If you haven’t heard anything about “Star Wars” and don’t understand the occasion for all the hype that has gone up in recent months, then let’s do this. Don’t tell anyone, but just ask the Internet for the answers to the big questions: who is whose father, where in space do gunshots sound, and why does the character Yoda construct sentences the way he does.
We, too, decided to do our part to educate ourselves and put together the ultimate Star Wars car guide. Do you think there is nothing in common between the cars and machinery from the movie epic? Patience, young Padawans…
##Luke’s Speeder and the three-wheeled Bond Bug
The first part of the epic movie saga was released way back in 1977. You can imagine how difficult it was to make a film about space, lasers and lasers in space at a time when Mercedeses still had carburetors and windows “on oars”. But already 40 years ago something was flying, buzzing and exploding on the screen. Much of this was drawn, scale models were used for certain scenes, but there was also something real. Well, almost real.
For example, the battered speeder or Luke Skywalker’s “flying car” in which the young man of complicated fate dissected the desolate expanse of the planet Tatooine. This thing was built in real size, installing a futuristic body on the chassis of a three-wheeled British microcar Bond Bug. In this form Bug and raced in Tunisia, where the shooting of the first episode (that is, of course, the fourth – well, you know) of the saga took place. In the post-production phase the wheels were “removed” and the speed was increased and it looked as if the speeder really flew.
By the way, the British company Ogle Design Ltd. who participated in the development of Bond Bug, subsequently performed other orders for the Star Wars franchise. For example, it built full-size mock-ups of the T-47 armored speeders that took part in repelling the attack on planet Hoth.
##A pacifist weapon, or what the Jaguar has to do with it ##
The standard weapon of imperial stormtroopers is the E-11 blaster rifle. In the circle of those who know what we’re talking about — we’re talking Star Wars fans — this blaster is known as a weapon that’s almost impossible to hit. The accuracy and the shot accuracy is a tear-jerker. How such a hat was adopted into service is a mystery.
But that is not the point. The design of this blaster is based on the original Sterling Mk.4 L2A3 submachine gun, which was in active use by british marines and paratroopers during WWII. And, by the way, they did not complain much. And the most interesting thing is that this gun was produced by Sterling Armaments Company, which later became a supplier of components for Jaguar Cars.
##Crawler and military conflict
The world of Star Wars, like any successful franchise, is surrounded by many stories, legends and tales, some of which are half-true at best. According to one of them, while working on A New Hope, George Lucas’ crew nearly caused a military conflict between Libya and Tunisia.
Rumor has it, that the Libyan intelligence turned out to be very concerned about the appearance of a huge caterpillar transport of evident military purpose on the border of the neighboring state. In question was the famous cargo crawler in which the dwarf Jawas, the original inhabitants of Tatooine, transported the droids they found in the desert. The gigantic 40-meter-long structure could really scare anyone. In fact, only the lower part of the giant armored personnel carrier was actually built for close-up shots. For general plans, they used remote-controlled models with a height of only 1 meter 25 centimeters.
TIE (Twin Ion Engine) fighters were the backbone of the Imperial fleet. This maneuverable, well-armed, but not too well armored starfighter became a formidable weapon in the hands of an experienced pilot. It’s also the Ty-Fighter that owns one of the most famous soundtracks in the galaxy, “far-far-away”. That’s the sound right there.
And now for the best part. We managed to get the characteristic sound by superimposing records of elephant’s roar and noise of car tires on the wet asphalt. Cool, huh? But you can’t tell at once.
And while we’re on the subject of sound effects… The sound accompanying the movement of the most charming droid R2D2 is the tape-recorded hum of a car power window motor. That’s all.
##Magic Numbers ##
Numerous “Easter eggs” are generously scattered throughout the first six episodes of the space saga. For example, the numbers 1138 appear in various episodes and in completely unrelated situations, a reference to George Lucas’ directorial debut, the anti-utopia THX1138 Galaxy.
There are also less obvious hints. For example, in the three episodes, the number 327 refers to the number index of Princess Amidala’s spacecraft, the landing platform in Cloud City, and the jet “racing pod” that started out in a kind of Tatooine Grand Prix. Some see it as a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, the dramatic events of which take place in a hotel room with room 327. Well, that may be so.
But we’ll just remind you that 327 is also the displacement of the famous Chevrolet V8 small block engine in cubic inches. In more usual units of measure, that’s 5.4 liters.
The three-part prequel to the early Star Wars movies, set in modern times, has a lot more special effects, graphics and computer modeling. For example, all the speeders – the flying cars – are pure CGI. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing of the real cars in them.
For example, Anakin and Obi-Wan’s speeder in Attack of the Clones is even called very nicely – XJ-6. However, the Jaguar of the same name, unlike the Jedi vehicle, has never been a convertible. But the color scheme and design of this speeder reminds us of the 1932 Ford that appeared in Lucas’ first successful movie, American Graffiti.
And the design of Senator Bale Organa’s personal speeder, the same one that would later adopt Princess Amidala’s daughter, is clearly inspired by the famous postwar Tucker Torpedo. You can see for yourself – the resemblance to the original XJ-2 is obvious.
Gentlemen, start your… your old warriors!
At one time Soviet propaganda stirred up “Star Wars” with mud, calling Lucas’s trilogy a delusional fantasy of American militarists. And the greatest irritation of the masters of the national press caused the walking tanks – the big four-legged AT-AT, and the small two-legged AT-ST. Maybe because the upper part of them reminded much of German “Tiger” tanks turrets?
And this is not the only example of borrowing ideas from real life. In the episode “Attack of the Clones” many remember the IG-227 Hailfire, a two-wheeled vehicle with a generous supply of guided missiles on board. Well, it is believed that the design of this “battle chariot” was based on… Russian tank designed by Lebedenko in 1914, also known as the Tsar Tank. And what – because they are similar…
And last, but certainly not least. In the entire “Star Wars” universe, there is only one vehicle that has been ported over to the screen from the 20th century without any major changes. Alas, this vehicle is not much of a cool or heroic vehicle. After all, we’re talking about the unidentified forklift that showed up in an episode of A New Hope. Hopefully, at least it wasn’t an internal combustion engine, but an electric motor. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a non-fiction story.