Star Wars Battle Quads are the drones you're looking for

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Your squadron has been wiped out, and your battered X-Wing fighter is the Rebel Alliance's last hope. As you desperately swoop and streak through space, screaming out of the stars comes Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced fighter, lasers blasting... Until you use the Force to flip your X-wing in a daring corkscrew roll and blast the Sith Lord out of the sky. Pew-pew!

"Good shot, kid! Now come inside, it's time for your dinner."

Yes, if you've ever wanted to graduate from bored moisture farmer to epic space pilot, now's your chance. The new Star Wars Battle Quads from Propel are remote-control toy drones that challenge each other in glorious recreations of the dogfights from George Lucas' classic movies.

Pick a side and take to the stars of a galaxy far, far away.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Choose from a rebel T-65 X-wing Star Fighter, Darth Vader's Imperial TIE Advanced X1 or a 74-Z speeder bike from "Return of the Jedi", complete with Imperial Scout Trooper figure to ride it. They're on sale in special edition packaging in December, and a Millennium Falcon model will be released in 2017.

A Jedi cares not for money, which is just as well as the Battle Quads cost a whopping £230 or $240 each. (Australian prices weren't available, but the UK price converts to about AU$390.) Seeing as you need at least two for a dogfight, that's quite an investment.

The models look perfect, hand-painted and packed with detail. There are some compromises to drone flight, such as vents in the TIE fighter's wings and the little front legs required to hold the rotors. But the rotor blades are transparent and the vents are cleverly incorporated into the design, leaving the drones looking pleasingly like their on-screen counterparts.

What really sells the Star Wars-iness is the sound. Above the high-pitched whirr of the drones, your controller plays sounds, music and quotes from the movies that take you right into the famous space battle scenes.

The snippets of dialogue react to the action with phrases such as "Stay on target", "I can't shake him!" and "Good shot kid!" The music and sound effects help to really draw you into the Star Wars universe. The signature laser-blast "pew-pew!" noises are the absolute best.

The attention to detail even extends to the packaging. When you open each box, it lights up and plays music from the films. Each vehicle has a different soundtrack and dialogue clips. And the Easter eggs keep on coming: the tiny screwdriver required to install the batteries is shaped like a tiny lightsaber.

Even the box is packed with Star Wars detail, including familiar lights and sounds.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The drones fire lasers at each other when battling. Up to 12 drones can fight each other at once. They interact with each other, counting down how many lives you have left when you're hit.

You have three lives, and when you're hit a third time the drone falls from the sky. They'll even tell you if another drone is running short of lives so you know who to target.

Each Battle Quad goes from 0-35 mph in 3 seconds, topping out at 40 mph.

As well as swooping and speeding around in the sky, the drones can pull off nifty corkscrew rolls. Touch the shoulder buttons on the controller and the drone will flip right over.

You'll get 6 to 8 minutes of flight from one charge. Rechargeable batteries are included.

There are a couple of training options if you're new to drone flying. You can set a height ceiling so your drone can't shoot off and disappear or fly over a fence. Or you can learn to fly without actually taking to the sky, with a simulator app game that you play using the actual controller to steer a digital version of the drone on your phone's screen. You'll be bullseyeing womp rats in no time -- but don't get cocky.

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  • Product Line Propel STAR WARS
  • Manufacturer's Product Type Tie Advanced X1
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