AN UNEXPECTED new (rebel) alliance has been formed, as Porsche and the Star Wars creator Lucasfilm have joined forces to design an all-new vehicle for the space fantasy franchise.
While Porsche’s back catalogue is littered with machines that have dominated racing events the world over, the Stuttgart-based firm’s first attempt at making a Star Wars vehicle won’t be lining up on the grid for the Boonta Eve podrace on Tatooine anytime soon. Instead, the (deep breath) Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter is, as its name suggests, designed with outer space dogfighting in mind.
Porsche hasn’t revealed any details on the arsenal the Pegasus is packing, though the renders of the starship show it has a pair of blaster cannons mounted in the nose. The Tri-Wing’s thrust comes from the two large engines mounted in the swept-back wings.
Although Lucasfilm didn’t say for which faction in the Star Wars universe the Porsche ship was designed, it is clearly a weapon for the Rebel Alliance to use in its fight against the evil Galactic Empire. An R2-D2-style astromech droid can be seen mounted behind the cockpit, and one of the renders shows a pilot donning the distinctive rebel fighter squadron uniform of white helmet and orange flight suit.
Lucasfilm’s creative director Doug Chiang says the project’s design brief was to blend the aesthetics of the Rebel Alliance’s iconic X-Wing and Y-Wing fighter craft from the original Star Wars trilogy, with the pure-electric Porsche Taycan high performance production car.
Look closely at the Pegasus and you can just about see details inspired by the Taycan, such as the canopy’s sloping roofline and the light clusters located on the front near the nose cannons. Porsche claims styling cues from its other road cars have also made it onto the starfighter — the red light bars along the trailing edge of the wings are apparently a reference to the rear lights on the Porsche 911, and the cockpit layout is claimed to be reminiscent of the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar’s interior.
It’s unclear if the Tri-Wing will appear in the upcoming Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker, though Lucasfilm and Porsche have confirmed a scale model of the spacecraft will be presented at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles later today (December 16, 2019). If there is a product tie-up in the new Star Wars film, it comes hot on the heels of the starring role for the Taycan prototype in this summer’s Playmobile movie. While more people are likely to catch the Star Wars movie in the cinema, both films offer out-of-this world merchandising opportunities for the German car brand.
While Porsche’s collaboration with Lucasfilm isn’t an indication the sports car brand wants to branch out into the spacecraft-manufacturing business anytime soon, the Porsche badge could very soon be taking to the skies. In October 2019, the car maker confirmed it had formed a new partnership with the aerospace firm Boeing to develop a prototype for a pure electric vehicle that can take off and land vertically as part of research into the viability of bringing a “premium urban air mobility vehicle” to market.