I was looking through this amazing gallery of detailed pictures from models used in the original trilogy of Star Wars films. I came across these two images of the Millennium Falcon’s hull clearly showing some visible damage; see pics below.
These images got me thinking: In The Empire Strikes Back, when the Millennium Falcon is fleeing pursuing Imperial ships—and just as it enters the Hoth/Anoat asteroid field—there is a huge THUNK sound that reverberates throughout the starship followed by Han shouting:
That was no laser blast! Something hit us.
Okay, so I am now confused. The Millennium Falcon’s shields were still operational at this stage. The only major repair the ship appeared to need was to the hyperdrive. So when Han says that “something” hit them, what exactly hit them and how?
It’s clear that in the film an asteroid or a fragment hit the ship in some way, but did it hit the ship’s shields so hard it rocked the ship? Or are the shields on the ship not designed to deflect large objects, so the asteroid or fragment hit the actual hull of the ship?
It seems to me ships in the Star Wars universe do not have shields strong enough to deal with asteroids. Even large-sized ships such as Star Destroyers were vulnerable to asteroid damage as conveyed by Captain Needa saying:
Considering the amount of damage we've sustained, they must have been destroyed.
So… What happened to the Millennium Falcon in this scene? Do any canonical sources address the exact damage the ship sustained in that scene or show any details of the damage the hull sustained in the asteroid field?