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Star Destroyer

From Academic Kids

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An Executor-class "Super Star Destroyer" and several escorting Star Destroyers

A Star Destroyer is any of a broad type of fictional starship from the Star Wars universe. These ships are ubiquituous warships following a dagger aesthetic and usually serving in the Imperial Starfleet of the Galactic Empire. Some sources imply that "Star Destroyer" indicates a destroyer in the traditional naval classification, but there is dispute amongst fans and canon sources.

In the original treatments of the scripts that would become Star Wars, the term "Stardestroyer" (as a compound word) was used for the two-man fighters flown by what would become the Galactic Empire in the final movie.

Contents

Acclamator-class assault transport

While not a Star Destroyer itself, the 752 meter long Acclamator-class assault ship is a relative of later destroyers. At the height of the Clone Wars, each of these ships carried over sixteen thousand Galactic Republic Clone troopers into battle. They are capable of operating within atmospheres and of landing on planetary bodies to receive the ground forces and disembark them directly to the battlefield. The craft possessed heavy armament for the time including 12 quadruple turbolaser emplacements and can also serve as Star Frigates to support their landing groups. Eighty LAAT gunships were carried to insert personnel or cargo to a battlezone. The ship was first deployed at the Battle of Geonosis and saw many battles in both the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. There was no large downward-facing hanger bay on the Acclamator, but there were large retractable loading ramps in order for the clone troopers to board.

There appears to have been several variants of the Acclamator dedicated for space combat rather than planetary assault. On the scale of the Imperial Starfleet, they class as Star Frigates. One example may be the Rand Ecliptic, which had two docking bays that had openings on both port and starboard. Other examples—with a ventral hangar bay similar to later Star Destroyers—were seen orbiting an unnamed world around the time of the Battle of Naboo in the Star Wars Tales comics.

Victory and Venator

The Victory- and Venator-classes of Star Destroyers, complementing designs, were both deployed during the Clone Wars to serve as multi-role and escort warships of the Republic. Although the two were comparable in size and power, each had distinct characteristics and abilities that the other lacked. These vessels were also employed by the fledgling Empire, but were later phased out in favor of larger and more powerful designs.

Victory-class

The Victory-class Star Destroyer was designed by Rendilli Stardrive to compete with Kuat Drive Yards and the successful Acclamator long-range military assault transport. They were the most powerful medium combatants of the Galactic Republic's military machine during the Clone Wars. The Republic and fledgling Empire bought them and their competitor, KDY's Venator-class Star Destroyer, in great numbers.

Ships of the Victory class are 900 meters long and possess two primary ion drives for sublight propulsion. However, they are somewhat sluggish spacecraft and even later refits never really fixed that design flaw. The first flight of ships was capable of independent flight in atmosphere; in one of the most infamous examples of this capability, then-Captain Tarkin landed his vessel on a crowd of protestors in what will be called the Ghorman Massacre. The second flight was not capable of atmospheric transit.

The Victory-I subclass included eighty concussion missile tubes; the rarely produced Victory-II subclass deleted them in favour of ion cannons. The Victory-II also had faster sublight drives for better space-to-space combat and lost its atmospheric capability, perhaps making it an even closer predecessor to the Imperial-class Star Destroyers that followed. All ships carried two squadrons of starfighters. Presumably there are heavy weapons turrets flanking the command tower but they have never been explicitly shown in the official literature.

With the rise of the Empire, the Victory was replaced in general service by the Imperator-class Star Destroyer, a much more capable design. Many Victory-class ships were sold off (many to the Corporate Sector) or decommissioned. After the end of the civil war, the Imperial-class destroyer (formerly Imperator-class) was seen by some in the New Republic government as too much a reminder of the Empire. Under Mon Mothma, the New Republic concentrated on developing new ships based on the Victory-class design - which was seen as more of a product of the Old Republic that preceded the Empire. The design lineage lives on in the Republic and Defender (also known as Nebula and Obi-Wan) class Star Destroyers in service with the New Republic.

One notable feature of the Victory-class is that it is one of the largest ships capable of operating effectively in the atmosphere of a planet. This gives it an advantage over its larger cousins in planetary assault scenarios, where it can be used to provide close-support for ground forces, and to intimidate the enemy. This advantage did not prevent it from being phased out and replaced by new classes as the main warship of the Empire, but it did ensure that the Victory was often assigned to invasion or policing fleets to make use of this ability.

The Victory-class Star Destroyer was apparently part of Lucas's original trilogy universe (Episode IV-VI) and was mentioned in the 1980s Star Wars Sourcebook. However, the Victory was never seen in the original Trilogy or Episode III, despite being widely recognized as the direct predecessor to the Imperial-class in many sources (including the Essential Guide to Vessels and Vehicles, published before the release of Phantom Menace). It was perhaps because the Victory's wings and bridge/tower nodes seem like ugly additions to the otherwise sleek design and clean lines of the Imperial-class. (Otherwise, the Victory is very similar to the Imperial in looks). The Acclamator and Venator-class ships, however, were created for Episodes II and III, and never existed in any literature prior to the release of those movies.

Venator-class

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A Venator class Star Destroyer above Coruscant. The red and gold livery indicates that this is a pre-Imperial example of the class

Nicknamed the Republic Attack Cruiser, the Venator-class Star Destroyer was born from the success of the Acclamator-class assault transport and the Victory-class Star Destroyer. While the Acclamator was primarily an armed troop transport and the Victory was a jack-of-all-trades, the Venator was primarily a starfighter carrier/destroyer.

The Venator-class destroyer was 1,137 meters long and carried a crew of 7,400. Its main reactor could consume up to 40,000 tons of fuel per second and had engines that could accelerate the massive vessel at 30,000 m/s. The ship is capable of operating within atmospheres and landing for docking as well retrieving/disembarking the ground forces.

The Venator-class carried upwards of 400 starfighters in its large hangar bays, a feature phased out of successor destroyer designs in favor of heavier weapons on the ships themselves. Standard fighter complement was 192 V-Wing starfighters, 192 Eta-2 Actis Interceptors, and 36 ARC-170 starfighters. 40 LAAT/i gunships and 24 AT-TE walkers were carried for ground operations. Combined with its fighters, the Venator's powerful engines, strong deflector shields and armament consisting of 8 heavy turbolaser turrets, 2 medium dual turbolaser cannons, 52 point-defense laser cannons, and 4 heavy proton torpedo tubes made it one of the most powerful and fearsome medium warships of the time.

Venator-class Star Destroyers were deployed in a number of battles during the Clone Wars, most notably during the Battle of Coruscant when upwards of a thousand of the ships helped protect the capital. As the Galactic Republic transformed into the Galactic Empire, the Venator ceased production in favor of the newer Imperator-class Star Destroyer, a warship even more deadly than the Venator. Thousands of ships were procured during the Clone Wars, then slowly mothballed over the succeeding decade. The Venator-class is established as a destroyer, an escort, and a lighter vessel in the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections fact book, and recognized as canon by LFL.

The name, Venator, comes from Latin and translates to "Hunter" and "Skirmisher".

Imperator/Imperial-class

NOTE: When used in isolation, "Star Destroyer" most often means this type.

Imperial II-class Star Destroyer
Imperial II-class Star Destroyer

The Imperator-class Star Destroyer is the definitive class of Star Destroyer and was one of the most important symbols of the Galactic Empire. The class was originally commissioned as Imperator but was changed to Imperial for political reasons at some point after the Great Jedi Purge. It is important to note the Purge did not technically end until deep into the Imperial era, or even was incomplete at the end of the films. The post facto name change was established by the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections factbook. There has been considerable debate on the Internet between some Star Wars fans over the years as to which name is more correct. The name "Imperator" is oldest name given in the literature (1978), but "Imperial" is more common in second-generation publications (e.g. Star Wars Roleplaying Game from 1987). The Imperator-class name is prefered by some fans by historical precedent; the Kirov-class missile cruiser is also established as such, though it has formally been renamed. Neither name was explicitly used in the movies.

All known variants are 1,600 meters long (approximately one mile) and have three large and four small engines capable of accelerating the ship with a force of several thousand g. Imperial/Imperator-class destroyers have a complement of at least 37,000 officers and crew. Counting the stormtrooper complement (one "division" or "legion" of approximately 9,700 men) would total 46,700. This would include a stormtrooper detachment, fighter pilots, and support craft pilots. As the ships entered New Republic service, the crews were reduced by 8,000, to about 28,000 men.

Star Destroyer Imperator Class

The Imperator-class moniker is derived from a set of plans drawn up by artist Geoffrey Mandel prior to the release of the film. While the overall shape of the ship described in the plans is similar to the final Imperial Star Destroyer, the superstructure is of a different shape and less extensive, weapons placement is far different from the final draft and the ship is scaled far too small. Regardless, these plans are fairly accurate and well-researched given the information available in 1977. However, the name is canonical for the most common Star Destroyer of the original trilogy films, per Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections.

Weapons

From film canon and model observations, the first flight of ships (generally known as the Imperator-I or Imperial-I) possessed a main battery of 12 heavy turbolasers and 4 heavy ion cannon for disabling enemy warships. Those heavy guns were set in twin mounts flanking the tower structure. Furthermore, each brim notch in the trench could be fitted with a quadruple heavy turbolaser. The second flight of ships (generally known as the Imperator-II or Imperial-II) possessed a main battery of 64 heavy turbolasers in eight octuple mounts flanking the tower structure. Numerous smaller guns were mounted around the ship to ward off attacks against lesser ships not capable of being targeted by the main battery. They varied in size; some were designed as point-defense cannon to destroy incoming missiles and starfighters while others engaged lesser capital ships. Several examples have been explicitly equipped with proton torpedoes, most notably NRS Emancipator (ex-HIMS Accusor) and HIMS Chimaera. However, it is not known whether or not they are refit additions. The Star Destroyer's weapons are designed to make the vessel a long range assault ship. Many of the weapons systems are not very capable of targeting at point-blank range, a weakness exploited by the Rebel fleet at the Battle of Endor.

Note that the longtime statistics for an Imperator-I: 60 turbolasers, 60 ion cannons, 10 tractor beam projectors, is arbitrary, although it might seem influenced by Napoleonic Man'O'War who had scores of cannons. There has been no official blueprints that had laid out all exact weapon locations.

Each ship carried a wing of 72 Imperial TIE starfighters, generally 48 TIE fighters, 12 TIE interceptors, and 12 TIE bombers. At least one ship, NRS Rebel Dream, featured an enlarged hangar bay, but it is unknown if a greater number of fighters were carried. Several thousand troops were also stationed aboard along with a prefabricated base for rapid subjugation of rebellious territories. The ships also carried massive war vehicles like 20 AT-ATs and 30 AT-ST walkers. According to sources from the Expanded Universe, Imperial Star Destroyers also carried support craft and dropships such as the Y85 Titan Dropship and the Sentinel-class Shuttle. The ship could also use TIE Fighters and orbital bombardment to support any surface action.

Areas of service

Imperial service

Imperator-class Star Destroyers had a distinguished career in the Imperial Starfleet, where they symbolized the Empire's military might (for better or worse). The name Imperator (the originally planned name for the class prior to the Jedi Purge) was Latin for "Commander-in-chief" and "Emperor", signifying their important position within the New Order. In point of fact, the crews of Imperial-class ships were comprised of the elite of the Imperial Navy during the height of the Empire before the Battle of Endor; these ships were the most common variety of Star Destroyer.

According to official literature, the Imperial Fleet contained at its height over 25,000 Star Destroyers. Many were destroyed in the fratricidal warfare that consumed the Empire after the death of Emperor Palpatine at Endor while others defected or were captured.

Within Sector-level and many Regional-level fleets depicted in most of the Expanded Universe, the ISD serves a central role, being the flagship of the unit known as the "Battle Squadron." It has also been observed to operate more or less independently. By the time of the Bastion Accords, the Sector Fleets of the Imperial Remnant were still centered around the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, with around a dozen such ships per Sector. More controversial is its role on higher levels. In the classic trilogy as well as in several comics, the ISD was shown to be a mere support ship—chasing down corvettes and providing escort to Darth Vader's Executor. Arguably, it is only fit to be a support ship—in The Empire Strikes Back the Rebellion's heavy ion cannon was able to easily overwhelm a Star Destroyer's shield and disable the ship. At the Battle of Endor, at least one ship was an intermediary between dreadnoughts like Executor and lesser ships like Imperator. Further information in the Expanded Universe (especially Dark Empire) also indicates the existence of some ship classes larger than Imperator yet smaller than Executor.

New Republic service

This particular class of vessel has seen extensive service in other navies, including that of the successor-state New Republic. The refits implemented by that government appeared to have involved deletion of the quadruple heavy trench guns, installation of proton torpedo launchers, and use of a much smaller crew. The ability to deploy planetary-assault soldiers appears to have been ignored as well (the Republic choosing to use dedicated troopships, and having a general military doctrine less based on armies of occupation). Endurance was reduced from six years to six months; New Republic Defense Force doctrine operates ships on relatively short patrols before returning to base. The Hapan Cluster was able to seize some vessels when the Galactic Empire prepared to abandon their fleet yards in Hapan space.

Despite their stellar qualities, the Imperator-class, to many, was apparently too much of a symbol of Imperial might. The New Republic chose to procure Mon Calamari Star Cruisers instead; what few Imperial Star Destroyers they possessed may have been from defectors or captured. Descendants of the Victory-class Star Destroyer were procured in quantity however; as the Victory was a symbol of the Old Republic's military machine it may have been more politically acceptable.

Private service

One Star Destroyer of this class operates in private hands, the Errant Venture (ex-HIMS Virulence), captained by Booster Terrik. It was captured several years after the Battle of Endor but was in poor condition for many years owing to the great cost of maintaining such a large vessel. In addition, she was stripped of the vast majority of her armament: only ten (presumably light) turbolasers were permitted, and even those were not always functional. Years later, she received a comprehensive refit in exchange for use in a New Republic special-operations raid on an Imperial base. The most notable part of this refit was a deep red paint job instead of the classic Imperial white. While Captain Terrik was not permitted to keep all of his weapons after the operation, they were reinstated when the Yuuzhan Vong invasion occurred. During the Vong invasion, she served as a temporary Jedi sanctuary and also as squadron flagship. No other private Star Destroyers are known to exist.

Tector-class

A Tector-class Star Destroyer was probably seen during the Battle of Endor. The Tector-class destroyer was based on the Imperator-class hull, lacking the ventral hangar bay and visible reactor-bulb. It is a dedicated fleet destroyer, and not a destroyer/carrier hybrid like the Imperator. The Millennium Falcon can be seen flying over this ship's belly in a scene in Return of the Jedi, also showing the only clear example of a capital ship being upside-down, relative to nearby ships, in a Star Wars movie.

The name, Tector, refers to "a cavalry trooper equipped with large shield", befitting a warship with extra armor. The existence of the Tector-class is established in the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections fact book.

Republic-class

The Republic-class Star Destroyer was designed and built by Rendilli Stardrive for the New Republic as a lower-cost destroyer. She only required a fifth the crew, yet had firepower twenty percent greater than that of an Imperator. In addition, she was only half the cost and two Republics could defeat a single ISD. Fighter complement remained similar at six squadrons. However, the design almost certainly had much inferior endurance (perhaps as little as six months, compared to six years on the Imperial) and the extensive ground-assault complement of the Imperial was probably eliminated. The design had much more in common with the Victory-class Star Destroyer than the Imperial.

Nebula-class

The Nebula-class Star Destroyer (also known as the Defender-class Star Destroyer) was designed as a relatively low-cost line warship for the New Republic. Like its predecessors the Republic and Victory, the Nebula was designed by Rendilli Stardrive.

Unlike most Star Destroyers, the Defender deletes the large dorsal superstructure that had exemplified the design of most major warships for decades; instead, it had what appeared to be a small navigation bridge thus making the lines much smoother. In addition, the firepower was considered equal to that of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer; its fighter complement consisted of one wing. Like most New Republic designs, the Nebula probably had endurance on the order of six months and virtually no ability to land troops.

"Super Star Destroyers"

The term "Super Star Destroyer", often abbreviated SSD, is a general term used to refer to any ship in the Galactic Empire's Starfleet using the wedge/dagger design aesthetic which is larger than the 1,600m long Imperator-class. As such, any ship below can be termed as a "Super Star Destroyer", whatever its more formal designation, and this is the most commonly taken path by Star Wars characters regardless of their alignment.

Allegiance-type

The 2,200 meter long Allegiance-type Star Destroyer is a dedicated fleet destroyer with heavy armor and no hangar bay, similar to the Tector-class. Unlike the Tector, the Allegiance's class has a large ventral bulb, implying a massive reactor and very powerful weapons and shields. The proper class name of this class is not known; Allegiance is the only named representative of the class. In the Dark Empire comics, ships of this class were seen at several major battles and were also the primary escorts of HIMS Eclipse. Allegiance was referred to as a "Super Star Destroyer", so it may be considered a light cruiser rather than a destroyer.

Procurator-class Star Battlecruiser

Battlecruisers of this kind were stated to be part of the Kuat Sector Defense Fleet at the start of the Clone Wars, according to the AOTC Incredible Cross-Sections factbook. A Procurators reactor was large enough to be visible from outside the hull, protruding with a ventral bulb.

Its name bore several meanings, including "[a viceroy]; under the empire, [a financial agent or under-governor]." This could indicate the Procurators were used as command ships for smaller fleets.

Praetor-class Star Battlecruiser

Some of the reactor equipment used to power Echo Base on the planet Hoth, was scavenged from a Star Battlecruiser of this class. It was stated in the Inside the Worlds of the Original Trilogy factbook that this equipment was larger and more powerful than similar equipment taken from a Star Destroyer which was used to help power the Yavin Base on Yavin IV, thus indicating a much more powerful class of warship.

Its name held several meanings possibly hinting at its role(s): A) "Senior Roman magistrate. During republic, commander of minor military forces." B) "Commander of allied contingent." Like the Procurator, it could have had a command role for smaller space forces.

Mandator-class Star Dreadnought

These massive dreadnoughts helped form the Kuat Sector Defense Fleet, working alongside Procurator-class Star Battlecruisers. (According to the AOTC ICS book.) The Mandator main reactor was large enough to have a ventral bulb protruding from the "belly" of the ship, differentiating it from the smaller Acclamator-class Assault Transports. There is known to be a Mandator-class Mark II model developed for the Republic Starfleet by the time of the Battle of Coruscant. It was powerful enough to be challenged only by 1,000 of the Confederacy's Recusant-class light destroyers. The Mandator-class Mark II model under Republic service is established in the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections fact book.

Since the Executor-class was said to be the largest ships at the time of Hoth, it can be inferred that the Mandators were slightly smaller.

The name comes from the Latin word Mandatum, which means "command" or "order", denoting this class a command-role similar to the Executor.

Executor-class Star Dreadnought

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The Executor, Darth Vader's flagship

Note: When used alone, the term "Super Star Destroyer" is most often used to denote this class.

Newer source material indicates that the ~19,000 meter long Executor class (according to LFL by Leland Chee and Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy) carries over 5,000 turbolasers, ion cannons, and many wings of starfighters. The number of wings is unknown, but Darksaber sets the lower limit at some "thousands" of starfighters. The number of lesser weaponry such as point-defense laser cannon and missile weaponry have not been published. Two prefabricated garrison bases are also stored on board for rapid deployment. Her shields are said to be able to dissipate power output equal to a medium-sized star; in one comic, the shields are shown to protect the Executor from colliding with three Star Destroyers as they left hyperspace at relativistic speed.

Despite its immense firepower, the ship was designed first and foremost as a mobile command and control center. Some sources have suggested that she may be a large battlecruiser.

Past depictions of the Executor in the Expanded Universe

For some years, official literature placed curiously few weapons on ships of the Executor's class: only 250 turbolaser batteries, 250 heavy turbolaser batteries, 250 ion cannons, and 250 concussion missile silos. Some of the later versions also have 40 tractor beam emplacements. 144 starfighters (2 wings) were said to be carried. In addition, typical depictions tend to draw only 9, instead of the 13 engines depicted in canon.

Early Star Wars literature and game stats described the class as being 8,000 meters long -- the weaponry listed as average for that length if not surface area. A later correction changed that to 12,800m, strangely without changing any of the other specifications. Amusingly, the official Star Wars site cites it as 12,800m high (as of May 29, 2005).

This is in direct contradiction with the films themselves, which consistently show the Executor to be about eleven times to twelve times as long as accompanying 1,600 m long Star Destroyers or 17,600m-19,200m. Volumetric and surface-area considerations imply a much greater number of weapons than the amount earlier stated, perhaps by an order of magnitude. Similarly, these sources state there are only 144 starfighters despite having an enormous hangar bay; stills from the movie reveal that the Executor's hangar bay could have easily contained an entire Star Destroyer. The approximate 19 kilometer length, the hundred-fold increase in mass from the Imperator-class, and the classification of Executor-class Star Dreadnought is established in the Inside the Worlds of the Original Trilogy factbook, and considered canonical by LFL and Leland Chee.

It is theoretically possible to convert the older statistics to accommodate the 17,600 m figure through the use of simple scaling principles. For example, older statistics say that the Executor had a crew of over 250,000 personnel. However, if the crew density were to remain the same between the 8,000 m and 17,600 m versions, the crew compliment would likely be in the order of 2.6 million.

Nevertheless, the smaller "Super Star Destroyer" holds an allure to some of SW fandom. Part of this is due to the wide proliferation of the class. The poor combat performance of many "Super Star Destroyers" is often held as proof that the ship fighting is not an Executor, but a smaller type. For the name of this smaller type, the WEG suggested "Super-class" is often used.

This theory postulates many Super-class ships were given names confusingly similar to the much larger Executor class ships in an effort to confound Rebel intelligence.

For some who find "Super-class" particularly distasteful, derivatives like "Superior" or "Superb" were often used (both of the latter are strictly fanon. Vessels for which this rationalization is particularly common are mentioned below.

List of Executor-class ships

There are many Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts in the Expanded Universe canon. By the time of the Battle of Hoth, there were at least four Executor-class ships in operation with many more under construction; the exact number of ships of this class that were completed before the Battle of Endor is unknown. As there are so few known ships of the class, it is appropriate to list those that have appeared by name:

Named Examples
  • Lusankya - This was the sister-ship of the Executor. Both ships were built at the same time at separate facilities, both under the name of Executor. When they were completed, one went on to become the ship seen in the movies, the other was renamed Lusankya and somehow ended up buried under the surface of Coruscant, capital of the Empire. Lusankya was given to Ysanne Isard, who used it to flee Coruscant after it was conquered by the New Republic. The ship was eventually captured by Wedge Antilles over Thyferra, and became a vessel in the New Republic's fleet. Under orders of Mon Mothma, Lusankya was decommissioned, but was reactivated some years before the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. She was finally destroyed around 25 years after the Battle of Endor, when it was sent on a suicide mission to ram a Yuuzhan Vong Worldship.
  • Guardian - This ship was stationed in the Core regions and was flagship of Fleet Admiral Gaen Drommel, who (like many high-ranking Imperial officers) turned to warlordism after the death of Emperor Palpatine. Three years after the Battle of Endor the ship was severely damaged in battle with the nascent New Republic. She was captured by the New Republic some ten years later, apparently in poor condition and was eventually repaired. Guardian saw operational service in the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.
  • Iron Fist - This ship was the flagship of Warlord Zsinj's fleet. It was the symbol of the warlord's power, and he used it to terrorize worlds into submission. Iron Fist was eventually destroyed over the planet Dathomir. Originally HIMS Brawl. Official literature and source material implies that this ship may have been of a postulated 8,000 meter class, rather than of the 17,600 meter Executor-class. There is an ongoing and often heated debate as to what length and class to ascribe to this vessel.
  • Razor's Kiss - Although it was built for the Empire by Kuat Drive Yards, this ship was never seen in service to the Empire. When it was nearly completed, a commando force sent by Warlord Zsinj took control of it, and began shooting their way out of the shipyards. When the ships stationed there moved to intercept it, Warlord Zsinj brought in his fleet led by another Executor-class ship, Iron Fist, to protect it until they jumped out of the system. Unfortunately for Zsinj, one of his commando force was a spy, who destroyed the shield generators and planted a program in the ships computers that told the New Republic's fleet where it escaped to. Razor's Kiss was destroyed by the New Republic before ever seeing a real battle. Offical literature and source material implies that this ship may have been of a postulated 8,000 meter class, rather than of the 17,600 meter Executor-class. There is an ongoing and often heated debate as to what length and class to ascribe to this vessel.
  • Whelm - This ship was flagship of the Azure Hammer Command in Sector Zero, the Imperial Center Oversector, containing the capital of the Empire. Leading a fleet of fifty-seven capital ships, Whelm served as the personal flagship of Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik.
  • Intimidator - Originally belonging to Black Sword Command together with two other anonymous "Super Star Destroyers," Intimidator would be pressed into service for the Duskhan League after the Yevethan revolt at the BLACK FIFTEEN shipyards over N'zoth as Pride of Yevetha. It was later reacquired by a revolt of the subjugated human crewmen. Intimidator eventually came to rest as a derelict somewhere between the galactic core and the Unknown Regions.
  • Reaper - Originally the flagship of Grand Moff Governor Ardus Kaine, it was eventually acquired by Admiral Pelleaon after consolidating Kaine's former holdings into the Imperial remnant. Reaper was destroyed in combat with the New Republic. Offical literature and source material implies that this ship may have been of the postulated 8,000 meter class, rather than of the 17,600 meter Executor-class. There is an ongoing and often heated debate as to what length and class to ascribe to this vessel.
  • Terror - The flagship of Admiral Sarn as part of PHANTOM Project at Immdar Alpha involving the mass-use of stygian crystal cloaking devices on V38 assault fighters. Rebel agents managed to use a single fighter to damage key components of HIMS Terror. The ship was destroyed, along with the Immdar Alpha facility and the majority of Project PHANTOM.
  • Vengeance - Admiral Senn's flagship in the suppression of the lawless Airam sector. She was eventually destroyed by in a battle with out-gunned Rebel forces.
  • Aggressor - Admiral Roek's flagship and stationed in the Inner Rim region prior to the Battle of Endor. Later it was recalled to Corellia to protect the Corellian Engineering Corporation shipyards. It is believed to have been destroyed during a fratricidal battle between warlord Imperial factions.
  • Knight Hammer - Seeing the inefficiencies of the Emperor's heirs, Admiral Daala murdered most of the warlords who had risen to power after the fall of the Empire. Consolidating command over the remaining Imperial military, Daala took command of the Night Hammer, which had been built in secret by one of the murdered warlords, and renamed it to Knight Hammer in preparation for the attack on the Jedi academy. This ship was outfitted with special stealth armor to reduce her sensor cross section. In an strike against Luke Skywalker's Jedi academy on Yavin 4, the Knight Hammer fell victim to sabotage and was subsequently destroyed when it was pulled into Yavin's gravity well. Official literature and source material implies that this ship may have been of a postulated 8,000 meter class, rather than of the 17,600 meter Executor-class. There is an ongoing and often heated debate as to what length and class to ascribe to this vessel.
Anonymous Examples
  • Two Anonymous Black Sword "Super Star Destroyers" - In addition to the captured HIMS Intimidator, there were two additional Super Star Destroyers indicated to be of the same class deployed within BLACKSWORDCOM, but not ensconced at the yard of BLACK FIFTEEN that was siezed by Yevethan partisans. Their eventual fate is unknown and undocumented.
  • Anonymous Executor-class at Kuat (partially constructed) - During the film era of the Galactic Civil War, Rogue Squadron used captured Imperial fighters to infiltrate an Imperial construction yard at Kuat and destroy the cloaking devices protecting an under-construction vessel of the Executor-class.
Presumed Examples
  • Defiant - Limitations on the resources available to the Imperial Remnant ended production of ships larger than the 600 meter long Vindicator-class until around the time of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, where one presumably Executor-class ship was commissioned in the Imperial Starfleet. This ship may be HIMS Defiant as seen in Force Heretic I: Remnant at the Battle of Borosk.

The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels implies that following the end of the Galactic Civil War, a small number of "Super Star Destroyers" of unspecified class were brought back into Imperial hands by unreconstructed Imperial units and former ex-Imperial warlords.

Sovereign-class Star Dreadnought

The 15 kilometer long Sovereign-class Star Dreadnought were to be the penultimate Imperial weapon, surpassed only by the Eclipse-class Star Dreadnought. The Sovereign is essentially a scaled-down version of the slightly larger Eclipse. It has fewer weapons, a slower hyperdrive, and carries a smaller complement of starfighters and crewers. Designed to instill fear, the Sovereign-class ships were equipped with an axial superlaser designed to devastate a world. According to the West End Games RPG stats, the Sovereign-class boasted 500 heavy turbolaser cannons, 500 turbolaser batteries, 75 ion cannons, 100 tractor beam projectors, 5 gravity well projectors, and carried 605,745 crew.

Only four Sovereign-class Star Dreadnought were laid down before Byss was destroyed: Sovereign, Autarch, Heresiarch, and Despot. None were fully completed and launched. Some sources suggest all were captured or destroyed by the New Republic within a year, but Empire's End would imply that they were probably destroyed when the Galaxy Gun projectile destroyed Byss, which their shipyards orbited.

Eclipse-class Star Dreadnought

The 16 or 17.5 kilometer long Eclipse-class Star Dreadnought was larger than the Sovereign-class ships and much more massive than the longer Executor-class Star Dreadnought. The first of this class, the Eclipse, became the reborn Emperor's flagship. It was supposedly one of the most heavily armed ships in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. It carried thousands of turbolaser and heavy turbolaser cannons. It also had powerful shields and heavy jet-black armor, making it difficult to destroy in space combat. The most important feature was a superlaser cannon located on the bow of the Eclipse. Although it was not as powerful as the superlaser on the Death Star, it was capable of cracking a planet's crust. According to the West End Games RPG stats, Eclipse carried 600 TIE Interceptors and 96 TIE Bombers, divided into 58 squadrons; for ground assault, it carried 150,000 Imperial Stormtroopers, 100 AT-ATs, and five prefabricated bases. The Eclipse was said to be crewed by over 700,000 personnel. WEG game stats state that Eclipse was 17.5 km long; this contradicts the description given in Dark Empire, where the length is explicitly stated to be 10 miles (16 km). However, the author of the Dark Empire Sourcebook suggests that an additional mile was added to Palpatine's personal flagship, and is indicative of customization and personalization for Palpatine, and not the standard class. It also may be the result of the spasmatic construction apparent in the first example of this class.

The power of the Eclipse's superlaser as described is self-contradictory. It has been described as 2/3rds the power of the Death Star's prime weapon. Visual analysis (http://66.39.46.41/Empire/Tech/Beam/Alderaan.html) of Alderaan's destruction in ANH suggested the Death Star superlaser inserted at least a million times more energy than the minimum (http://66.39.46.41/Empire/Tech/Beam/DeathStar.html) for permanently breaking up a planet. Therefore a weapon with "2/3rds the power" would be more than sufficient to irrevocably shatter a planet, yet it was also stated that the Eclipse's superlaser was not powerful enough to destroy a planet. There is some speculation as to whether the 2/3rds number refers to the magnitude of the energy release as opposed to the total value; this would put the main weapon below the threshold necessary to destroy a planet.

The Eclipse was destroyed along with the reborn Emperor Palpatine when Luke Skywalker and his sister Princess Leia managed to disrupt the Emperor's control of a titanic Force Storm, a massive conflagration of Dark Side energy that he had summoned in order to wipe out the massed New Republic fleet. Afterwards, a second Eclipse-class ship was built, dubbed the Eclipse II. Above the planet Byss, R2-D2 took control of the Eclipse II's computers and then sent it on a collision course with the Galaxy Gun superweapon. A testament to the integrity of its hull, the Eclipse II plowed right through the weapon. The Galaxy Gun's misfired projectile was pulled by Byss' gravity, obliterating the new Imperial throne world and taking the Emperor's command ship with it.

Other variants

At least one other class of dagger-shaped vessel other than Executor, Imperial and Tector was represented during the Battle of Endor. It was a large Star Cruiser of unknown class with multiple bridges in its command-tower, which was identified in the ROTJ novel as being an Imperial Communications Ship. According to the novel, it suffered heavy fire from a Mon Calamari Cruiser, which knocked out its shields and made it defenseless against a fighter onslaught. In the movie, its multi-bridged tower can be clearly seen in the center of one scene. There is also a small Stardestroyer called the Interdictor Cruiser Han Solo's comment in A New Hope about outrunning Imperial ships, like the "big, Corellian ships", could be extrapolated to hint at one or several large warships originating from the Corellian Engineering Corporation. In the old Marvel Star Wars comic, there were several issues depicting an Admiral Giel, whose command ship had a hammerhead-shaped bridge-section. The "hammerhead"-bridge is a trademark of the CEC, and can be seen on its Corellian Corvettes and Gunships. Another ship in the Admirals fleet looked like a carrier-version of his wedge-shaped command ship. These two designs could be connected to Solo's on-screen dialog, but a "canon"-connection has not yet been made.

Main bridge

The main bridge of all known Imperial ships has the same basic layout. The outer-most part features nine triangular viewports. The center contains two crewpits which house the control consoles for the ship, between which is the command walkway. To the right and left sides of the bridge are two alcoves containing the weapons and defense stations. Behind the bridge are the communications stations, a turbolift, and a HoloNet pod for ship-to-ship communications.

On the level directly beneath the bridge is the main navigation complex.

Sensor globes

The geodesic domes located on and around the bridge superstructure of Star Destroyers and related ships serve dual purposes. Inside the globes are hyperwave tranceiver coils for supralight active sensors while vanes jutting out of the dome serve as shield projectors for the surrounding area (the dome on the port side helps protect the bridge). These domes are not vulnerable to external attack so long as the shield remains intact, but concentrated bombardment—such as that ordered by Admiral Ackbar during the Battle of Endor—can knock out this protective field. The sensors and shield projectors thus become vulnerable to attack, as demonstrated by Rebel starfighter pilots.

There are many such geodesic domes scattered around larger ships like the Executor, probably to ensure that there are no blind spots for her sensors and to provide a good distribution of shield projector coverage. Concentrated fire on a single area would thus not deprive the ship of all her shield-generating ability.

When the Executor's sensor globe exploded during the Battle of Endor, a crewman said that the shields were down. Many people attributed this to the dome being destroyed, but the causal relationship is the other way around—the fighters were only able to destroy the dome because the shields were already down.

Appearances

Movies

Imperial/Imperator-class Star Destroyers were seen in all three movies of the original trilogy. However, the Imperial Star Destroyer had been slightly redesigned for "The Empire Strikes Back", and that variant is known as the Imperial-II, making the "A New Hope" vessel an Imperial-I. The "Super Star Destroyer" Executor was seen in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A Tector-class Star Destroyer and the Communications Ship were briefly seen in Return of the Jedi.

The Acclamator-class assault ship was seen in Attack of the Clones. The Venator-class Star Destroyer was seen in Revenge of the Sith.

Expanded Universe

Star Destroyers of various other classes have been seen throughout Expanded Universe material, most notably in Dark Empire. All Executor-class ships listed after the Executor itself, had their origins in the Expanded Universe. There is a small amount of controversy, especially over a large number of ~1600 meter long Star Destroyer classes seen in comic books; some believe them to be separate classes, others believe them to be poorly-drawn Imperial-class ships.

Games

Star Destroyers have featured prominently in many Star Wars computer games, primarily as targets to be destroyed by starfighters, as in the X-Wing computer game series. The Doomgiver in the second Jedi Knight game can also be presumed to be a Super stardestroyer of an as yet unmentioned model.

External links

ja:スター・デストロイヤー

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