With a dog named Jango Fett and enough Star Wars memorabilia to sink a Star Destroyer, the George Lucas franchise is undeniably a staple in our home. Even our toddler knows that “F” is for “Force,” “J” for “Jedi,” and his favourite, “W” for “Wookie.” We’re not alone either, as the vast impact of Star Wars permeates our culture, from films and figurines to amusement rides, cookware, costumes, and beyond.
While the Star Wars impact is not often felt in the automotive industry, there was a moment when that wasn’t the case. Loyal Star Wars fans don’t need reminding, and many are still on a quest to find a used Nissan Rogue for sale that bears the Star Wars name. The launch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016 gave Nissan an opportunity to cash in on the franchise and add to the Rogue’s already expansive appeal.
Already Off to a Great Start
Nissan replaced the X-Trail in its Canadian lineup with the Rogue in 2008. The Rogue introduced drivers to a versatile compact crossover that offered more spaciousness than a sedan without compromising performance or efficiency. Canadian drivers responded positively, realizing how well the Rogue could handle the climate and terrain while accommodating an array of gear from groceries and hockey sticks to camping equipment, luggage, and more.
The Rogue enjoyed a continuous upwards trajectory after its launch, seeing an increase in sales year after year in Canada. As Nissan’s top-selling model, the Rogue secured its position in the lineup alongside its smaller sibling, the Qashqai. Together, the SUVs answered every need for versatility, spaciousness, and performance, boosting Nissan’s reputation for listening to driver demands and delivering. By 2016, the Rogue’s success was well-established when a film about a group of rebels stealing plans for the Death Star sent Nissan’s best-selling SUV into hyperspace.
The Stars Aligned
Even a Star Wars film has the potential to flop, especially one determined to differentiate itself like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. However, Nissan was willing to take that risk because the name association was undeniable. It wasn’t the first time an automaker teamed up with a film. Chevrolet offered the Camaro Transformers Edition, Fiat the Kung Fu Panda Edition, and Mitsubishi even jumped on board with the Snoopy Edition of the Pajero Mini. Why shouldn’t Nissan ride the wave of success of the legendary film franchise?
Coincidentally, Nissan already had an “in” with the Walt Disney Company. The brand’s then-Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Media, Jeremy Tucker, had just left his former position as the Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Disney two years before. As soon as he learned of the Rogue One movie, he saw the potential for a tie-in and called his contacts at his former employer. The ad campaign began immediately, long before the film took theatres by storm. Suddenly, the Nissan Rogue became the automotive mascot of Star Wars, at least one we could actually drive, unlike the Death Star or Millennium Falcon.
Meet the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition
Star Wars‘ galactic appeal is rooted in its tech-savviness, enticing us with gargantuan space stations like the Death Star, marvels like the X-Wing starfighter, the Millennium Falcon, and even the All-Terrain Scout Transport. Unfortunately, these sci-fi vehicles meant the franchise couldn’t feasibly partner with an automaker because there was no connection, at least not until Rogue One in 2016. Knowing this, Nissan shined the spotlight on its tech-centric Rogue to reflect the modern features expected of an SUV bearing the Star Wars name.
“The Nissan Rogue and the first Star Wars standalone movie share more than just a name,” Nissan announced in 2017. “The Star Wars film franchise has pushed the boundaries of technology since the debut of the original episode nearly 40 years ago. Nissan is doing the same with its industry-leading cars, trucks, and SUVs like the new Rogue––our most advanced Rogue to date––so it’s natural that the two join forces.”
The Rogue One Star Wars Edition is based on the 2017 Rogue SV with the Sun and Sound Touring Package that adds a panoramic moonroof and Bose premium sound system. It gets the genuine Star Wars treatment with its signature LED headlights, black grille and lower skirting, black rear door finisher, roof rails, and door handles. Star Wars details also distinguish the design. You’ll find D-pillar Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logo decals, Rogue One badging on the front doors, and the Star Wars logo on the rear bumper protector.
Inside, the Rogue builds on its best-selling design but adds Star Wars detailing throughout the cabin. For example, logo-imprinted floor mats add galactic character to the best-selling SUV, and illuminated kickplates with the Star Wars brand are subtle reminders of its ties to the film. In addition, the cupholder inserts give you plenty of reasons to smile with their Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire inserts, which are a far cry from Nissan’s traditional (ahem, boring) rubber design. Additional updates like the interior accent lighting give the cabin a refined and sophisticated feel, mimicking the subtle lighting elements that often characterize Star Wars films.
You won’t find the Rogue One Stars Wars Edition in many colours. Instead, the SUV pays homage to the film and is available in two colours with a charcoal interior. Why such a simple colour palette? The Magnetic Black embodies Darth Vader’s impact in the Star Wars realm, and Galactic White represents the Stormtroopers. There simply isn’t a need for any other hues in a Star Wars-inspired SUV.
Amid these franchise-specific design details, Nissan also highlighted the Rogue’s innovative technology that earned it a place in the Star Wars realm. Nissan has always equipped its models with the latest technology, but those features took the spotlight in 2017. The Rogue showcases Nissan’s Intelligent Safety Shield technologies that, despite not helping the SUV launch into hyperdrive, ready it for battle by outfitting the Rogue with a virtual spotter to enhance the driving experience, increase awareness, and optimize safety.
Although it won’t make it in a galaxy far, far away, you can rest assured the Rogue One Star Wars Edition can handle itself on the road. The 2017 Rogue comes with Nissan’s proven 2.5L four-cylinder engine and next-generation Xtronic transmission with Sport and Eco modes. The smooth-shifting Xtronic transmission and the 2.5L power plant give the Rogue plenty of power, churning out 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque for outstanding performance and handling at any speed.
Capitalizing on Exclusivity
Star Wars fans are incredibly loyal, passionate, and welcoming. While my husband and sons are far more dedicated to the franchise, they’re patient with me as I learn about Luke and Leia, the Millennium Falcon, and why everyone abhors Jar Jar Binks. They realize I don’t know the proper order of the films, but they’re thrilled when I sit down to catch the latest episode of new shows like The Mandalorian. They recognize what George Lucas discovered decades ago: the power of creating characters that are dichotomous, easy to love and easy to hate, allowing viewers to join forces and take sides.
Nissan capitalized on the Star Wars franchise with the 2017 Rogue One Star Wars Edition. While the Rogue doesn’t give drivers anything to hate, the special edition capitalizes on everything we love about the best-selling SUV and integrates it with the biggest franchise in history. It also adds exclusivity, knowing die-hard fans are drawn to limited quantities and the adrenaline that comes from being one of the chosen few.
Today, finding a used Rogue One Star Wars Edition is like discovering the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Nissan crafted it that way, releasing only 400 units in Canada. Fans lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a new model had even more reason to celebrate when they were presented with an exclusive numbered full-size replica Death Trooper Helmet. To say Star Wars fans swoon at the thought is an understatement of galactic proportions.