A landspeeder was a hovering ground-based vehicle capable of traveling across most terrains at relatively high speed. It was the successor to the hanno speeder.
Low-power repulsorlifts allowed most landspeeders to constantly hover one to two meters above the ground, both when stationary and while traveling. Turbine jet engines were responsible for propelling the vehicle forward. Some landspeeders also mounted weapons which were usually mounted either at the front of the craft or above and behind the pilot and/or passengers.
Most landspeeder models were capable of carrying one or more passengers, and top speeds varied between 100 and 250 kilometers per hour. Most models were between 3 to 8 meters in length. Cockpit configurations on many models featured retractable windshields and canopies that allowed the driver and passengers to be either fully enclosed, or open to the air.
There were many types of landspeeders, from sporty civilian models designed for speed and flashy looks (often these were given stylish bodywork and/or paint jobs) to everyday utility craft that ranged from small speeder trucks capable of hauling small cargo to massive freighter-like transports that could carry tremendous loads. There were even a number of models either built specifically for military use (such as the TX-130 Saber-class fighter tank) to civilian models modified for military use (for instance, the Flash speeder used by the Royal Naboo Security Force).
Landspeeders should not be confused with airspeeders, which were capable of achieving much higher altitudes. Speeder bikes or swoops also functioned similarly to the landspeeder, though the latter functioned more along the lines of a low-altitude airspeeder. In general, all of the aforementioned vehicle types were collectively referred to simply as speeders.
Behind the scenes
Author Aaron Allston, in the three novels he wrote for the X-wing series (X-wing: Wraith Squadron, X-wing: Iron Fist and X-wing: Solo Command), would use the word skimmer as a catch-all term for both landspeeders and airspeeders, despite the fact that skimmers were a distinctive class or subclass of repulsorlift vehicle.
Non canonical appearances
- The Flight of the Falcon (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
- Phantom Menaces (Non-canonical appearance)