- "They have podracing on Malastare. Very fast, very dangerous."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn
A podracer was a repulsorlift racing vehicle piloted during podraces across the galaxy, though specifically in the lawless Outer Rim Territories. The term "podracer" was also used in reference to a being who piloted these racers.
A podracer, or "pod", was essentially a one-pilot cockpit attached to two racing engines via strong cables, such as those produced by Steelton. The special engines for these craft traditionally came in one of two varieties of mechanical action: internal combustion engine types or rocket motor types (engines used moving mechanical parts and rocket motors used no moving mechanical parts). At a distance, one could differentiate engines from motors by noting if there were rotating fan/turbines at the front of the craft (engines had large rotating fans, motors lacked them). Energy binders projected from each engine connected both turbines together, forming a loose triangular configuration with the pod itself, dragged behind the engines, at the highest point. A racer could commonly achieve speeds in excess of eight hundred kilometers per hour. Because of this, podracing required lightning-fast reflexes, and only species with a wide range of sensory organs and multiple limbs or durable bodies were known to race pods. Species such as Humans rarely took part in races, and never won—with a single exception.
Podracers were commonly customized by their owners, whether to achieve greater speed or agility, or simply to end up with a unique-looking racer. The infamous Sebulba piloted one of the largest podracers on the Outer Rim circuits, complete with numerous hidden features and secret weaponry, while young Anakin Skywalker built a custom racer in his yard in Mos Espa. Many podracers were painted by their owners to symbolize different things or just to look good.
The podracer evolved from the animal-drawn carts used in racing sports, and later, the swoop racers commonly seen in competitions on Taris, Manaan, and Nar Shaddaa following the Great Sith War. It was a daring mechanic called Phoebos who designed the first podracer, and a pilot named Gustab Wenbus took this machine for its first experimental flight. Since then, podracing became widely popular on the Outer Rim Territories, and though it was outlawed when the Galactic Empire came to power (although some continued it illegally), the sport enjoyed a resurgence following the Yuuzhan Vong War.
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Notable custom podracersEdit
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