70 G (approximate engine limit)
30 megawatt twin turbojet engines
- "That speeder is one of my most prized possessions."
- ―Simon Greyshade
The XJ-6 airspeeder was a custom-built airspeeder created by Narglatch AirTech, fashioned to Senator Simon Greyshade's elitist tastes. The vehicle was very powerful, with two large turbofan engines located at the front of the craft. The senator used the souped-up airspeeder to compete in races that took place on Coruscant.
The airspeeder later gained wide attention in 22 BBY after its apparent theft outside of 500 Republica by Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker and subsequent use in rescuing Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and pursuing Zam Wesell, Padmé Amidala's attempted assassin.
After the chase, the XJ-6 was tracked down by Coruscant authorities, over 100 kilometers from its original spot in the senatorial garage. Reymet Autem, the son of a Senate Guard who worked with Greyshade, was initially charged with the theft; however, before charges could be filed, the airspeeder was returned to its spot in the lot of 500 Republica.
- "It took my mechanics years to perfect it. It's a gonzo color."
- ―Simon Greyshade, referring to the yellow paint scheme
Exotic metal alloys and condensed-matter composite, as well as other metals, made up the main body of the craft. The front bumper was specifically designed to distribute forces evenly across the craft to prevent any harmful structure vibrations. The low mass of the speeder, due to these elements and alloys, allowed it to move quickly and maintain the momentum created by the massive engines.
The speeder held only two seats. This catered to Greyshade's desire for privacy while escorting others, from fellow Senators to influential politicians to his latest female companion. The low profile of the windscreen also forced passengers to sit low. A powerful sound system occupied a space on the dashboard for the Senator's enjoyment. A set of controls sat above the port seat and contained two joysticks for direction control, as well as an eight-speed combination thrust control and gear selector. Communications gear sat behind the driver and passenger, and the high-power antennas allowed Greyshade to communicate with fellow lawmakers and others the senator dealt with.
An electric field system ensured that oncoming objects, such as flying insects and debris, were repulsed from striking the craft. Dual low-beam lights lit the way, and a combination longer-range widebeam light and collision scanner kept the pilot aware of oncoming objects. Tractor units and inertial compensators in the seats helped keep the driver and passenger seated through the most reckless of maneuvers. Behind the seats' upholstery was a set of diagnostic instruments. To ensure the vehicle's protection from theft, movement sensors were installed; if tripped, an alarm would go off, notifying Greyshade and any bystanders of the illegal action.
The ship was painted yellow, which both its owner and Anakin Skywalker described as gonzo. This yellow scheme was customary to all of the Senator's craft. Dull green and orange acted as accent colors, and were scattered throughout the craft's paint scheme. Racing stickers sat on both rear fins of the craft; these revealed racing venues Greyshade had visited during his after-hour activities.
Besides its distinct paint scheme, the yellow hot-rod airspeeder was also recognized due to the dual turbofan engines fitted in the front of the craft. Originally, these two engines were built for the colossal seventh-stage bank-courier repulsor-trucks of Aargau; Simon Greyshade acquired them and had his mechanics install them into his craft.
The mechanics also customized these already-powerful engines to further utilize their potential. The original cowlings were removed to allow easy modifications and repair or tweaking. A cold-start generator allowed the XJ-6 to start up almost immediately, without the standard warm-up period.
The engines functioned by drawing air into the forward turbines, which fed into the compression chambers. This air was over-pressurized due to the exposed turbofans, and was then forced through ignitions and narrow ducts, which were situated in the sidewalls and undercarriage of the craft. The air continued to travel to the rear thrusters, after passing through another set of afterburner centrifuges. An internal shutter system acted as a braking mechanism, to stop, slow, and precisely maneuver the craft.
These oversized engines could reach speeds up to 720 kilometers per hour, and operated much like two podracer engines in their function and ability. The pair was also expensive and gaudy, and displayed Simon's tastes in expensive and overpowered devices.
Creating a hotrodEdit
Greyshade's personal mechanics created the Narglatch XJ-6 hotrod airspeeder as a luxury transport for the Senator while on business on Coruscant. It took months for his hired men to perfect it to meet his standards, after which he picked the yellow color. Greyshade used his wealth to acquire a number of custom-built airspeeders for his Senatorial colleagues, all of whom were also ardent hobby-racers. The senator would use his custom XJ-6 in after-hour races through the streets of Coruscant, as evidenced by his racing stickers.
Chase through CoruscantEdit
- "Oh you know Master, I couldn't find a speeder that I really liked, with the open cockpit and the right speed capabilities… and then you know I had to get a really gonzo color…"
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Greyshade's speeder became an instrumental part in the capture of assassin Zam Wesell, shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Following the failed assassination attempt on the life of Senator Padmé Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi's leap and grab on the ASN-121 assassin droid, Anakin Skywalker "borrowed" the speeder from the lot, overriding the safety countermeasures installed by Greyshade's mechanics. Whether by choice or fate, Skywalker's choice of vehicle proved instrumental in the tracking and eventual capture of the assassin.
Racing away from the lot at the Senate Apartment Complex, Skywalker gunned the motor to catch up to his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, already falling through the skylanes of Galactic City after Wesell shot the ASN-121 droid, causing Kenobi to lose his grip. After a brief freefall, Kenobi landed safely in the passenger seat, and the two settled into their pursuit of Zam Wesell and her personal speeder.
The chase grew more intense as the two speeding craft made their ways through traffic and the maze of buildings. At some time in the chase, Skywalker hit a flag, which caught in one of the engines. Kenobi removed the flag so that flight would not be affected, much to the Jedi Master's displeasure. Both Skywalker's piloting skills and the vessel's integrity were tested as the speeder made its way into The Works. The ship was able to pass through the discharge of a power converter, attesting to its craftsmanship and ability. Later, the Jedi Padawan left the safer confines of the speeder to meet the opposing assassin, by free-falling through traffic to eventually land on Zam's speeder.
When Skywalker and Zam crash-landed near the Outlander Club, Kenobi piloted the stolen speeder to a safer landing outside, where he parked and disembarked. The pair would later disable and apprehend their quarry. However, before the assassin Wesell could be brought back and questioned, Jango Fett, Zam's employer, killed her.
Coruscanti officials found the vehicle shortly thereafter, over 100 kilometers from its original position. Reymet Autem, the son of a senate security guard employed by Greyshade, was initially charged with the theft of the speeder. However, before any charges could be filed against the 20-year-old, the XJ-6 left the crime scene, only to appear back in the senatorial speeder barn. While passed off as a "rookie error" by Coruscant Security Force officer Wets Tranoj, it was actually Skywalker and Kenobi that returned the speeder.
Behind the scenesEdit
The XJ-6 airspeeder parallels the form and function of Anakin's podracer from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This speeder and, ultimately, the chase through Coruscant is based on George Lucas's love of classic vehicles. By Lucas's own admission, it also bears a strong resemblance to the character John Milner's car in Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti.
A full-scale model of the XJ-6 was made for the part, which was then attached to different rigging to recreate the banks and pitch of the craft in flight.
The cover of Star Wars: Republic 47: Honor and Duty, Part 2 (collected in Star Wars Republic: Honor and Duty) shows a speeder that looks similar to the XJ-6 airspeeder. The obvious differences are the change to a 5-seater from the 2 in the XJ-6 and the color change from a yellow and green scheme to a red and purple. This craft, however, changes appearances in the actual comic. It is possible that the artists had intended to use the XJ-6 as a basis for the speeder shown in the comic.
Bail Organa uses a similar vehicle to the one shown on the same cover in Revenge of the Sith, which, interestingly enough, is an XJ-2 airspeeder, which follows the same designation as the XJ-6. Whether or not this follows a pattern or is purely coincidental is, like the correlation between the speeder on the cover, unknown.
- Star Wars: Obi-Wan (First appearance) (Seen on a billboard)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones comic
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novel
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- HoloNet News Vol. 531 56 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Illustrated Companion
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 29 (Anakin's Airspeeder)
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross-Sections
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 The Official Star Wars Fact File 29
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 HoloNet News Vol. 531 56 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- ↑ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (junior novelization)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2
- ↑ Star Wars 18: The Empire Strikes
- ↑ Since it is not seen after its return to the senatorial speeder barn in any source, it is unknown what, if anything, Senator Greyshade did with the craft.
- ↑ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones DVD commentary
- ↑ Star Wars: Republic: Honor and Duty