Star Wars has always been about the push and pull between the forces of light and dark, but there’s something else that draws fans back to theaters with each subsequent entry -- all those cool ship and vehicles. After all, few sci-fi franchises can boast a spaceship as iconic as the Millennium Falcon, or vehicles as immediately recognizable as the Galactic Empire’s lumbering AT-ATs. And that’s saying nothing of the Death Star, which looms so large in film history.
Director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi cruises into theaters nationwide on Friday, bringing with it a new array of inventive, and frequently menacing, starship and vehicle designs. But what are some of the standout vessels used in the struggle between the First Order and the Resistance? Here’s a rundown of all the major ships and vehicles we know will debut in The Last Jedi.
The First Order's All-Terrain MegaCaliber Six, or AT-M6 for short, is exactly what it looks lik: an AT-AT on steroids. First revealed on the Star Wars Show in August, the vehicle is much larger than the walkers used by the Galactic Empire in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. If anything, the massive AT-M6 looks like a cross between the classic AT-AT and the heavily armored All-Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE) from the prequel trilogy.
The AT-M6 has a layer of armor and a massive, mounted cannon much like the AT-TE, although it retains the AT-AT’s distinctive design. Their gorilla-like feet make it clear the Resistance won't be able to pull from the Rebel Alliance's Hoth playbook by binding an AT-AT’s legs with wire so that they tumble to their destruction.
V-4X-D Ski Speeder
What will go up against the massive AT-M6? Why, the V-4X-D Ski Speeder, of course. These dinky little single-pilot ships are deceptively powerful fighters and critical members of the Resistance’s fleet. You wouldn’t know that by looking at them, which is exactly what Johnson wanted when the fighters were being designed.
Actually, the Ski Speeders will play a big role in the Battle of Crait, which takes place on the salt-encrusted mineral world to which the Resistance fled following the evacuation of D’Qar.
B/SF-17 Heavy Bomber
The B/SF-17 heavy bomber has an important role in the Resistance’s fight against the First Order: It needs to drop bombs; a lot of bombs. First glimpsed in the teaser for The Last Jedi, the bomber is loaded with ordnance protected by a pair of huge, rotating laser turrets. The bomber’s main targets are Star Destroyers, the massive rectangular starships that have become synonymous with the might and menace of both the Galactic Empire and the First Order.
What part the bombers play in The Last Jedi remains to be seen. The trailer shows Resistance and First Order fighters engaged in space, perhaps above Crait. When it comes to starships, the First Order’s motto seems to be “go big or go home,” so there’s a good chance the bomber will have plenty of large-scale targets.
Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer
Every villain needs a cool ride, and Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer is just that. Reminiscent of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced, the TIE Silencer is a sleek, deadly ship decked out with laser cannons and missile launchers. Kylo Ren can be seen piloting the vessel in the trailer for The Last Jedi, seemingly zoned out as he bobs and weaves between two fleets locked in combat.
The trailer also suggests the TIE Silencer might play a pivotal role in Kylo Ren’s journey to the Dark Side. After all, he seemingly takes aim at his mother, Leia Organa, in the trailer, although that may be a bit of creative editing to create tension. Regardless, Kylo is a master pilot, just like his father and grandfather, so if he’s going to make any bold moves, it might as well be from behind the controls of one of the coolest, deadliest ships in the galaxy.