Start Your Engines: Star Wars Podracer Drivers, Part 1

Meet the drivers gifted (and crazy) enough to become podracing pros.

With the re-release of Star Wars: Racer Revenge for PlayStation 4, we can once again try our luck on podracing tracks across the galaxy. Where the original Racer game focused on the road towards the Boonta Eve Challenge, Racer Revenge takes place a decade after that pivotal moment for young Anakin Skywalker. New tracks, new challenges, and new racers. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the galaxy’s greatest podracing competitors, found in Racer Revenge and The Phantom Menace!

Star Wars podracers

Shirvel Baittrand was a Kulless from Gerres Gule, who used to work as the chief mechanic of Boles Roor. After his employer returned to being a glimmik singer, Shrivel started his own career in professional podracing. He built his own engines from scratch, creating the highly maneuverable Kulless Squall. Shrivel became an active contestant in the Galactic Trials, and was the track favorite on the SoroSuub Facility course on Sullust. Engines: Kulless Squall

Bozzie Baranta was a racer active in the Invitational Podracing Circuit. Although not the best racer in his class, he was a local favorite on the Abyss on Ord Ibanna, where he held the track record. Baranta was overly cautions, stopping often for repairs. He had a reputation for worrying too much, which affected his piloting. His Shelba Razor had top-notch repair mechanisms, and Baranta spent more money updating those than he did buying the racer. Engines: Shelba 730 Razor

Aldar Beedo, also known as the “Hit Man,” was a Glymphid racer and assassin from Ploo II, who was only interested in the prize money. He had no problems playing dirty, using his racer to knock his opponents around the course. Beedo entered the Boonta Eve Classic to fulfill a contract set by Wan Sandage on Sebulba’s head. He was not successful in eliminating his target, but did manage to finish third, with a time of 15:52.108. Engines: Manta RamAir Mark IV Flat-Twin Turbojet

Dud Bolt was a Vulptereen racer from Vulpter, who was active in the Amateur Podracing Circuit. He was employed by Sebulba to serve as his bodyguard during the races, earning a significant bonus for every opponent he eliminated from the race. Bolt was with Sebulba during the Boonta Eve Classic, deliberately crashing into Ark Roose in the Coil during the third lap. He did not finish, but was looking forward to spending a nice bonus once he got out of Mos Eisley Medcenter. Engines: Vulptereen 327

Toy Dampner from New Cov was one of the racers participating in the Galactic Podracing Circuit. He was a track favorite on the Executioner course on Oovo IV, and held the track record. Not an inmate on Oovo IV himself, he did enjoy racing on the prison world, showing off his skills to impress his incarcerated friends. Dampner was a confident racer, and put a lot of effort in modifying his not-so-maneuverable engines. Engines: Turca 910 Special

Star Wars podracersKnire Dark was a Syboona smuggler, and one of the few female podracers. She used her status as professional racer to ship all kinds of contraband across the galaxy. Always watching for the authorities, Knire often acted paranoid on the tracks. She tended to stay away from the rest of the contestants and look for hidden routes along the course. Active in the Podracing Open, Knire set the track record on the Brightlands on Ryloth, and was track favorite on the Ballast Complex course on Mon Cala. Engines: Serabyss Howler 1165

Ebe E. Endocott was a Triffian racer born on Triffis. He started his life as a courier, working his way up into podracing via the speeder races on Boonta. He managed to win several tournaments in the Semipro league on Malastare, giving him the confidence that he would one day beat Sebulba. Endocott became the track favorite in the Fire Mountain Rally, a Galactic Podracing Circuit course on Baroonda, and snagged a spot in the Boonta Eve Classic. Although he did finish fourth, with a respectable time of 16:04.994, he only beat Sebulba because the latter didn’t finish the race. Engines: JAK Racing J930 Dash-8

Gasgano, a Xexto from the planet Troiken, was one of the more successful racers in the heydays of the sport. As a Xexto, he had extremely fast reflexes, and sixteen fingers to manage all the controls of his custom-build Ord Pedrovia engines. Gasgano was sponsored by Gardulla the Hutt, and one of the contestants active in the Invitational Podracing Circuit. He came in second place during the Boonta Eve Classic, with a total time of 15:48.557. Although he was annoyed about losing the race to a simple human, he continued to be successful in the Podracing Open. Engines: Custom Ord Pedrovian

Mars Guo was a Bardottan born on Phu, and a relative newcomer to the sport. Only his ego was bigger than his massive Collor Pondrat racing engines. Working within the Amateur Podracing Circuit and the Mid Rim Circuit, he managed to score the track record on the Mon Gazza Spice Mine Run. The night before the Boonta Eve Classic, for which he eventually qualified, Guo tried to seduce one of Sebulba’s Twi’lek masseuses, but utterly failed. He actually managed to do fairly well on the circuit, until Sebulba threw a wrench in his engines, and Guo crashed in the Desert Plain during the second lap. Engines: Collor Pondrat Plug-2 Behemoth

Clegg Holdfast was a Nosaurian, born and raised as the son of a fisherman on New Plympto. Determined not to be as boring as his parents, he left to pursue a career as a reporter. Holdfast landed a job with Podracing Quarterly, although he knew nothing about the sport. That would soon change, as he was pushed into competing by his supervisors. Sponsored by Biscuit Baron, he actually managed to get a spot on the Boonta Eve Classic. Holdfast was set ablaze by Sebulba in the second lap, and crashed his racer at the Notch. To save his career, and Sebulba’s honor, Podracing Quarterly cooked the books to have him finished seventh, almost a quarter of an hour behind Boles Roor. Engines: Keizar-Volvec KV9T9-B Wasp

Star Wars podracers

Neva Kee, a Xamster from the planet Xagobah, was an experimental individual in the world of podracing. He flew a 8T8-Twin Block2 Special constructed by Farwan & Glott, which was exceptional in the sense that the engines were directly attached to the cockpit, without the use of steelton cables. His unique engines and racing techniques landed him a loyal group of supporters, and Kee became a successful contestant in the Semipro Podracing Circuit. During the Boonta Eve Classic, Kee didn’t really make a good impression, and veered off the track somewhere in the Hutt Flats during the second lap. Kee was never found afterwards, and his disappearance remained a mystery. Engines: Farwan & Glott 8T8-Twin Block2 Special

Elan Mak (actually Kam Nale) was a Fluggrian racer and the son of crime lord Borzu Nale. After his father was assassinated by Aldar Beedo, Mak swore revenge. Working his way up the Semipro Podracing Circuit with a clunky old set of engines, he actually managed to get a spot in the Boonta Eve Challenge, where he would finally meet his nemesis. Nobody thought that Mak would even stand a chance, in his beat-up Kurtob racer, but winning was never his intention. Killing Beedo, however, would also be too much of a challenge, as Mak was hindered by Ebe Endocott during the race. As shooting down the Triffian would blow his cover, he decided to finish the race, scoring fifth place with a total time of 16:10.737. Engines: Kurtob KRT 410-C

Ody Mandrell was a local from Tatooine, and one of the youngest contestants in the Galactic Podracing Circuit. The Er’Kit racer landed some fame on Ord Ibanna, as a track favorite on Dethro’s Revenge. Much of his popularity with the larger crowd came from his daredevil tactics, as he hardly ever used his brakes on turns. This also made Mandrell notorious with his fellow contestants, who knew better than to come to close and risk serious damage. Mandrell managed to acquire a spot on the Boonta Eve Classic, the biggest racing event on his homeworld. However, he would never finish, as one of his pit droids was sucked into his engine during a pit stop, destroying it beyond repair. Engines: Exelbrok XL 5115

Mawhonic, a small Gran who was also known as the “Jock from Hok,” came into the sport as a way of getting respect from his fellow Gran. Mawhonic’s success in the Galactic Podracing Circuits got him a spot on the Boonta Eve Classic. His race was cut short, however, by Sebulba, who rammed Mawhonic and caused him to crash in the Mushroom Mesa during the first lap. Mawhonic survived, and later participated in the Vinta Harvest Classic on Malastare, finally earing him some respect from his fellow Gran. He continued to race, and became one of the contestants in the Podracing Open. Engines: Galactic Power Engineering GPE-313

“Bullseye” Navior was a Semipro racer that competed in challenges throughout the galaxy. His Irateq RQ 550C Dart was a steady podracer, but suffered from its standard-issue cooling and repair modules. Navior had the rare reputation of being a fair competitor, and was able to make a decent living off the races without the need to play dirty. He wasn’t all that popular with the larger crowds, but did have a small cult following. He managed to become the track favorite on the Sunken City circuit on Aqualaris. Engines: Irateq RQ 550C Dart

In the next installment we’ll look at the rest of the best, including track legends such as Sebulba and Skywalker!

Kevin Beentjes (Wild Whiphid) is a molecular biologist working at the Dutch natural history museum. He is an editor for TeeKay-421, an administrator for Yodapedia, and fascinated with the myriad of alien life forms, in that galaxy far, far away.