Propel is launching a line of Star Wars drones on Force Friday II, and they might be the coolest Star Wars products of 2017. High-octane dogfights in space are a famous staple of the film franchise, thrilling audiences with state-of-the-art visual effects. Ever since the original movie premiered in 1977, fans have wanted to pilot an X-wing or TIE fighter of their own. Thanks to these drones (which were constructed with advanced technology not available on the open market yet) and the incredibly immersive mobile app, they will finally have that chance and rise through the ranks of either the Rebellion or the Empire by mastering their piloting skills.
Screen Rant attended the Propel Preview event in Brooklyn, NY on August 29, where the company showcased the drones and all of their features. At the start, three vehicles will be available: the X-wing, Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X1, and the Imperial 74Z speeder bike. They will be sold in a variety of retailers - including Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy - and cost $179 in the U.S. In Canada, the drones run for $249. Interested parties will quickly learn they are certainly worth that price, since this is no ordinary piece of Star Wars merchandise.
The drones themselves can achieve speeds of more than 35 mph and are highly-detailed and hand-painted so they look like the ships from the movies. A 2.4 GHZ controller is included in the box, which is how users can fly the drones around. They can perform aerial stunts at the push of a button, and there are multiple speed settings depending on one's ability. A key selling point of the Star Wars Battle Drones is Training Mode, where newcomers can fly their ship inside an invisible boundary to practice without having to worry about crashing. Novices should also enjoy the flight simulator in the mobile app, connecting their device to the controller via Bluetooth to explore virtual Star Wars environments and get a better handle on how the drones work. The controller is interactive, playing authentic Star Wars music and sound effects to enhance the experience.
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Propel's goal with these drones is to build a franchise around them and they are taking proactive measures to ensure these aren't just a fad for a few months. Battling is a major component of the drones. Using a combination of "LiFi" (which transmits data at 100x the speed of wifi) and Intelligent Awareness Tech, users can recreate their favorite sequences by pitting the drones against each other, with the drones instantly reacting to the gameplay. Fights can either be done in-person or interactively through the mobile app (which is free to download for iOs and Android). The app also allows people to connect with other drone pilots to develop communities and organize Battle Drone events all around the world.
It's clear the drones are something special, and they'll surely be high on many Force Friday II shopping lists, given this is the closes anyone will get to flying an X-wing around. In all likelihood, this is just the beginning for Propel as their partnership with Lucasfilm takes off. Hopefully, the Battle Drones find a great deal of success and the line can see more ships from the Star Wars universe that span the multiple eras of the saga. If Battlefront is getting into cross-generational gameplay, there's no reason the drones can't.
The Propel Star Wars Battle Drones and Star Wars Battle Drones app will be available on September 1, 2017.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019