It's Time To Recognize Rey's Speeder As The Most Awesome "Car" In Star Wars

Illustration for article titled It's Time To Recognize Rey's Speeder As The Most Awesome "Car" In Star Wars
Image: starwars.com

It’s an eye-roll worthy pun, but today is unofficially Star Wars day, because “May the fourth be with you.” I don’t really need a reason to nerd out about one of my favorite film series in cinematic history, so any excuse is as good as any other, I suppose. Which is why I’m going to argue that Rey’s salvaging speeder on Jakku, as seen in the 2015 film The Force Awakens, is the most badass mode of transport in the whole of the Star Wars universe.

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If you’re a scavenger on a distant desert planet, you don’t need a seven seat SUV, or even the two-seat Speeder that Luke had on Tatooine. Rey doesn’t have any friends, and she needs to get into and out of tight spaces, and she needs to zip across the surface of the desert. Nimbleness is a virtue. Therefore, instead of the wide and low sports car look, Rey opts for the vertical engine of an elongated motorcycle-type car. Excellent choice.

Sure, she has her scavenged pieces strung to the side of the bike/speeder/car in a haphazard fashion, those goods are worthless unless she makes it out of a contretemps alive. Speed, simplicity, and compact size are of utmost importance.

Just like here on earth, I highly appreciate cars that are little more than an engine with seats and a steering wheel. This feels a lot like any number of track day specials with minimal anything else. This speeder shares an ideological similarity with a Maxton Rollerskate or a Lotus 340R I think, but somehow if they looked like the offspring of that wild Dodge Tomahawk “motorcycle” concept and the Fiat S72 “Beast of Turin”.

Sometimes when you’re a space criminal on the run, you just have to throw a saddle on a jet engine and say to hell with the danger! I love that mindset, and I wish I had balls that massive.

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This speeder is simultaneously the weirdest and coolest thing in the Star Wars Universe. I know a lot of people didn’t like The Force Awakens, but I thought it was fun and it’s nice to sometimes just enjoy things. I think I’ll watch it again this evening.

Also, it might have been built on a Volkswagen chassis, which makes it even cooler.

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Anyway, happy Star Wars Day. Someone please build me one of these speeders.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

DISCUSSION

seancurry
Dake

From a design standpoint, I thought it was cool because they basically took Luke’s speeder and turned it on its edge. From an in universe standpoint, I also like it because it’s a complete one-off, home-built transport.

From a pedant standpoint, considering how it’s ridden is it really a “car” or - as you actually mention by comparison - a motorcycle? I’d argue it shares far more with the speeder bikes of the Star Wars galaxy, than the more carlike land/airspeeders like Luke’s X-34, or the XJ-6 for example.