Making the Imperial Hover Bikes for "Return of the Jedi"

Shawn Hymel from Sparkfun recaps an impressive DIY Speeder Bike build and digs up some history as to how the original Speeder Bikes in “Return of the Jedi” were made.

In case you missed it, electric bike manufacturer Lithium Cycles converted a Super 73 into a Speeder Bike straight from the set of “Return of the Jedi.”


They even got YouTubers Jesse and Casey Neistat to make a pretty sweet video of riding the bikes through Manhattan. This tells me it was a publicity stunt, but you know what? I like it.

For whatever reason, the number of Star Wars DIY projects in 2017 seemed to pale in comparison with 2015 and 2016, so this was a great build in anticipation of Episode 8.

Considering Speeder Bikes were some of my favorite vehicles from the original trilogy, this fun electric bike conversion made me wonder how they designed, made and filmed the hovering bikes in the movie.

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About the Author

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Jenn Toso, Social Media Marketing Specialist, specializes in all things social! As a dedicated member of the social media team at Digi-Key Electronics, you can find her blogging, sharing, tweeting and posting on Digi-Key’s social media channels. Jenn’s passion is the Maker and STEM communities and believes that today’s young people hold the key to a brighter tomorrow for everyone. Jenn holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, a Master of Science in Internet Marketing and a PhD in Hockey Mom. In her spare time, Jenn likes to explore her newly discovered affinity for wearable technology and fuel her addiction to all things hockey. You can usually find Jenn on some type of social media or in a hockey arena – sometimes enjoying both at the same time.

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