Star Wars in back in ultra high relief coin form for 2019 with the ultra-iconic Millennium Falcon

One of the most recognisable ships in the whole of science fiction, the Millennium Falcon isn’t even an ultra-powerful warship or a deep space explorer – it’s just a battered old freighter used by a smuggler, yet has gone on to garner an iconic status likely equalled only by the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. It’s surprising that the vessel has yet to put in an appearance in the New Zealand Mints (NZM) many ranges, outside of the disappointing 2017 vessel blueprint series.

The mints flagship Star Wars series is its two-ounce silver Ultra High Relief range, which has seen some fan favourite designs to date, including the Death Star and the Imperial Stormtrooper. We like this series as its cleanly struck (with the exception of the first coin which had Darth Vader’s lightsabre coloured red), and about as close as we’re going to get to the now defunct Star Wars Classic series. This latest issue is the sixth to date.

The Falcon is depicted in flight against a plain background field. We can’t say without seeing one in hand if it would’ve been better to have had a starfield engraved into the background or not, but the perspective of the ship is perfectly chosen and certainly more dynamic than a plan view. These coins invariably look far superior in hand than in these images, so we’re looking forward to seeing one.

The presentation is classy and substantial. The NZM has resisted the temptation to go gimmicky, as they did so a few years ago. Limited to 5,000 pieces, the coin comes with the usual certificate of authenticity. A nice return to form after the unadventurous Death Star issue last year. Available to order now. Previous issues have included Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Yoda.

2019 MILLENNIUM FALCON

THE MILLENNIUM FALCON

The Millennium Falcon is a fictional starship in the Star Wars franchise. The modified YT-1300 Corellian light freighter is primarily commanded by Corellian smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee first mate, Chewbacca. Designed by the Corellian Engineering Corporation (CEC), the highly modified YT-1300 is durable, modular, and is stated as being the second-fastest vessel in the Star Wars canon.

Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in the card game ‘sabacc’ several years before the events of the film A New Hope. In Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker charter the ship in the Mos Eisley cantina to deliver them, C-3PO, R2-D2, and the stolen Death Star plans to Alderaan. When the Falcon is captured by the Death Star, the group conceal themselves in smuggling compartments built into the floor to avoid detection during a search of the ship. Solo later collects his fee for delivering them to the hidden Rebel base and departs under bitter circumstances, but returns to assist Luke in destroying the Death Star.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set some 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the Falcon is in the possession of a scrap dealer named Unkar Plutt on the desert planet Jakku, having been stolen from Solo and Chewbacca some years prior. Scavenger Rey and former stormtrooper Finn steal the Falcon in order to escape from an attack by the First Order, having been targeted for having the droid BB-8 in their possession. During the chase sequence, the Falcon demonstrated an atmospheric performance of 60 degree turn rate per second, and a 90 degree roll rate per second. They are captured by a smuggling freighter, which turns out to be piloted by Solo and Chewbacca, who reclaim the Falcon for their own.

SPECIFICATION

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DENOMINATION $5 New Zealand
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high relief
MINTAGE 5,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
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NEW ZEALAND MINT