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In Star Wars - Episode 4: A New Hope, Darth Vader has a homing beacon hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon. It is thanks to this that the Imperials are able to locate the Rebel base on Yavin 4.

TARKIN

Are they away?

VADER

They have just made the jump into hyperspace.

TARKIN

You're sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship? I'm taking an awful risk, Vader. This had better work.

Is it ever explained what happened to this homing beacon?

How long was it aboard the Falcon and tracking Han and/or the Rebels?

No mention of its discovery is made during the rest of the movie, nor is it referenced during The Empire Strikes Back. In fact, the Imperials seem to have few solid leads as to where the Rebels are hiding at the beginning of Empire.

  • 3
    nice self answer ;-) – Einer May 27 '14 at 14:57
  • 1
    @Einer I always try to research things myself before posting a question. I was actually surprised to find an answer to this, even if it's only C canon. – phantom42 May 27 '14 at 15:00
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While the homing beacon is never again addressed within the movies, the comic Star Wars: Droids fills in this gap in issue 8 - Star Wars According to the Droids.

The beacon used was actually a HMOR droid.

HMOR Droid - comic version

After their arrival at the Rebel base on Yavin 4, Artoo and Threepio discover the droid attempting to destroy the base's power generators, and destroy it by crushing it between two blast doors. Shortly afterwards, Artoo joins Luke during the assault on the Death Star.

  • When I read the question I think of this droid I saw more than 20 years ago. Thanks for the nostalgia. +) – riccs_0x Dec 15 '17 at 21:11
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No mention of its discovery is made during the rest of the movie, nor is it referenced during The Empire Strikes Back.

This isn't actually true.

Princess Leia realises, in Star Wars, shortly after the Falcon's escape from the Death Star, that their escape was too easy and that the Empire must be tracking them.

When the Death Star then follows them to Yavin, it isn't too hard for her to realise that her suspicion was correct. The first thing she would do would be find and destroy the tracking device, before allowing the Falcon to be moved to the new base on Hoth.

  • And although that's true, it doesn't answer the question asked. If we're basing answers on complete guesswork, who's to say that she didn't install a jammer on the Falcon or that the beacon was only trackable by the Death Star or a thousand other possibilities? – Valorum May 4 '18 at 5:23

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