The full release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is so close now that many are hyperventilating with excitement. And while the stars of the film turned up to this weeks premiere in rather ordinary-looking land vehicles, they've been driving some far more exciting things this past year. Let's get behind the wheel and take a closer look at all of the big starships and speeders our favourite cast will be piloting...
We dont even know her last name yet but what is clear is that to aid her work scavenging wreckages, Rey (Daisy Ridley) scoots around her home planet, the desert outpost Jakku, on a speeder. Offering up a clear echo of Luke Skywalker and his Tatooine landspeeder in A New Hope, Reys vehicle is similarly rust-coloured and crudely fashioned. Still, the upright design is somewhat less family-friendly. Made for a single traveller, you clearly wont be fitting your Droids in the back. Talking of nippy vehicles, fans of Return of The Jedis Imperial Speeder Bikes will also be heartened to know The First Order risen from the ashes of The Empire has commandeered their own.
When J.J. Abrams first unveiled The Force Awakens new-look X-wing a debate raged: was it an X-wing Starfighter or a Z-95 Headhunter, as seen in The Clone Wars? The vessels double engines seemed to imply the latter, but Disney was quick to clarify: it is, of course, an X-wing, but one based on Ralph McQuarries original concept art (itself based on a Joe Johnston design). Rather than a single circular engine on each of the four wings as seen on the T-65 X-wings flown by the Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy the Resistance X-wings feature one larger engine on each side that splits in two when s-foils are locked in attack position. The makeover for these T-70 model starfighters doesnt stop there, with the old red/orange colour stripes replaced by blue flourishes.
Then theres the elite Black Squadron of T-70s, led by Oscar Isaacs enigmatic Poe Dameron. If Dameron is indeed the best frickin star pilot in the galaxy, as Isaac memorably claimed, then its only fair he gets his own signature ship. His X-wing features the new engine configuration, a distinctive orange and black paint job and, best of all, a spot for BB-8 in the back where an R2 unit would traditionally go. While the most recent trailer shows Dameron next to his trusty vehicle, as he passes by Finn (John Boyega) earlier footage shows him flying a standard blue and grey X-wing, which would imply either an upgrade or that beautiful winged machine is (gulp) destroyed.
The Galactic Empire was dealt a deadly blow at the Battle Of Endor, but never count an evil military regime out. A year after the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, the Battle of Jakku raged over the Outer Rim desert planet. The dogfight, which will be fully revealed in videogame Star Wars Battlefront, has so far been kept under wraps but its evident that at least one Star Destroyer tanked. Known as The Inflictor, it was crashed by its Imperial captain on Jakku to prevent it falling into the hands of the New Republic. You see Rey scaling inside the innards of the junked Imperial I-Class craft, but somewhat worryingly for the Resistance, the First Order appears to be just as keen on these Imperial behomeths as the Empire was. Dubbed The Finalizer, this dagger-shaped Star Destroyer looks to be a formidable weapon in their arsenal. Its a safe bet that General Hux is in command of this.
Lando managed to knock the Falcons radar dish off during the assault on the second Death Star, but the round dish of old has been replaced by a neat rectangular version for The Force Awakens. The hunk of junk has also had a bit of paint job, with red livery now to be found across the top of the hull. And, judging by recent footage, the hyperdrive is in good working order with the ship clearly able to make the jump to hyper space. Most importantly, it seems that Han Solo and Chewbacca have been away from their ship for some time if Hans declaration of Chewie, were home is anything to go by.
Kylo Rens Command Shuttle
First glimpsed in Return of the Jedi, the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, better known as the Imperial Shuttle, makes a return in The Force Awakens. Judging by its impressive wide stabilisers it belongs to The First Orders villainous Darth Vader fanboy Kylo Ren. No surprise there, given Vader used one to zip between the incomplete Death Star and the moon on Endor.
Its not just the X-wings (right) that have been rebranded. The First Order has given their own space fighters a paint job too. Rather than grey with black panels the new TIEs are largely black with striking white panels on the wings and a red embellishment left of the central section. Said to be a two-seater craft with enhanced weapons and sensors, Finn appears to nick one of these nimble vehicles during his daring escape from a Star Destroyer before crash landing it on Jakku, heading for the bleak Cratertown settlement.