It’s no secret that George Lucas was a car fan, and he made sure to incorporate plenty of fast rides in his fictional galaxy. Along the way the spaceships became their own characters, just one of the many reasons why the Star Wars franchise has become a pop-culture phenomenon.
Turns out Star Wars zealots and car fans are a united Rebel bunch. Ever looking to improve quarter-mile times and simply go faster (or travel through hyperspace), car crafters can’t help but join the Rebellion (now called the Resistance).
Ever since those Jawas parked their rolling junkyard at the home of Luke Skywalker and Uncle Owen, even in a galaxy far, far away they knew the value of technology, droids, and especially fast cars. The need for speed, in those formative teenage years, goes beyond the Milky Way. Remember, forgoing his chores, Luke wanted to go to Tosche Station to get some power converters! No doubt these were some kind of aftermarket bolt-on part that made his hunk of a Landspeeder go even faster.
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, movie audiences will again be inspired to modify and tune their Earth-bound rides to higher levels, hopefully to one day reach Lightspeed.
So, here’s a list of classic Star Wars vehicles and why they are some of the most memorable in the universe:
The Millennium Falcon. The coolest ship in Star Wars lore. It was big, enough to hold crew and smuggle cargo, yet it was fast and agile, able to beat the Imperial Fighters repeatedly and saved the day twice. Han Solo even boasted the Falcon had “special modifications,” all in the name of speed and won the pink slip (card game or race?) from Lando, which adds even more street cred.
X-wing. With its wings spread out in attack formation, the X-wing transformed into one serious Death Star trench-runner. And who wouldn’t want R2-D2 behind the pilot, who was able to instantly fix and repair malfunctions or laser blasts on the spot.
Vader’s TIE Fighter. Darth Vader specially ordered this ship, which was faster than standard TIE fighters and came equipped with more firepower. With its cocked Solar Array Wings and the Dark Lord as pilot, it was a Force, uh, to be reckoned with.
AT-AT Walker. The Imperial (All Terrain Armored Transport) Walkers were nearly invincible in the attack of the Rebel base on the frozen planet of Hoth. With their armor shielding them from blasters and their 4-legs stomping anything in their path like a Big Foot Monster truck, it made for intimidating transportation.
Snowspeeder. The T-47 carried 2 Rebels, the back seat facing out. Laser cannons and, of course, who could forget the harpoon guns that were able to ensnare and take down the Imperial Walkers.
Imperial Shuttle. When this ship with 3 fin-like wings landed, you knew a Sith Lord was coming down that front-load ramp. Still they were susceptible to theft, as the Rebels stole one and were able to sneak past the clutches of the Empire (Return of the Jedi).
Slave I. Behind the wheel was the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett. Ship was inherited from his father, Jango Fett, who was the clone for future Stormtroopers. Slave I flew through space in an odd, crooked way and was a deadly encounter with laser cannons and seismic charges.
Speeder Bike. Fast and extremely maneuverable, these versatile transports worked well in the Redwood Forests (CA) on Endor. So fast, even a pair of Ewoks could pilot them, at least for a few miles or so.
Landspeeder. Owned by Luke on the desert planet Tatooine and sold for next to nothing, as the X-34 model was obsolete and in need of repairs. Still, go-cart like and the ability to climb in and out Duke-boy style made it an attractive first-car to those just getting their license.
Tauntaun. Sure, it’s not mechanical, and they didn’t fare too well on Hoth with the freezing temps and all those hungry Wampa Ice Creatures lumbering about. But Tauntauns were useful, work-horse like animals that covered snow-covered areas in a flash. Hang on for 8 seconds and it was a lot of fun.
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