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The 7 best Star Wars vehicles ever, ranked

The universe of Star Wars is absolutely jam-packed with vehicles. These vehicles are the chief way that the story’s characters get from one planet to another, and they’re also how people often travel when they’re on a planet.

These vehicles serve much more than a simple utilitarian function, though. They’re almost characters in and of themselves, and they’re also often settings for some of the most important scenes in the history of the franchise. Star Wars simply wouldn’t be the same without its many vehicles, so we’ve decided to rank the seven best.

7. AT-ATs

AT-ATs in The Empire Strikes Back.
Lucasfilm

The Battle of Hoth is remembered for many reasons, but chief among them was the introduction of the AT-ATs. They’re a feat of design, and the kind of destructive tank that the Empire ultimately used to take over the galaxy.

As we see on Hoth, AT-ATs do have one fairly major design flaw, and that’s part of the reason they’re at the bottom of this list. When you look at them from a purely aesthetic perspective, though, AT-ATs are almost undeniable.

6. The Ghost

The Ghost in Star Wars: Rebels.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A battered, beat-up ship that Hera Syndulla pilots in Star Wars: Rebels, The Ghost may earn its spot on this list in part because it is so much the home for all of the characters on this show.

One of the trademarks of Star Wars is that any corner of the galaxy, or ship for that matter, can be interesting in its own right. The Ghost is not beautiful, but it’s so lovingly crafted in its details that it doesn’t matter.

5. The Star Destroyer

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Disney

Thanks in part to their sheer size, there are few vehicles more intimidating in the entire galaxy than the Star Destroyer. These vehicles take a huge number of different forms over the course of every Star Wars story, but that’s part of what makes them so endlessly fascinating.

What unites them all, though, other than their size and general shape, is that they are sterile, clean, and gray all over. They’re the Empire in miniature: powerful, enormous, but ultimately devoid of color or joy.

4. The X-Wing

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The ship that took down the Death Star, X-Wings are designed to look like World War II bomber planes, and so their design is not quite as thrilling as some of the other vehicles on this list. Even so, it’s hard to argue that they shouldn’t be on this list.

Even with their more normal design elements, the way that they open and zoom through the air remains thrilling, as does the cockpit that becomes the setting for so much of the first movie’s climax.

3. Slave I

Slave I Mandalorian
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another vehicle we don’t see until Empire, Slave I is a wonder from the second it first appears on screen. Boba Fett’s signature ship has thrusters that resemble a face, and a design so distinct that it resembles almost nothing else we’ve seen in the galaxy.

In space, aerodynamic design obviously matters less, and it seems like the design team behind Slave I took full advantage of that, creating a ship that almost seems to resemble a helmet

2. Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter

Darth Vader's TIE in Star Wars.
Disney

The TIE Fighters, which are essentially an orb surrounded by two completely vertical wings, are a design feat in and of themselves. Vader’s TIE Fighter, though, which has more angled wings and looks both similar to and distinct from the fighters that flank him, is a wonderful conception of what an evil spacecraft might look like.

It’s designed to look foreign and heavy, and the black certainly doesn’t help things. In spite of all that baggage, though, Vader’s fighter is also deeply cool.

1. The Millennium Falcon

Star Wars force awakens
Walt Disney Studios

The ship that Han won from Lando, the Millennium Falcon is one of the more enduring symbols of this entire franchise, and with good reason. It’s circular design helps it to stand out in the universe of Star Wars vehicles, and its interior design is a key part of the saga’s storytelling from its very first chapter.

Like so much of the original trilogy, this ship looks old and beat-up, intentionally so. This may be a sci-fi story, but it’s set in a world where the gleaming technology of the past is now looking quite dingy.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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