Happy 40th, Star Wars!
A while back, we rounded up our favorite Star Wars vehicles in anticipation for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars film back in 1977, we’ve collected some of the coolest vehicles from the two new films of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Rey built her speeder out of scavenged parts on her home planet of Jakku. It may not look like much, but Rey’s Speeder is quick and prevents her from frying to death while navigating the inhospitable deserts and ship graveyards.
The Speeder has some questionable design features, like the pilot seat’s location directly on top of the engine. There is also a tiny, surely useless windshield atop the speeder’s ungainly body, but if Rey can figure out the Force in a matter of days, she’s likely able to handle a little windburn.
The Eravana is the replacement for Han Solo’s misplaced Millennium Falcon. Until Han and Chewbacca have a Rathtar-related snafu in The Force Awakens, everyone’s favorite smugglers use this Baleen-class bulk freighter to transport cargoes of varying levels of illicitness around the galaxy. Inside, a veritable labyrinth of cargo containers house goods on their way to far-flung starports. Han ditches the Eravana when he fortuitously runs across Rey and Finn aboard the Millennium Falcon.
Aside from having the best name of any ship in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, a Hammerhead Corvette played a big part in the rebellion’s eventual takedown of the Death Star. In Rogue One, one of these bad boys rammed into an Imperial Star Destroyer during the Battle of Scarif, sending it crashing into the shield gate. This allowed the Death Star plans to be transmitted to the rebel fleet, ultimately to be exploited by Luke Skywalker and co. With consistent five-star safety ratings, the Hammerhead Corvette is an IIHS Top Safety Pick two centuries running.
Rogue One is the titular Zeta-Class Imperial Shuttle of the eighth Star Wars film. K-2S0 and Bodhi Rook steal the versatile transport ship and fly it to Scarif, beginning the Battle of Scarif to secure the Death Star plans. Its ample interior space and rugged Imperial construction lend perfectly to stealth intergalactic missions. Hull-mounted laser cannons come standard.
The TIE Striker is based on the TIE line starfighter platform, but streamlined and specialized for in-atmospheric flying. Thanks to trick active aerodynamics, the TIE Striker can fold its wings to decrease drag in attack mode — a useful feature.
The Empire employed these fighters for planetary base defense and the occasional dog fight with the pesky rebel scum. Optional proton bomb launchers are particularly effective against larger vehicle units.