A group of Star Wars fans in Wisconsin have made a working replica of the iconic speeder bike, proving childhood dreams may just need a little elbow grease. The bike is the end result of some hard work by volunteers from Vintage Works, a custom workshop outfit in Green Bay, who have posted a few videos of the creation on Youtube.
As far as replicas go, this one looks like it could stand in for a prop from Lucasfilm, overlooking the fact that it can’t actually hover and needs wheels. But hey, Luke’s landspeeder in the original films was on wheels, which the producers edited out by putting a smudge of vaseline on the camera lens, so don’t let anyone tell you this can’t be the real thing.
The videos show off some cool details a hardcore Star Wars fan would want to see, like controllable moving flaps on the bike’s nose – not to mention some seriously impressive metalwork and detailing.
The engineers even went out of their way to make sure that the machine’s wheels were as aesthetically unobtrusive and faithful to the bike’s original design as possible. (The wheel wells also appear to raise slightly, though with the audio used in the video it’s hard to tell how it works.)
Of course, the bike’s nostalgic value wouldn’t be quite as high if we didn’t get to see it moving, but as you’ll see below, this is about as close as you can get to riding a real speeder bike short of inventing a new kind of propulsion system that’s cheap enough to be a feasible possibility (although the military is looking into it). Note that the rider has to actually slightly suspend their legs when moving, since they would normally be dangling off the ground. Nice touch.