5 Things I Learned from 'The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections'

I bet you'll be surprised by these fun and unexpected revelations

Illustrator Kemp Remillard and writer Jason Fry have teamed up to create the amazing volume, Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Incredible Cross-Sections for DK Publishing. Within its oversized pages are obsessively detailed illustrations that show off what's going on inside the scifi vehicles of The Force Awakens.

You'll find TIE Fighters, the new Star Destroyer Finalizer in a huge fold-out, Poe's X-Wing, Rey's speeder, and of course the Millennium Falcon, along with several more. The words are informative, but it's the art that you really buy the ticket for.

And that art is outstanding; every square inch is covered in technological components that attempt to explain the science and engineering behind how these vessels work (or would, if they were real). I repeatedly found myself wishing the book were digital so I could pinch-to-zoom in on the drawings.

On the downside, most of the schematics get split by the book's binding, so the imagery running closest to the spine is lost. I was also bummed to find that there's no cross-section of Starkiller Base included. I understand that'd be a gargantuan undertaking, but I was still hoping to see it.

Regardless, this edition of Incredible Cross-Sections is something you'll gawk at for hours. If you study it closely enough, you'll find a few surprises scattered about that fill in a little backstory or reveal something new and interesting that you never knew before. Here are five revelations I was delighted to discover.

Minor spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead.

of 05

Why no one ever stole Rey's speeder

Rey's Speeder
Rey's Speeder cross-section illustration. Kemp Remillard / DK Publishing / Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rey may not have been born on Jakku, but she learned from hard experience what it took to survive there. It's a planet of lawless scavengers who'd have no moral quandary about stealing from a teenage girl to get ahead.

So when she set out to build her own mode of transportation, Rey poured everything she'd learned into it. It may not be the shiniest or prettiest speeder ever, but it's powerful and fast, which would make it an object of desire for residents of Jakku.

But Rey is way too smart to let that happen. According to page 24, a built-in fingerprint scanner requires Rey's print to power up the speeder. What's more, should anyone try to override the scanner or hotwire the vehicle itself, they're in for a shock -- literally. The chassis is electrified when it's parked, so it can't be manhandled without receiving a jolt strong enough to deter tampering.

of 05

Han's wedding gift to Leia

Millennium Falcon
Millennium Falcon cross-section illustration. Kemp Remillard / DK Publishing / Lucasfilm Ltd.

It's easy to miss, because it's a tiny note alongside the cross-section view of the Millennium Falcon. But it's worth finding.

According to a note on page 34, Han gave Leia a little surprise for their wedding: he had a small kitchen added to his quarters on the Falcon. Clearly visible in the illustrations are Star Wars analogues for a stove top, an oven, a microwave, a countertop, and a few other appliances.

Lest you find this gift sexist, consider that Leia doesn't exactly strike one as a person all that interested in cooking. Perhaps Han installed it so he could cook for her.


of 05

Surprising cargo on Han's freighter

The Eravana
Han Solo's freighter, the Eravana. DK Publishing / Lucasfilm, Ltd.

That big, old freighter Han and Chewie used while searching for the Falcon had a lot more cargo on board than those slimy, man-eating Rathtars. And most of it is much more interesting.

Page 37 reveals cargo containers on the Eravana carrying a collection of illegal, Imperial-era speeders like the ones used in Return of the Jedi, stolen illegal relics from a planet called Nantoon, "Kiirium ingots," exotic pets, comet dust, specialty droids, and more.

But the most fascinating item is located in a lonely corner of the ship, and comes with an anecdote that reads:

"Han and Chewie haven't been able to open [the] Sadoxxian crypto-lock on cargo module 9906753."

That's no random number sequence. It's the same numbers that are stamped onto the wooden crate holding the Ark of the Covenant in Lucasfilm's Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Draw your own conclusions.

of 05

Where Resistance transports come from

Resistance Trooper Transport
Resistance Trooper Transport. DK Publishing / Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Remember that ugly troop transporter that brought Leia to Takodana? It was ugly for a good reason.

With funds being very limited, the Resistance has been forced to cobble together resources any way it can. Its X-Wings get priority mechanical support, as keeping them in top condition is crucial to all Resistance efforts.

But less vital things like transports get pushed way down on the list. Pages 40 and 41 explain that Resistance transports are made up of pieces of other ships. The cockpit comes from an old B-Wing fighter. Engines are from Republic-era shuttles. Civilian passenger modules were added in the middle. And the hyperdrives actually come from repurposed First Order ships.

Basically, it's patchwork ship-building.

of 05

Everyone likes to modify the Falcon

Millennium Falcon
The Millennium Falcon, as seen in 'The Force Awakens'. DK Publishing / Lucasfilm Ltd.

A few decades after the fall of the Empire, the Millennium Falcon was stolen from Han Solo by a gunrunner named Gannis Ducain. Brothers Vanver and Toursant Irving acquired (or stole) it from Ducain. And from there, it finally it wound up in the possession of Unkar Plutt.

Han's "special modifications" to the ship are well documented, but it turns out, its more recent owners added a few upgrades, too. Remember the alcove bed Chewie laid on while Finn attempted to patch up his arm? You never saw it in the original trilogy because it wasn't there. That was a little addition made by the Irving boys. Likewise, the main gun well -- the one that got stuck in place while Finn was shooting TIE Fighters -- received a "custom rotating core" from Ducain. (Any changes Plutt may have made are not disclosed.)

The book also explains the origins of the new, rectangular sensor dish that replaced the round one that was torn off during the Battle of Endor. The new dish is a "Corellian Engineering Corporation" make and model. The original dish was military-grade; the new one is a civilian product. As such, it's less powerful than the original. The book says that this has downgraded the ship's "ability to detect and target hostile ships."

Good thing its pilots have never let a minor detail like that stand in their way.


"Rey's Speeder" and "Millennium Falcon" cross-section images reproduced by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House from Star Wars: The Force AwakensTM Incredible Cross-Sections ©2016 by Kemp Remillard and Jason Fry. All rights reserved.

"Han's Freighter," "Resistance Transport," and second "Millennium Falcon" image reproduced by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House from Star Wars: The Force AwakensTM The Visual Dictionary. ©2016 by Pablo Hidalgo. All rights reserved.