Eps I-III introduced a slew of new vehicles and ships, some of which are completely unique, some of which are meant to be earlier incarnations of familiar versions seen in IV-VI.
Here are my top 10 favorite ships and vehicles. Of course, many of you might have your own favorites.
10. Jedi Starfighter AOTC version—Kind of a cross between a mini Star Destroyer and an A-Wing, this was the ride of choice among the Jedi before the Clone Wars. I liked that they needed those little rings to launch them into hyperspace, though I’m not sure how they got the rings back! Maybe this is why in the GFFA they started internalizing hyperspace engines ;).
9. Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator—Maul doesn’t spend a lot of time on camera flying around in this thing but it reflects Maul’s dark, imposing, secretive nature as well as reflecting elements of the TIE fighter.
8. Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer—What I like about it is the retro moon mission design, reminding me of space capsules returning to the atmosphere with the parachutes.
7. Jedi Starfighter ROTS version—Similar in design to the Empire’s TIE fighters, the fun begins when you hop into one of these to fight off some Separatists. Watch out for buzz droids though!
6. Separatist Hailfire Droid—Really just robots but they move real fast and put those things at monster truck rallies to shame. Plus they have guns.
5. Anakin’s pod racer—Speeder bikes don’t go fast enough for you? Invest in little Ani’s homemade pod racer. Guaranteed to cut through rush hour traffic and get you there in no time, as long as you have Jedi reflexes.
4. Padmé’s private ship (Naboo yacht)—The sleek kid sister of the Queen’s ship seen in TPM, it has similar aesthetics but is smaller in size. It is likely to show Padmé’s status as representative of Naboo and her former position as queen.
3. Naboo Starfighter—George Lucas loves him some yellow, doesn’t he? The speeder Anakin “borrows” in AOTC is yellow, Anakin’s fighter in ROTS is yellow, and this little beauty is yellow too. The ships and vehicles seen in the time of the Empire are much more militaristic and utilitarian, while the Naboo fighter really seems to put artistry first. This is a planet that only keeps a few of these around for defense that isn’t really needed until the Trade Federation comes along. Not to say they don’t pack a punch but it is clearly the product of a culture more concerned with design than with war.
2. Republic gunship/LAAT—This is a vehicle of war but still with “good guy” lighter colors instead of the gray you’d see on Imperial vehicles. It seems to be based on military choppers of similar design, with the sides open so that soldiers can hop on or off quickly. Kind of dangerous to ride around in but they look great and they get the job done!
1. Queen Amidala’s Royal Naboo Starship—What a beauty! Made of all reflective chrome, it shows wealth, power, and status along with a love of minimalist design. It looks like a dagger flying through space. I want one.