WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2 episode 4 “Faster”
One of the most popular memes and scenes from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is both the podracing and space battle scenes. The newest episode of The Bad Batch adds both blasters and shields as well as other tricks to the dangerous sport.
The newest version of racing has flown well past a little bit of sabotage and flamers. The newer versions of the podracers have blasters and shielding that seem to rival those of starfighters. I would love to see the specifics of these speeders and I am sure that the technical details will be published in one of the newer technical guides that Star Wars usually puts out.
Podracing has a long history in Star Wars canon, with canon appearances as late as after the fall of the empire in the Anoat sector. It doesn’t seem surprising that there would be other types, but the latest examples we saw in The Bad Batch have a few key differences from Podracing. This new version of racing doesn’t even have a pod at all, and the engines are internal to the pod. In traditional podracing, the engine would be separate and be pulling the pilot in a completely separate apparatus.
So the question remains, is this new example even podracing at all? The highly dangerous nature of gangsters and gambling alongside racing is a callback to The Phantom Menace, but that may not actually be podracing. Overall it looks as if the new version of racing is not podracing at all. There are no pods, somehow even fewer rules, and the addition of more complex subsystems. There are a number of similarities to podracing but most of those are superficial. Either way, both forms of racing are fun and dangerous forms of racing that seem to draw out the worst of the galaxy.
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