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from Millennium Falcon Haynes Manual which refers to the two projections on the bows of all YT-1300 Correlian Freighters as mandibles.

What is their purpose or function?

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16  
Chicks dig mandibles. – Django Reinhardt Feb 4 at 11:45
    
I feel like I read somewhere about cargo lifting with them. Either I'm just imagining it or if I really read that it was most likely in the Han Solo Adventures trilogy - hardly canon. – Todd Wilcox Feb 4 at 13:53
    
Quite simply: dibbling men. – Paul D. Waite Feb 4 at 19:59
    
Although query: will Rey consider swapping them out for womandibbles? – Paul D. Waite Feb 4 at 20:01
    
They're for parsing parsecs – user568458 Feb 6 at 21:51
up vote 29 down vote accepted
+250

According to the book "Incredible Cross-Sections of Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Vehicles and Spacecraft", the mandibles hold various sensors and an anti-concussion field generator. Three is also the freight barge clamp so the YT-1300 can act like a barge or tugboat and push around large cargo. Also on the port mandible there is the shield generator and projector. On the inner side of the mandibles there is a freight loading arm. Click on the image to see a larger version.

DK cross section

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3  
A higher-resolution legible image would be nice. – ThePopMachine Feb 4 at 14:57
    
@ThePopMachine: Google image search gives starwars.wikia.com/wiki/… – Charles Feb 4 at 15:51
    
@Charles I edited the answer a few minutes ago to include a larger image. – TylerH Feb 4 at 15:54
    
I think the freight loading arm makes sense as the key thing that justifies the shape and presence of the mandibles. – ThePopMachine Feb 4 at 16:05
2  
That sound like the sort of thing that should be in your answer, not a comment :-) – Valorum Feb 4 at 19:07

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