An icon of rugged design - The X-34 Landspeeder

Words: Scott Blackburn

Composed to: Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III

Luke Skywalker and C-3PO in Luke's X-34.

Luke Skywalker and C-3PO in Luke's X-34.

Produced by the SoroSuub Corporation during the Imperial Era the X-34 landspeeder was a rugged machine that would find its way to fame through a humble farm boy. Due to its hovering mode of transport, made possible by repulsorlift engines, the X-34 was ideal for rugged environments, such as those found on Tatooine. Its punchy forward movement was provided by three air-cooled thrust turbines which managed to rocket the landspeeder all the way up to a top speed of 250 kph.

The battered but well-loved X-34 which jetted Skywalker around Tatooine for so many years.

The battered but well-loved X-34 which jetted Skywalker around Tatooine for so many years.

The pure ruggedness of the X-34 made it somewhat like an outer-space Land Rover and the fact that it could be easily maintained and retrofitted with blaster cannons made it a favourite with the Rebel Alliance. At 3.4 meters in length however the X-34 wasn't a small machine so inner city manoeuvrability was always an issue, hence its primary use being in the less built-up parts of the galaxy.

The Landspeeder in all its battered glory.

The Landspeeder in all its battered glory.

The humble X-34 found its real fame though through a Tatooine farm boy. This previously undiscovered future prodigy was Luke Skywalker. His battered old X-34 had seen good use getting him and his aunt and uncle around Tatooine's arid deserts. When his aunt and uncle were murdered by Storm Troopers, Skywalker sold his old landspeeder for 2000 credits in Mos Eisley. He used the money to pay the smuggler, Han Solo, for transport to Alderaan, beginning his now famous journey to become a Jedi and aid the Resistance in fighting the Empire.

The x-34's front end at hovering height accompanied by a demonstration of Luke's nimble leggedness.

The x-34's front end at hovering height accompanied by a demonstration of Luke's nimble leggedness.

Sadly not long after Skywalker sold his X-34 the SoroSuub Corporation released their replacement model, the XP-38. Following this demand for the rugged old X-34s dropped off in favour of their more luxurious replacement. Still, the X-34 remains a testament to what simple, well thought out engineering can do for the world of utility vehicles.