Star Wars creatures, critters, and robots get lots of appreciation, but what about the imaginative carriages that make all the heroes’ galaxy jetting possible? Introducing: Star Wars Wars. For Star Wars Week, The A.V. Club brings the galaxy far, far away down to Earth—our Earth, specifically the suburbs, where we imagine what Star Wars conveyances make the best modes of transport for gas-guzzling mall treks and country-club jaunts. Vote for your favorite in our poll, and Friday will see the four winners duke it out for the title of best Star Wars suburban ride. Today we look at the fave intergalactic ride of suburban teens; tomorrow, what would be the best Star Wars ATV to face harsh Midwestern winters?
The superior ride of the suburban teenager
Since time immemorial—or at least since cars became ubiquitous—teens have cruised the strips of their hometowns, killing time till their wheels can take them on to something better. In The Phantom Menace, snot-nosed Anakin Skywalker raced his podracer to true freedom, literally and metaphorically outrunning imprisonment on Mos Espa thanks to his skills in a podracer (and being the prophesied “chosen one” to restore balance to the Force). Years later on the same dry planet, A New Hope sees Luke Skywalker zooming around his aunt and uncle’s moisture farm and the inhospitable Tatooine desert on his trusty landspeeder. Both vehicles get the desert dwellers off Tatooine: Anakin flies the podracer to freedom and a Jedi future, while Luke sells his landspeeder to pay for his voyage aboard the Millennium Falcon and on to his Jedi future.
So which is the better ride for the young people here on Earth: the podracer that begs to be raced, greaser style, or the landspeeder, the lovable beater and site of your first kiss? You decide in the poll below.
The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive, and your parents bought you a shiny new podracer that’s perfect for cozying up with your sweetheart and speeding through the streets of your dead-end town. There’s no better cruiser for the lonely and the restless, so rev those turbine engines past the endless strip malls and manicured lawns until you outrun boredom itself. One of the most dangerous vehicles ever created, these suicide machines are the ideal mode of transportation to get to that place where you really want to go. Until then, baby, you’re a podracer going in circles. Might as well go fast. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]
The landspeeder is the 1995 Toyota Tercel of the Star Wars universe. It’s the vehicle where only one side of the speakers work, the cassette deck eats half the tapes put into it, and its bumper is precariously affixed with duct tape. But, for all its flaws, there’s beauty in that dilapidated machine. Above all else, the landspeeder—much like the Toyota Tercel—represents freedom. Well, the kind of freedom that means so much to both teenagers and enterprising Jedi. It’s the car that, on Friday nights, is overstuffed with kids in search of something—anything—to do in their boring town. It’s the vehicle that coasts down the barren fields of Tatooine, the intergalactic version of Bruce Springsteen blasting, and gives every passenger the belief that their goofy dreams are worth something. The landspeeder is the epitome of hope in an otherwise hopeless existence. And, because of that, it’s the vastly superior vehicle. [David Anthony]
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