How long was Han Solo away from the Millennium Falcon? According to Rey, it had changed hands several times from the first thief

This meant that these events either happened all within Rey's lifetime for her to witness (the greater part of thirty years since Endor), or she had at least heard the story from the last guy.

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    Unknown from canon as of now. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 9 '16 at 7:36
  • The "Incredible Cross-Sections" book just says 'a long time'. No help there. – Valorum Jan 9 '16 at 10:41
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    We can place a lower bound on it. The hyperdrive has been patched and the ship has changed hands at least three times. That means it's been out of han's possession for at least 3-4 days but probably longer. – Valorum Jan 9 '16 at 10:42
  • @Richard - Han had enough time buy Eravana, hustle up a scam, get TWO different sets of investors; hire a large crew; and catch the Rathtars. That CLEARLY took far more than your 3-4 days, even for an accomplished con artiste like Han. Take a look at how long the affairs in Scoundrels or original Han Solo Trilogy lasted – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 9 '16 at 15:10
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    @dvk - So definitely at least a fortnight? – Valorum Jan 9 '16 at 15:12

At least "years".

From WGA script:

(climbs down)
Y'ever fly this thing?
Rey tosses her staff aside, jumps into the pilot's seat, frantically flips switches. BB-8 rolls in behind her as the ENGINES WHINE to life:
No! This ship hasn't been flown in years!

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  • @Richard - worth a separate answer. Han - in narrator's words - is more authoritative than Rey's unknown sourcing – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 10 '16 at 23:21
  • Done, done and done. – Valorum Jan 10 '16 at 23:27

With a hat-tip to DVK's answer from the script, we know from the film's Junior novelisation that the Falcon has been out of Han's possession for a considerable number of years.

Based on the fact that the narrator notes that the average person would have been expected to have forgotten the (relatively complex) startup sequence for the Falcon, that would seem to imply ten or more years:

“Gunner’s position is down below,” she [Rey] called to the young man [Finn]. “You ever fly this thing?” he shouted back. “Nobody’s flown this crate in years."


"But Han Solo was far from ready to give up his ghost anytime soon—especially when, after years of searching, he’d finally reunited with the only starship he had ever loved, the Millennium Falcon."


"Han left Chewie to bark out directions and hastened into the cockpit, where old habits took over. He sat in his well-worn seat and started flipping switches and turning dials to initiate the launch sequence. Though he hadn’t done it in years, never once did he hesitate; he knew the Falcon’s procedure by heart. Going through it in his head was how Han had coaxed himself to sleep on many a dark night."

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