In Stars Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, did Han Solo shoot Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter wingman from his chair in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon or from one of the Falcon’s two swiveling gun turrets?

If he was in one of the swiveling gun turrets, then Chewbacca was flying the Falcon at that moment and he did a great job of piloting because he likely had to dodge the laser fire coming from about 10 or more gun turrets on the Death Star in order to get close enough to the Death Star’s surface for Han to make that shot.

If this is what occurred, then Chewbacca was the real hero of the day in my opinion.


2 Answers 2


The original script indicates that Han and Chewie were both in the cockpit. This would suggest that Han was doing the fancy flying and Chewie was operating the guns by using the "weapon" controls inside the cockpit.

INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT Han and Chewbacca grin from ear to ear.

HAN (yelling) Yahoo!

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Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual

Chewie's presence in the cockpit is backed up by the film's (1978) tie-in Marvel comic

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and the more recent (1997) Dark Horse A New Hope - Special Edition

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  • 2
    wonder what the point was, then for Luke and Han getting into the turrets themselves during the earlier TIE fighter battle just after escaping the Death Star, if Han/Chewie could have just blasted them from space at the cockpit controls. Apr 17, 2019 at 17:41
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    @MissouriSpartan - Probably the same reason I'm writing this answer from my desktop/keyboard rather than the Stack Exchange mobile app; because while it's possible, it doesn't mean that it's preferable
    – Valorum
    Apr 17, 2019 at 18:06
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    I would suppose one would have better line of site from the turrets is the idea, rather than remotely from the cockpit. BUT, then why didn't Han have Chewie jump down into the "belly" turret to fire away at Vader's TIE/Wingman? Apr 17, 2019 at 18:07
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    @MissouriSpartan - I suspect that when flying into a cloud of TIE fighters, you probably want to have both hands (paws?) at the wheel to operate secondary systems like shields.
    – Valorum
    Apr 17, 2019 at 18:12
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    I could see it working similar as for an Y-wing. you CAN shoot the cannons but only in one direction if not in the turret itself
    – Thomas
    Apr 17, 2019 at 18:26

It's pretty clear in the movie that Han was in his seat in the cockpit throughout. When he says "You're all clear kid, now let's blow this thing and go home!" he's obviously in his cockpit chair, and it's just a second after the second wingman clips Vader's TIE fighter. (The cockpit background is identical to that seen in wider view a few seconds later when he says "Great shot kid, that was one in a million!")

Chewie, on the other hand, was not visible in the cockpit when the TIE fighters were shot, so he may have been firing the cannon, or there may be a way to control them from the cockpit.

As noted in the comments, the Millennium Falcon can fire forward-facing guns by cockpit control, as seen in Ep. VI when the Falcon fires on the power generator at the core of the Death Star 2.

  • 5
    There’s definitely non-canon or other canon information about controlling the cannons from the cockpit. Apr 17, 2019 at 4:49
  • @ToddWilcox Doesn't Han control the cannons from the cockpit in Empire when Vader is in the hanger on Hoth with them? Apr 17, 2019 at 12:11
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    @PeregrineLennert Against the snowtroopers? That was a smaller "ground-buzzer" retractable blaster turret, not the quad laser cannon turrets. starwars.fandom.com/wiki/… It does seem logical that Han or Chewie would be able to control the lasers in a fixed forward position from the cockpit though; we see it in (non-canon) video games like X-Wing: Alliance, but moreover, it just makes sense for a ship with a crew of two and three mannable stations. Apr 17, 2019 at 13:22
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    Having just re-watched the attack on the Death Star 2, two things occur to me. 1) the attack would have been a lot easier with gunners in the turrets to fire on the chasing TIE fighters and 2) the source of the shots when firing on the power generator do not seem to match exactly with the location of the lower turret.
    – DavidW
    Apr 17, 2019 at 17:49
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    @DavidW I’m pretty sure the turrets are manned in ROTJ. You see crew members on the falcon beyond Lando and Nien Nunb.
    – Darren
    Apr 17, 2019 at 18:20

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