply can't operate the Falcon - you can't even reach the shield controls from Pilot seat (which is why Rey's initial maneuvers on Jakku were so weird - she was trying to reach while flying)

    • The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections page 35 says Falcon's crew minimum is 2

  3. If money is no object, 4 people for a possibly-risky mission seems the minimum: Pilot, Copilot, and 2 people to man the top and bottom turrets. TFA Incredible cross-sections page 35 shows "Engineering Station"; which means an intended full complement includes an engineer, which makes properly crewed ship would have 5 or 6 crew.

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I concur that a maximum combat complement would be 7 (pilot, copilot, 2 flight deck techs, 2 gunners, engineer), plus repair droids. And the mod-ability of the YT-1300 series means it's possible to replace something (like cargo capacity) with another bunk room. – Codes with Hammer Jan 6 at 19:24
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@CodeswithHammer Or sleep in shifts. You'd need at least three pilots (each sleeps while the other two fly), for that matter, for a long-haul mission, same for gunners if it's through hostile territory. – Random832 Jan 6 at 22:19
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+1 for "pilots shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the hyperdrive" – Azor-Ahai Jan 6 at 22:36
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In military, full crew complement is often 3 times the number of bunk beds, because of shifts. – Peter Jan 6 at 23:04
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Assuming you're just flying it from A to B, then the shields may be unnecessary, hence a 1 person crew would be possible although I agree not optimal. – Octopus Jan 6 at 23:22

The Millennium Falcon Owners Workshop Manual shows the Falcon as being a YT-1300f (the dedicated freight variant, others are the passenger transport YT-1300p, and YT-1300fp which is a mix of the two). For all variants of the YT-1300 the listed crew complement is two, however the number of passengers varies from model to model - for the f and fp models 6 passengers can be carried, the p version carries 9-15 passengers.

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Any direct source for that passenger number of 6? It seems odd considering the diagram Martha posted which only shows 5 oxygen masks in the 'passenger' lounge. There also appear to be five spaces on the acceleration couch. To me that would indicate a max capacity of 8, pilot, copilot, and gunner (who presumably have emergency life support at their stations) plus up to five passengers or off-duty crew. – pbuchheit Jan 7 at 16:19

A quick note to people counting either beds or seats, that will likely lead you to the wrong conclusion.

If you applied that to a nuclear submarine, you would drastically underestimate the number of crew, because people work shifts and share bunks (US navy terminology is hot bunking).

So there are minimum 3 pilots, rotating between

Pilot's Chair Co-pilot's chair bed 1

There will be 2 gunners, but these are unlikely to spend more than a few hours a week in the gunnery chairs. They will share bed 2, but otherwise mess about playing that chesslike game when the ship is not under attack. Only 2 are needed, not 3 because they only have to pay attention so infrequently, unlike pilots who must both be at the wheel at all times in a ship that obeys regulations.

I would suggest there is likely to be 2 engineers as well, who can share bed 3. This will allow someone to always be manning the engine room, as well 8 man hours per day for repairs (16 hour work days).

This leaves us with 3 additional bunks in 1 room.

Depending on how these are hot bunked, they could support 1 selfish captain, 3 passengers in relative comfort, or up to 9 crew if they were required.

The Falcon, obeying sensible precautions, would host 8-16 people at all times.

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It's not exactly a warship though, even though it does have 2 quad laser cannons, it's classed as a "freighter". Do crew hotbunk in a freighter? – Octopus Jan 6 at 23:32
    
Gun turrets notwithstanding, the Falcon is a freighter, not a military vehicle. While there are some long-haul truckers who use sleeper cabs to be able to switch drivers and stay on the road for extended periods, most truckers drive alone. Also, can you imagine Han letting some hireling pilot the Falcon while he takes a nap? – Martha Jan 6 at 23:34
    
Pilots definitely hotbunk in passenger airplanes, I can only assume they do in long haul cargo planes. The distinction between Fighter and Freighter seems to be a bit more blurred in Star Wars, due to the relative lawlessness of certain sections of the galaxy, the isolation and the need for protection. By intended crew complement, I was refering to the intentions of the Correlian Designers of the ship, and the regulators that they would have listened to. Obviously, Han is unlikely to keep the recommended crew. – Scott Jan 6 at 23:41
    
@Octopus Well I wouldn't want to hot bunk with Chewbacca. Imagine the shed fur all over it, not to mention the mattress would be all saggy from his size! :) – Jane S Jan 7 at 11:01
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@gbjbaanb Not me! I like my arms attached! – Jane S Jan 7 at 11:29

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, smuggler characters get a Corellian as their home ship. By the end of the game you have 5 permanent companions living on the ship with you (plus a protocol driod). Each has their own room on the ship they hang out in. There are currently ways to acquire 2 more, but I've never done that so I don't know if they have places on the ship as well.

That makes this somewhat consistent with the other blueprint-based answers that have the upper limit in the vicinity of 5-7 crew.

I doubt this is canon of course, but a lot of the details in the blueprint in those other answers probably isn't canon anymore either.

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The ship in SWTOR is an XS Freighter, not a YT-1300. Aside from that, it's also from a period hundreds of years earlier than the YT-1300. – TylerH Jan 7 at 17:37
    
@TylerH - A very good point. There's probably no good reason why one wouldn't be a scaled-up or down version of the other, such that the amount of crew supported would change without changing the overall look of the ship. – T.E.D. Jan 7 at 18:49

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