Stormtrooper’s day off: Putting the galaxy on hold to enjoy Dodge’s Charger SRT Hellcat

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Miles Branman/Digital Trends
The Emperor has just given you the day off, so what’s a Stormtrooper to do? That’s not an easy question to answer since the last day you had off was when the original Death Star blew up (fortunately you were taking care of some business on Coruscant).

As you’re pondering the day ahead, a call from Dodge comes in: that special-option Charger SRT Hellcat you ordered on Earth a while back is ready for delivery. With 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, its got way more grunt than your standard-issue TIE Fighter, so you’re thoroughly excited.

Black, white, and menacing all over, your ride is here. Supercharged HEMI V8 snarling, it’s time to jump to lightspeed.

Java time (not Jabba time)

Even intergalactic “peacekeepers” need their morning jolt. After all caffeine is truly the force that binds the galaxy together. For this particular Stormtrooper, it doesn’t get much better than Portola Coffee in Orange County, CA. That Gungan told you about this third-wave java joint two years ago and you’re finally indulging. As the caffeine slowly begins to pedal-power your brain into motion, your Hellcat chariot sits patiently in the parking lot, waiting to blitz past unsuspecting commuter vehicles.

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Miles Branman/Digital Trends
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

Now firing on all cylinders, you remember wanting to build a coffee table some number of years ago. Not knowing when you’ll get another chance at it, you ask a nearby earthling where you can gather construction materials since there aren’t any Jawas around. “You mean like a hardware store?” he asks. “I guess,” you shrug.

Home improvement

Directed towards a “home improvement store,” the Hellcat shouts its way between origin and destination, clarifying to all surrounding persons and automobiles that ruling by force is far better than democracy.

Before you’re halfway on your journey, a call comes in through Dodge’s UConnect infotainment system. It’s your old pal and ex-boss Darth Vader on the line.

“Sup, troop?” he inquires. “Vader my man, how goes it?” “Inspecting the renovation of a duplex I’m flipping on Earth. I assure you, its quite operational,” he replies. “You’re on Earth? No way – me too!” you exclaim. “Feel like joining me for a parts run?” “Sounds better than watching pod racing on TV,” he says. “Great, I’ll come pick you up,” you conclude.

Stepping inside the large parts hut, the two of you quickly realize it will take hours to find the equipment needed. “Coffee table components” isn’t listed on any of the aisles and it appears there isn’t a single protocol droid around to help. Finally, you’ve wrangled all you need on a cart, argued with the parts hut representative about how they “absolutely HAVE to accept Republic credits,” and are out the door. Once back at the Stormtrooper-mobile, a serious problem presents itself. While cavernous, there’s absolutely no way that palette of wood will fit in the trunk.

Fifteen fruitless minutes of brooding later, capped off by Vader force-chocking a nearby Palm tree in annoyance, you’ve decided to just order a coffee table on interplanetary Amazon.

Vader asks to be dropped off at a local bar (he’s got a bit of a drinking problem these days) and you oblige. “Catch you on the dark side,” he says before closing the car door.

Looking to release some frustration, you decide the best thing to do right now would be to hit the gym.

Pumping iron

You’ve heard rumors of a strange exercise trend called “CrossFit” and you’re itching to test your endurance. Probing the interweb resource called “Yelp,” you discover Crossfit Newport Mesa has numerous believers. Having programmed your destination into the navigation system, you’re on the way.

Before you can touch a barbell, you’re required to sign a “waiver,” promising not to “sue” the gym for personal injury (whatever that means). Jumping into the “WOD” (workout of the day), you’re instantly drenched in sweat.
“I can’t breathe in this thing,” you think to yourself. Oh well, the helmet stays on – always. What seems like an eternity later (but is actually more like 10 minutes), you’re sprawled across the ground, gasping for air. “Why would people do this to themselves every day?” you wonder. Earthlings are nuts – there’s no two ways about it.

Legs wobbly and chest on fire, you muse about how to spend the rest of your day.

Your golf game could always use some work.

Chipping practice

Spotting a golf shop among the blurr of images created at Hellcat speeds, you pause to purchase a pitching wedge and a set of balls before gunning it to a coastal patch of grass.

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Miles Branman/Digital Trends
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

Thoroughly out of practice, each chip sends the little sphere in any direction but the desired one. With great patience for someone who usually resorts to blasting any opposition into oblivion, your swing gains refinement and the balls begin to bend to your wedge’s will. Before long you reckon you’re as good a shot as that pesky Luke Skywalker when he used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 on Tatooine.

Confidence high, you wonder what other leisure activities you’ve been missing out on during each tour of duty. Surfing is all the rage on this part of the planet, so why not give that a go?

Surfs up

With a recommendation from Vader for a board rental shop by the water, you hop in the Charger’s plush sport bucket seats, engage Sport Mode, and hustle over there faster than Han Solo out of an Exogorth’s gullet.

Donning your swimsuit and grappling with a nine-footer, it’s time to hit the waves. Paddling out from Newport Harbor, you begin to appreciate how strenuous an activity surfing actually is – “this is harder than those full-armor hikes we had to do in training,” you silently ruminate. By the time you reach the shore, you’re exhausted.

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Miles Branman/Digital Trends
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

As you recover on your board, bobbing up and down with the rippling water, something dark and ominous catches your eye. As panic takes over, you hurriedly turn to paddle back to land, but it’s too late – the sea creature bursts from the water and…and…gently bumps the board while offering a loud clicking noise. “Whew!” It’s just a “doll-fin” (Vader told you about them earlier – apparently they’re benign fish-eaters).

As tension loosens from your neck and Earth’s only sun moves lower on the horizon, you decide to cut the surfing practice short and cruise back to a creature you do understand – the Hellcat.

Back to business

It’s been a pleasantly jam-packed day-off, but frankly, you miss gunning down Rebels and plotting to conquer the universe with your Stormtrooper peers. The hardest part of leaving Earth is knowing that you’ll have to abandon your Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – and who knows when you’ll be able to roast its tires again.

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Miles Branman/Digital Trends
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

Knowing the vehicle deserves better than a garage cell for years between drives, you pick out a sorrowful pedestrian, dragging his feet along the pavement, and call out to him. “Hey, what’s your name, earthling?” you ask. Thoroughly confused by this helmet-clad solicitor, he responds, “Miles.” “Do you want to join the dark side, Miles?” you quip. “I don’t know…” he hesitates.

“I’ll give you this Charger Hellcat if you do,” you offer. “Seriously?! I’ll do it!” he shouts.

Another disciple for The Emperor; “Good, good.”

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