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In The Force Awakens,

the Millennium Falcon is insanely easy to steal, considering it hasn't been flown in years.

If it has

been sitting out in the open for so long, why wasn't it stolen, sold, or parted years ago? The ramp was clearly open, and it took less than a minute for Rey and Finn to get it up and running.

Was it

under constant guard, and security just fled when the attack on the junkyard happened?

This is made more puzzling when considering that

Jakku is basically a planet of scavengers who make their living parting ships. I'm sure the Falcon still had some valuable components, seeing that dead Star Destroyers still did and it still worked.

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    I think they were at some airfield that is usually under supervision (we can see the shop owner nearby) as they were first going for another space craft. What is sadder though is that the Falcon was considered junk and no one would actually care to bother with it, thinking it had nothing to offer and no one actually realizing which ship exactly it is. Apparently metal or whatever ships are made from, isn't of very high value as there is a whole star destroyer just laying around. But don't quote me on that, its just my observations. Dec 22, 2015 at 10:39
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    For all the wonderful nostalgia it invokes, the film definitely has some glaring plot holes... and this is one of them.
    – Omegacron
    Dec 22, 2015 at 20:59
  • Why would someone steal a junk ship? Sep 25, 2017 at 22:50
  • Same reason I leave keys in the ignition of the old van in the driveway that doesn’t quite run right.. if you manage to get it moving, it’s officially YOUR problem now. For all its lore and feats, our real world equivalent of the Falcon is a clapped out old van someone slapped a turbocharger on and then used for drug smuggling and human trafficking. Shady business Mar 25, 2021 at 14:28
  • Why does the Millenium Falcon work in The Force Awakens? Because it was a little bit of nostalgic fanservice without going overboard. Mar 25, 2021 at 15:47

3 Answers 3

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  1. According to what salvagers - who are experts - seem to know - at least Rey does - it can't get off the planet, or even move well.

    Rey scarcely glanced in the other vessel’s direction. “That one’s garbage! We need something that’ll move, not just get off the ground—if we’re lucky!” (this and all other quotes from Alan Dean Foster novelization)

    and

    As BB-8 looked on, she shouted back to him, “I’ve piloted all kinds of craft, but nobody’s flown this old crate in years!”

  2. The reason the ramp was down was because Plutt did work on it once in a while

    “Hey! Some moof-milker installed a compressor on the ignition line!”
    “Unkar Plutt did.” Rey saw Finn shoot her a look and she glanced away, abashed.

  3. Given that it was unlikely it could be flown away, most scavengers wouldn't have bothered trying to steal it, because that risked bringing down the revenge of Unkar Plutt, who wasn't the most gentlest of characters around. Kinda like stealing from Jabba - really bad idea.

    Visual Dictionary shows us a scavenger who lost both his arms to Plutt's thugs. He sends 2 thugs to take BB-8 droid from Rey by force.

    “Of course you do,” Naka replied soothingly. “Jakku is no place for a madman.” He looked to his left. “We’re not far from Niima Outpost, but I’m not going to take you there. Local commerce is more or less run by a corpulent sack of slurge who goes by the name of Plutt. I’ve had words with him in the past and don’t wish to confront him again.”

  4. And people probably had some clue that Plutt could track the ship (Rey didn't, but she was just 19)

    “How—how did you find me?”
    He smiled. It did not improve his appearance. “The ship you stole. The Millennium Falcon. You can’t really track a ship while it’s in hyperspace—but when it emerges, and particularly after it sets down somewhere, there are ways. Expensive, but in the case of valuable property, often worth it. Definitely worth it in the case of the Falcon. It happens to be fitted with a covert Imperial homing device. Old technology, but still quite functional. To which my presence here can attest. Didn’t take much to get the necessary relays working.”

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    It's also worth noting that in the movie, it appears that the Falcon was inhabited, at least it looked like a camp was based on it (including the character complaining about its theft)
    – Oak
    Jan 3, 2016 at 23:56
  • @Oak - Unkar complained about its theft because he "owned" it. Except he stole it. :) Jan 4, 2016 at 0:03
  • Well, it's still "His" :P I was just under the impression it was being in use as a sort of recreational vehicle (compression valves, the general location where it was stored). Possibly a home like Rey's old Imperial War Machine. But then again, I only watched the movie once in a theater, so I didn't get to fully examine the scene
    – Oak
    Jan 4, 2016 at 0:06
  • @Oak - not quite. He was upgrading it but not flying it. Check the novelization, it's great and quite illuminating Jan 4, 2016 at 0:07
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    So essentially your answer is "because it's a piece of junk"? Mar 6, 2017 at 5:27
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You have two questions, one in the title, and one in the spoilers. For the first one, we know that Unkar Plutt had it modified to suit his needs (to bridle it, and possibly to make it consume less energy to turn it into a convenient ship that isn't intended to go in space)

For the second one

If it has been sitting out in the open for so long, why wasn't it stolen, sold, or parted years ago?

We can assume that, as pointed out by Иво Недев in the comments, the Falcon is considered to be junk, so no one wants to steal it (even Rey isn't interested, despite the fact that her job is to get working parts of destroyed ships) But let's say someone would have stolen it.

Even Han Solo can't make it fly alone, and the purpose of this part of the movie, is to me, that Han is kind of a mentor to Rey, but he can learn things from his student as well. The goal is to show that the "next generation" of young people surpass the "old generation", as Rey doesn't need any advice from Han.

So the whole point here is to show that Rey is ready to be the big part in the movie, she doesn't need any support to do that.

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Not having seen TFA yet, I'll just quote from the ANH script:

Chewbacca leads the group into a giant dirt pit that is Docking Bay 94. Resting in the middle of the huge hole is a large, round, beat-up, pieced-together hunk of junk that could only loosely be called a starship.

LUKE: What a piece of junk.

Considering what the Falcon has been through since then, I doubt it will look like much by the time TFA takes place.

For that alone, I concur with @DVK's first point: The Falcon is all about "interior qualities", if you get my meaning.

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