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The Millennium Falcon has had several different owners throughout Star Wars history as well as being in the possession of several others via theft. Post The Force Awakens

When Han Solo is killed and we see Rey and Chewbacca piloting the Falcon later in the film

Who now owns the Falcon? Is there anything to suggest that

Rey owns the Falcon, or has somehow inherited it

or do we simply not know at this stage?

  • 12
    @RickSanchez - not stated in canon, but as I said in my answer, do you see THE Han Solo sitting down with a Lawyer to write up a will? I sure don't. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 15:22
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    Possession is nine-tenths of the law. The remaining ten percent probably belong to whoever has inherited Jabba the Hutts collection of IOUs. – Eike Pierstorff Jan 2 '16 at 16:23
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    @maguirenumber6 - isn't that how it always is with legal stuff? :) More seriously, it's a totally awesome question, and one of the very few that genuinely deserved to end up on Hot Network Questions list on its own merit and not just because it fits a formula. So thanks for asking it! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 18:02
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    Maybe this should be moved to legal.SE? (I kid) – Azor Ahai Jan 3 '16 at 7:52
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    @Azor-Ahai It already has a home there too :-) law.stackexchange.com/questions/6121/… – maguirenumber6 Jan 3 '16 at 7:57
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I'm going to go for #3 answer. It wasn't Chewie or Rey. Doesn't matter who was a pilot or co-pilot.

Upon Han's death as owner, the ownership, by any sensible legal standards[1], [2], [3], passes NOT to Chewie (who is merely a First Mate, a hired/crew position[4] - and was never in any canon indicated to have been part-owner); but to the estate inheritance line.

  • If there is an explicit will mentioning it, it passes to whoever is stated in the will.

    Personally I do NOT see THE Han Solo making a will with a lawyer.

    Therefore, we have two standard inheritance possibilities:

  • If Han and Leia were still married, then Leia becomes Falcon's owner

  • If Han and Leia were divorced, then the oldest surviving child becomes the owner - which to the best of the current canon knowledge is Ben Organa-or-Solo, aka Kylo Ren

Since we know from the script that they are still married,

...the answer is: General Leia Organa.

Please see notes #2 and #4 below for discussion of Chewie. Specifically, pertinent TL;DR is: if he wasn't a co-owner before by explicit sharing agreement with Han (which never existed or was mention in any SW canon), then he doesn't become an owner on Han's death. However, even if he was 1/2-owner due to some obscure EU fact I'm not aware of, he only retains his own 1/2 ownership; with Han's 1/2 going to Leia



[1] - I'm making an assumption that the baseline laws in New Republic would broadly mirror Earth law unless it clashes with in-universe information. I'm also making an assumption that since Disney, JJAbrams and Disney's lawyers are all in USA, they'd use US laws assumptions as this is what they know.

[2] - To confirm that First Mate wouldn't have any legal claims ahead of the wife, I asked on law.SE and it is a consensus that absent explicit ownership agreement with Chewie, he wouldn't have any claim (see #4 below for related point).

[3] - Since the question was raised in comments, I'll address it here: "posession being 9/10ths of the law" does not apply here. The actual legalistic wording of that folk expression is "in the absence of clear and compelling testimony or documentation to the contrary {{which is not the case here as Han and Leia are married}}, the person in actual, custodial possession of the property is presumed to be the rightful owner". Besides, in this case the on-paper owner happens to be a warlord, a head of government, AND a (at least unofficial) employer of the possessors. They OWN the law!

[4] - I'm not aware of ANY details in canon, or Legends, that even remotely indicates that Chewie was ever co-owner of the ship. He was First Mate - which simply means he's a member of the crew who is second in command after the Captain, but in and out of itself has nothing to do with ownership whatsoever. Obviously, if someone digs something to contradict that view from canon/EU, I will change my position. However, as per Law.SE experts, even in that extremely unlikely case, he does NOT take over Han's ownership share - he retains his and Leia takes over Han's.

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    @Richard - hopefully, this won't get closed as off-topic – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 17:27
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    I think your third bullet point is incorrect, as murdering someone automatically loses you the right to inherit from them (so Kylo Ren would be skipped over in the line of inheritance even if H&L were divorced). – Rand al'Thor Jan 2 '16 at 20:45
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    @KRyan - nope, Han explicitly said that the original whatshisname stole the Falcon from him, right after Rey recites the chain of theft. Come on, if you can't trust Han, who can you trust? Obi-Wan? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 21:05
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    "...the answer is: General Leia Organa" who almost certainly immediately gives it to Chewbacca, or possibly Rey. :-) – T.J. Crowder Jan 3 '16 at 11:57
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    I for one have no issue with assuming inheritance law in the New Republic is at least similar enough to the ones we have that this is the right answer, or right enough barring canon. – T.J. Crowder Jan 3 '16 at 11:58
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We don't know who would technically legally own the Falcon at this point, but Rey has been made the de facto pilot by Chewbacca.

Especially since the "ownership" of the Millennium Falcon is primarily based on who currently possesses and captains it, it is not entirely unreasonable to assume that Rey now "owns" the ship.

From the novelization:

In the cockpit, Rey headed for the copilot’s seat, only to find her way blocked by a massive, hirsute form. “Chewie, the Falcon flies better with two people at the controls, you know that. I’ve already sat in that seat. I’m ready to do so again.”

A series of moans came from the Wookiee. Then he turned— and sat down. In the copilot’s seat.

Rey felt herself tearing up. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”

Chewie groaned and, to make certain she grasped his meaning, gestured to his left. Toward the pilot’s position.

Sitting down, she settled herself in. She could do this. If Chewbacca felt she could do it, then who was she to dispute him? As she hesitated, the Wookiee reached over and mussed her hair. Grinning, she made a show of trying to slap his hand away. He had no idea how much this innocent, familial gesture meant to her. Behind them, R2-D2 beeped happily.

Facing forward again, she completed a last scan of the console, assuring herself she knew where everything was. From experience, she knew that the Falcon was a forgiving ship. She intended to do right by it. Reaching out, she let her fingers play over the controls. Beside her, Chewie did likewise as he groaned his approval.

The Millennium Falcon rose.

  • 4
    Ooh. Jr vs Sr novel fight!!! Let battle be joined! I sense an awakening. – Valorum Jan 2 '16 at 14:56
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    Upvoted this answer as it seems to be the only one that realizes that ownership in Star Wars has little to do with legality, especially in a time where the two "legal goverments" are at war with each-other. – Theik Jan 2 '16 at 16:10
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    @Theik - you're forgetting that one of the 2 governments is headed by who the rightful owner of the Falcon really is. That changes the picture slightly from "random joe a victim of 'posession being 99% of ownership" typical one. And the new pilots, at least via tacit acknowledgement, work with/for that government – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 17:00
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    I don't see that this novel snippet indicates that she's the captain, just that Chewie wants her to sit in the pilot's seat. – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 13:57
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    @DVK Clearly this needs to be migrated to Law.SE. Should be on topic since they won't give any real legal advice and only deal with hypotheticals. Apparently historical legal precedents are on topic and this was a long, long time ago... – user12183 Jan 3 '16 at 22:54
6

With the death of

Han Solo

at that point, the ownership would presumably have gone to Chewbacca as nominal Captain with Rey as the ship's temporary co-pilot/First Mate.

Note that Chewbacca told her where to sit

Rey glanced at the Falcon. Chewbacca had almost completed his exterior flight check. “I know what we’re doing is right,” Rey said. “This is how it has to be. This is how it should be.”
“I know it, too,” Leia said. “May the Force be with you.” She moved back and smiled as Rey boarded.
Rey took the pilot’s seat, which was where Chewbacca had asked her to sit. Despite the old cushioning, she felt comfortable in it. - SW: The Force Awakens - Junior Novelisation

Since Rey's plan is to spend the next x years studying the ways of the Force with Luke, it's unlikely that the ship will remain in her custody.

  • "Chewbacca told her where to sit." And it's not wise to upset a Wookie; they have been known to tear off manipulative appendages. – Codes with Hammer Feb 1 '16 at 21:28
0

The scrap dealer that was trading food for scrap and other items claimed to own it. If Han Solo actually owned it and he acquired it legally then that would be true but since Han Solo did not indicate it was sold he must have been the rightful owner. Chewbacca now owns it.

0

The New Republic owns it. The Empire became owner by capturing it in New Hope under a Confiscation Act. The fact that Han stole it back doesn't make his ownership legal.

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    Hi Vincent. Are you sure your answer adds new information on what was already said? If yes, could you add some references, links? – Bebs V Dec 5 '16 at 15:51
-3

I'd like to propose an answer more based in science-fiction or magic:

The owner of the Millennium Falcon is whoever the Millennium Falcon chooses.

As we imagine times and places where artificial intelligence (or magic intelligence) may equal or surpass sentient biological intelligence, An A.I. may get the right and responsibility to choose their biological partner.

We have plenty of stories in which the magic object (or sufficiently advanced technology) decides for itself who gets to use it. For example, the wands in Harry Potter are known to choose their wizard.

  • 1
    Droids in Star Wars don't get to choose their owners. – Valorum Oct 1 '17 at 22:04
  • Can you support this with any canon support? I.e., examples of that kind of thing from the movies, extended universe (Legends), etc? Although an interesting idea, it would be a much better answer with some support from one media or another. – K-H-W Oct 1 '17 at 22:33

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