Star Wars Lore – Podracing
Podracing was a dangerous sport where small, one-man crafts propelled by large engines raced at breakneck speeds around a track. Although the sport was popularised on less-developed worlds such as Malastare, Theron, and Tatooine, entertainment establishments all across the galaxy projected the exciting action. Betting on Podracing became a popular pastime, which granted Anakin Skywalker freedom from slavery after winning the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace. The sport may have peaked in popularity during the final decades of the Galactic Republic, but due to its guaranteed carnage and action-packed drama, Podracing survived the Empire’s rule over the galaxy…
Although each Podracer looked and performed differently, they all consisted of the same components. The pod not only housed the racer’s pilot, but they also contained a repulsorlift engine, which kept the craft at a specific, low-level altitude. Connected by long, Steelton cables, the pods were propelled by one or more pairs of incredibly powerful and large turbine engines. Although they were not physically connected to each other, the engines were linked by power couplings consisting of plasma discharges. Podracing was popularised in the Outer Rim territories during the last decades of the Galactic Republic. Due to its underground nature, great excitement, and the guaranteed carnage involved with each race, Podracing attracted all manner of beings living on the fringes of society. What made Podracing the most dangerous sport ever created was the speeds each racer performed at. With a top speed of around 900 km/h, only non-humans had the reflexes and dexterity to control the pods around each course. However, one human managed to Podrace: the young slave Anakin Skywalker was so gifted with the Force he was able to outmanoeuvre and outperform his non-human competitors to win the Boonta Eve Classic.
The roots of Podracing traced back to the days of animal-drawn carts, from which the hanno speeders evolved. After his victory over the Parliament of Moralan, the events were held at the behest of Boonta the Hutt and continued after his death. As the centuries passed, the sport continued to evolve and kept pace with that of galactic technology. The concept of modern day Podracing was started on Malastare by Gustab Wenbus. Without much testing, the alien entered himself into a race with a super-fast prototype pod designed by a mechanic named Phoebos. The Boonta Eve Classic, held on Tatooine in 32 BBY, may have been the most famous Podrace of all time, especially because it marked the first time a human ever won the sport, but other popular races around the same time included the Vinta Harvest Classic on Malastare, the Ando Overland on Ando Prime, and the Aleen Classic on Aleen. Although Podracing was illegal, but often controlled by the Hutts, it flourished among planets in the Outer Rim and was also spectated by citizens from the Core Worlds; large viewscreens in seedy establishments such as the Outlander Club on Coruscant relayed Podraces from all across the galaxy. The sport’s popularity peaked following Anakin Skywalker’s win, but as the political situation in the Republic deteriorated, so did the appeal of Podracing.
After many of the sport’s generally-accepted criminal activities were exposed, and some of the most famous racers were arrested for a variety of crimes, Podracing was outlawed in the Core region of the galaxy. It was reported that more than fifty percent of the sport’s audience from the era of the Battle of Naboo had dropped shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Although betting transactions remained at an all-time high, Podracing soon gave way to other forms of extreme sports, such as swoop racing. Furthermore, Podracing became outlawed across the entire galaxy with the Declaration of a New Order due to the Empire’s far more stringent standards of law enforcement. As a result, the popularity of the sport fell altogether. However, in 2 BBY, Cloud City’s Vapor Room continued to show holoscreens of Podraces, and despite the ban, Podracing, especially the Boonta Eve Classic, continued on Tatooine. By 30 ABY, the sport began to make a comeback, and in 137 ABY, Podracing was once more relayed in drinking establishments on Coruscant…
Now it’s time for this week’s question: Do you personally like the idea of Podracing? Let me know in the comments below.