12 Cars the Original ‘Star Wars’ Characters Would Drive

Star Wars logo

Star Wars logo | Lucasfilm

Star Wars - A New Hope - medal ceremony

Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

A long time ago in a parking lot far, far away …

It is a period of civil war. Rebel drag racers, striking from a hidden garage, have won their first race against the evil Galactic Empire. During a heated test and tune, Rebel spies managed to steal secret schematics to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored war wagon with more than enough power to make a Koenigsegg Agera RS look like a Swedish wind-up toy. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister motorcyclists, Princess Leia races home aboard her turbocharged German hot hatch, custodian of the stolen schematics that can save her pit crew, and restore freedom to the the local street racing scene.

But it is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the first Death Star was destroyed, Imperial racers have driven the Rebel drifters from their secluded garage and relentlessly pursue them across the Appalachian mountains. Evading the dreaded Imperial Racefleet, a group of Gymkhana drivers led by Luke Skywalker have established a new secret garage in the remote ice-filled land of cheese and spotted cows commonly known as Wisconsin. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker and challenging him to a heads-up race, has dispatched thousands of autonomously driven Google cars into the far reaches of America’s Midwest, forever searching for the elusive Rebel Racers.

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back | Lucasfilm

Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker has returned to his desert-filled home state of Arizona in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile RV enthusiast and drug trafficker, Jabba the Hutt. Little does Luke know that the Galactic Empire has secretly begun construction on a new armored war machine even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star. When completed, this ultimate race machine will spell certain doom for the small band of Rebel Racers struggling to restore freedom to the automotive world.

It may sound farfetched, but with the latest Star Wars installment hitting theaters this December, we couldn’t help but imagine what the original characters would drive if episodes IV to VI took place right here on Earth during present day. May the Force be with you, young petrolhead.

1. Darth Vader – Dartz Black Shark

Dartz Black Shark

Dartz Black Shark | Dartz

The only vehicle befitting for the most feared Sith Lord of all time is an SUV that’s just as menacing as he is. So when it comes to getting around, Vader would probably prefer to drive a Dartz Black Shark. Featuring an AMG V12 twin-turbo engine with 1,500 horsepower on tap, Vader’s armored transit is almost as powerful (and twice as sinister looking) as an Imperial Shuttle.

David Prowse in Star Wars A New Hope

David Prowse in Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

With its retractable door handles, shock devices, and kevlar/titanium blended body, Lord Vader no longer has to worry about magnetic mines, as rotating bulletproof grills and Soviet-grade B7 armor show Rebel scum who’s really the boss. Carjacking this beast is going to be a bitch too. It has both fingerprint and retina scanners, along with a DARTZ V2+ app for Vader’s all-black smartphone so that he can access his SUV’s 24/7 monitoring system. There are also on-board HD cameras, full vehicle sweeps with fire and toxin detectors, a mine/bomb scanner, and Rebel-repelling laser lights.

2. Luke Skywalker – Nissan NISMO Skyline GT-R

Nissan NISMO Skyline GT-R

Nissan NISMO Skyline GT-R | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

In order to find balance within the universe, there must be a light side to combat the dark, and for Luke Skywalker, his preferred vehicle of attack has to be a NISMO GT-R, a car that’s been designed to withstand the jump to hyperspace and look damn good doing it. This street-legal machine is a stripped-down, race-ready version of the regular GT-R that’s ditched many of the creature comforts in favor of a carbon aero kit, forged Rays wheels, and a suspension setup specifically tuned for the track.

Luke Skywalker in Star Wars

Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

As Luke gets his lightsaber fired up, and the Nissan’s twin-turbo V6 pumps 600 horsepower to all four wheels courtesy of a special NISMO-tuned setup, you get the feeling that everything is going to be fine in the universe. The Force is strong with this one, and there’s little about the NISMO that will tell you otherwise.

3. Emperor Palpatine – Rolls Royce Phantom

2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom | Rolls-Royce

What do you get if you’re the most sinister son of a bitch around, and you feel that someone else should drive while you plot from the backseat? A Rolls Royce Phantom of course! This $480,000 hunk of luxury is everything that frail old codger needs as he slinks around his empire, forever looking for fresh apprentices to train in the evil arts of the Sith.

Emperor Palpatine - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Emperor Palpatine | Lucasfilm

Sporting a 6.75-liter V12, and enough horsepower to get it out of any solar system in a hurry, this is the official chariot of all that is evil in the New York Metro area, as Palpatine looks to rig the 2020 election by bringing Richard Nixon back from the dead.

4. Princess Leia – Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R | Micah Wright/ Autos Cheat Sheet

Leia genuinely fears for her life. She’s being hounded by the likes of Boba Fett and every other bounty hunter in the Southwest, and needs to make a hasty escape behind the wheel of a car that can scream down an interstate on-ramp without looking like an unwieldy Rancor in the process.

Princess Leia - Bloodline Novel

Princess Leia | Del Rey

Built for both agility and universal dignitary appeal, the turbocharged, 292-horsepower Volkswagen Golf R is the ideal rocket ship for Leia, as she puts down impressive track times, and shows the Empire that real women know how to drive stick better than any knucklehead Stormtrooper.

5. Chewbacca – Ford Raptor SVT

Ford Raptor

Ford Raptor | Ford

This is the perfect vehicle for Chewie. It’s big, overly aggressive, rugged, and somewhat hard to control, kind of like its pilot. Designed to conquer any terrain imaginable, Chewbacca finds respite behind the wheel of his Raptor, as he shifts between sand, mud, snow, and tarmac settings, all while crushing any Imperial officer dumb enough to get in his way.

Chewbacca - Star Wars

Chewbacca | Lucasfilm

Chewie’s vehicle of choice voices the same guttural growl that its master wields, and while they may not have the ability to control the Force, together they can rip a droid’s arms out of its sockets without warning, and make you the ultimate badass at a tailgate party all at the same time.

6. R2D2 – Smart Fortwo Electric Coupe

Smart ForTwo

Smart Fortwo | Daimler

Cute, compact, and completely electric, the Smart Fortwo is the perfect ride for our little R2-unit, and while it may be a bit under-powered, this does not seem to matter to the pint-sized droid, as he isn’t all that quick himself.

Star Wars C-3PO and R2-D2

Star Wars C-3PO and R2-D2 | Lucasfilm

Built around the concept that a car doesn’t have to be huge to be full of ingenuity, this little micro machine is the perfect companion to a hero who has issues seeing over the dash of any automobile. Fortunately, the Fortwo has multiple tethered USB ports for R2 to tap into, and nothing quite says “connectivity” like an electric vehicle being piloted by an android who doesn’t have any arms.

7. C-3PO – Jaguar S-Type

Jaguar S-Type

Jaguar S-Type | Jaguar

There’s really no way to put this nicely, so we’re just going to say it once: C-3PO drives an old Jaguar S-Type and totally loves it. This droid has zero clue as to what good taste even looks like, and to him, a frumpy, recall-prone four-door is the height of all that is hip.

C-3PO

C-3PO | Star Wars via YouTube

If you think about it, an old S-Type is a lot like C-3PO. Everyone knows it serves a purpose, but it stands out in the worst possible way, and isn’t a machine that you would want to deal with every day. The fact that C-3PO can’t parallel park worth a damn doesn’t help matters either, and last time we checked he was wanted in Louisiana for fleeing the scene of an accident and for aiding the Rebellion.

8. Han Solo – Nissan 240SX With an LS Swap

Modified Nissan 240SX

Modified Nissan 240SX | Motor Trend Channel via YouTube

We’ll admit it. This thing probably won’t be able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs like the modified Corellian YT-1300 light freighter known as the Millennium Falcon. But when you hear that Corvette engine fire-up you’d better believe this hunk of junk is here to smuggle your ass to the finish line in damn good fashion.

Han Solo

Han Solo | Lucasfilm

Built around the premise that turbocharged import engines are for adolescent boys with dreams of being stance all-stars, this high-horsepower spaceship has taken Solo all over the place. It’s a love/hate relationship for the smooth talking smuggler and his dilapidated Datsun, as he dodges the Empire, fights off Boba Fett, and turns wrenches in his down-time, as the rusty bucket of bolts is constantly breaking down when it’s not snapping necks.

9. Master Yoda – A very green AMC Gremlin

AMC Gremlin

AMC Gremlin | KOKEspecialtiesTX via YouTube

If you are on the smaller side, have a greenish complexion, are older than dirt, require a cane to get around, and are ugly to boot, chances are you drive a Gremlin. Ah yes, the AMC Gremlin. A car with a devout following that only wants to be accepted for who they are, because lord knows you can’t always fix ugly, and swamp life really isn’t all that bad anyway.

Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back | Lucasfilm

But true to style, Yoda’s green machine has a few surprises up its sleeve. When danger comes a calling, a big block V8 answers with loping cams at the ready, along with oversized traction bars, a sanctioned roll cage, six-point harnesses, and a staggered wheel configuration rounding out the upgrades. Knowing Yoda, there’s also a lightsaber on board that doubles as a stick shift for when covert operations at SCCA events are required, or if a truck stop brawl spirals out of control.

10. Jabba the Hutt – Winnebago Ellipse Ultra

Winnebago Ellipse Ultra

Winnebago Ellipse Ultra | Winnebago

Nestled deep within the desert sands of Luke’s home state of Arizona, ruthless gangster, drug smuggler, and semi-retired break-dancer Jabba the Hutt rests in his Winnebago party barge. It may be stationary now, awning extended and 450-horsepower Cummins diesel engine purring in anticipation, but this ship is ready to dip at a moment’s notice, and Jabba is almost always on the move.

Jabba the Hutt

Jabba the Hutt | Star Wars via YouTube

But Jabba is never the kind of guy to travel in a hurry either, and he always brings an entourage with him, so you’d better believe this RV is decked out for all manner of depravity. While his lordship waits for things to heat up over at the local Sarlacc pit, his driver relishes in the Winnebago’s heated, massaging front seats and adjustable power lumbar supports. Meanwhile, inebriated villains spill Jawa Juice on the polished porcelain tiles in the back of the RV, as a massive skylight reveals an orbiting moon that looks a lot like a space station.

11. Lando Calrissian – 2017 Lincoln Continental

2017 Lincoln Continental

2017 Lincoln Continental | Lincoln

Fit for cruising among the clouds, the all-new Lincoln Continental is a land yacht serving up a luxurious slice of intergalactic class. With a flashback feel that fuses both modern technology and classic design cues, this latest incarnation of the 2-ton cruiser is an ideal automobile for the administrator of Cloud City who prefers to be chauffeured rather than drive.

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian | Lucasfilm

Its swanky interior, pillow-top seats, and thin chrome door handles make the Conti the epitome of posh, as Lincoln reportedly admits that it has 50 new patents on the power seats alone. We just want to know how in the hell that sneaky bastard was able to get his hands on one light-years before its official release.

12. Boba Fett – Bowler Motorsport Defender 90 Challenge

Bowler Motorsport Defender 90 Challenge

Bowler Motorsport Defender 90 Challenge | Bowler Motorsport

We’ve saved the best for last, because this truck seems to be hand-built to fit the most badass bounty hunter this side of Coruscant. He may not talk much, but when it comes time for action this mysterious masked mercenary is always ready to catch his quarry, and the Bowler Motorsport Defender 90 Challenge is just the vehicle for the job.

Bounty hunters

Bounty hunters | Lucasfilm

Built by hand in Derbyshire, England, these off-road animals are the perfect balance between practical and powerful, as they offer lightweight handling and suspension prowess that has been balanced by a fully-functional AC system, six-point harnesses, and a fire-suppression system. Just imagine it in a dark swamp green color with a ton of rock chips and blaster marks running down the side of it and you’ll understand why Boba Fett would drive one.