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I used to love Nissan. In fact, the very first car I purchased fresh out of high school and without the assistance of parental funding was a Nissan Maxima.

In recent years, Nissan has left me underwhelmed. When friends asked for my opinion on various Nissan vehicles they considered for purchase, my only comment would be, "they seem reliable, but not very sexy."

My opinion changed radically in November 2016 when Nissan brought Hollywood to the 2016 LA Auto Show with its reveal of the 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition. Surprisingly, I now kind of love a vehicle that I had previously described as a motorized Q-Tip. They say love works in mysterious ways and what happened at the LA Auto Show reveal mysteriously tickled my fancy.

Here's what's went down: after an exciting multi-screen video introduction reminiscent of a 3D theme park ride and fire shooting up out of a spinning platform, a small army of legit Storm Troopers escorted a Glacier White Nissan Rogue One Limited Edition through a fog-filled pathway onto the showroom floor. The storm troopers and vehicle came to a stop alongside a huge 21-foot Star Wars TIE fighter replica.

Sadly, Darth Vader did not regally disembark as I had hoped. In fact, Darth wasn't even there (cue: heart pangs). But Jeremy Tucker, Nissan's Vice President of Marketing Communications, pointed out that we were experiencing history in the making: the world's first full-size Star Wars branded vehicle. That's kind of a big deal, especially for Star Wars fans who have been known to camp out on movie theater sidewalks for days prior to a new Star Wars movie release.

What's more, each 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition comes with a full-scale replica Death Trooper Limited Edition Helmet. One look at that helmet up close would make any Star Wars fan in the market for a new ride salivate and consider the purchase price of the CUV a worthwhile investment for the helmet. If I had an extra $29K lying around, I'd buy one, and I'm not even that big of a Star Wars geek.

Some cool details:
  • 5,400 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition limited edition vehicles will be made -- right here in the USA -- at Nissan's Smyrna Manufacturing and Assembly Plant;
  • 5,400 numbered Death Trooper Limited Edition Helmets will be distributed with the vehicles;
  • 5,000 limited edition vehicles are available for sale in the US, and 400 are available across Canadian markets, which basically means the rest of the galaxy will just have to spew with jealousy;
  • The limited edition vehicles come with the Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection feature, a technological advancement which helps drivers avoid accidents with other cars, objects or even pedestrians. But does it also detect pesky droids that get away and roll in front of vehicles as well? Most likely, yes...but we'll never really know.

Even cooler details: the 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition vehicles are sprinkled in and out with aesthetic features that are unmistakably intergalactic, such as embossed interior and exterior Star Wars badges designed exclusively for Nissan by Lucasfilm. The Star Wars logo illuminated kick plates are my personal favorite.

Good work Nissan, you've made this previous fan-not-fan, kind of love you again.

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