I love Star Wars.
Like most grown men my age I will refer to my embarrassingly large box of Star Wars toys (all opened) as evidence to support the fact. But what I love most about Star Wars isn’t the light sabers, slave Leia, or even Darth Vader. It’s the amazing space ships and space battles sprinkled throughout the movies. They dazzled me and sparked my imagination like nothing else. As a kid the sole purpose of my lego collection was to build my own fleet of Star Wars spaceships and have them fight my brothers. I must have completed the trench run and blown up the Death Star a hundred times on the old PC version of X-wing on my friend’s computer. Without a doubt, my favorite scene in either trilogy by far is the final space battle in Return of the Jedi. Watching X-wings and TIE fighters dodge and weave between fleets of Star Destroyers and Rebel cruisers still fills me with excitement. In my opinion there hasn’t been a better space fight put on film since and that is truly depressing, some 30 years later. (I’m looking at you J.J. Abrams, you better deliver where the prequels did not.) An awesome cut of just the space battle can be seen here if you don’t believe me.
That said, there is hope. A New Hope if you will, as leaked photos from the set of episode VII seem to imply X-wings will be integral to the new film. And hopefully a massive space battle on par with Jedi’s. As more and more information about the movie leaks out I thought now might be a good time to look back at my favorite ships through six movies and everything else in-between before we get a gaggle of new ones. So without further ado I give you my top ten list of the coolest Star Wars spaceships.
10. Star Viper
What the heck is this beast and why haven’t you seen it before you may ask? And why is it so……freakishly cool looking?
The Star Viper comes from episode 4.5, better known as Shadows of the Empire. Back in 1996, when Jar-Jar Binks was just a delusion tucked safely away inside George Lucas’s brain, Lucasfilm decided to test the market’s appetite for more Star Wars by creating a book that filled in the missing gap between Empire Strikes back and Return of the Jedi, then market the hell out of it as if it was an actual movie. In the book we got cool stuff like seeing Luke Jedi train in Obi Wan’s cave back on Tatoonie, as well as an explanation why Leia and Lando have taken up bounty hunter aliases in the beginning of Jedi. The book introduces us to the the Black Sun criminal organization, it’s leader Prince Xizor, and his personal fleet of Star Viper fighters . A heavy fighter used by Black Sun almost exclusively it was expensive and so never mass produced and rarely seen. But that didn’t stop it from being cool. Like all good Star Wars fighters it can transform for hyperspace travel when it’s four wings fold back with those honking huge guns tuck away to become sleek and elegant. The Star Viper looks very different from any other ship seen in Star Wars at the time, yet still feels like a Star Wars fighter. That’s not easy to do with expansion material. Also, this ship always reminded me of Star Wars attempt to clone The Last Starfighter’s Gunstar, which is a-ok in my book. As fast as a TIE Interceptor but as heavily armed as an assault ship the Star Viper was not to be taken lightly. While in flight it’s four wings could move around as they had small thrusters on the sides which increased the ship’s maneuverability and made the ship look like a jellyfish in combat. It’s too bad the design got sandwiched between episodes V and VI because I would have loved to see Star Vipers blow up Rebels and Imperials on the big screen.