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Imperial I-class Star Destroyer: Misc



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This article is about the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer. You may be looking for its successor, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer or the Imperial-class Super Star Destroyer.
Imperial I-class Star Destroyer
Production information

Kuat Drive Yards[1]

Product line

Star Destroyers[1]


Imperator-class Star Destroyer,[2] later renamed Imperial I-class Star Destroyer[3]


Star Destroyer[1]


>3.88 billion Imperial credits[4]

Technical specifications

1,600 meters[5]

Maximum acceleration

>2,300 g


60 MGLT[5]

Engine unit(s)
Hyperdrive rating
  • Class 2.0[5]
  • Backup Class 8.0
Hyperdrive system


Power output

Peak: ~7,73 × 1024 W[1][6]

Power plant

SFS I-a2b Solar Ionization Reactor[1]


KDY ISD-72x shield generator domes (2)[5] (local area-effect)[7]

Sensor systems

KDY ISD-72x shield generator domes (2)[8][7]

Targeting systems

LeGrange targeting computers[9]

Cargo capacity

36,000 metric tons[5]


6 years

Communication systems

HoloNet transceiver

Year introduced

~22 BBY[2]

"I maintain that the effectiveness of the Star Destroyer stems from not only its massive firepower, but from its size. When citizens look at a Star Destroyer and then compare it to the craft which might be mustered to attack it, they have a tendency to dismiss such a notion as suicidal rather than approach the problem tactically."
Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin

The Imperial I-class Star Destroyer,[14] also known as the Imperial I-class Destroyer[15] or the Imperator-class Star Destroyer,[3] was an iconic class of warships designed by Lira Wessex and built by Kuat Drive Yards.[16][17] The Imperial-class Star Destroyers, along with Imperial stormtroopers, represented the might of the Imperial Military throughout the galaxy during the reign of the Galactic Empire.[17]

The Imperator-class was originally used by the Republic Navy toward the end of the Clone Wars, and served alongside the Tector-class in a few task forces during the conflict.[2] It was at the time one of the largest warship classes in the Republic Navy.[18] It later became a mainstay of the Imperial Navy[19][3] and was also fielded to a lesser degree by the Empire's successor-states.[13]



"Half the budget is going to the production of these enormous new Star Destroyers."
Mon Mothma


A heavy turbolaser battery preparing to fire on Jabiim in 0 ABY.

The Imperial I-class belonged to the Star Destroyer family of warship, exemplified by its dagger/arrowhead design. A single Imperial-class vessel cost the Empire more than 3.88 billion Imperial credits, which was the equivalent of several star systems' annual economic output.[4]


The Imperial-class was produced in large numbers and was the premier warship class of the Galactic Empire.[16] All known variants were 1,600 meters long (one mile). Compared to most common frigates and downscaled cruisers[3] known from the days of the Old Republic, the Imperial-class was a huge warship,[20][17] but in the Imperial Navy, it was one of the Empire's mid-sized mainline warships,[10] like its predecessor had been for the Republic.[3]

Crew requirements

According to officially available statistics, Imperial-class Star Destroyers had at least 37,000 officers and crew. Counting the stormtrooper complement (one division or legion, 9,700 men) would total 46,700. This would include a stormtrooper detachment, starfighter pilots, and support craft pilots.[14] Differing from many other Imperial vessels, recreational facilities provided entertainment for off-duty personnel and "guest rooms' could accommodate Imperial VIPs.[21]

Offensive and defensive systems

Cross-section showing from left to right: Main gun batteries, an auxiliary reactor, main hypermatter reactor core, docking and hangar bays, storage areas, tractor beam projectors.

The Imperial I-class Star Destroyer possessed a main battery of six heavy turbolasers and two heavy ion cannons, arranged in four dual mounts flanking the ship's tower structure.[20]

Like with several other Star Destroyer classes, the designers did not take advantage of their wedge shape to give the heavy cannons the ability to focus on targets in the forward firing arc that were level with the ship.[3][20] This could have been accomplished either by superelevating the aft turrets, or merely by spacing the turrets apart over a longer distance of the ship's length. In any case, this Star Destroyer class could bring all its heavy guns to bear by dipping its bow downward.[22]

Numerous smaller and medium 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.[20] Some ships, such as Emancipator, were refitted with proton torpedo launchers. Three triple-gun turrets were mounted on the ridge of the ship, just forward of the lowest, forwardmost terrace of the dorsal superstructure.[20]

Mounted just beyond the forward tip of the attack hangar (see fighter complement), were two large ventral turbolasers, which sat near the corners of the massive hangar.[12]


Imperial-class Star Destroyers typically carried a standard Imperial wing of 6 TIE squadrons, for a total of 72 starfighters.[16][20]

The standard wing included four TIE Fighter squadrons (one squadron often referred to be a reconnaissance squadron of TIE/rc starfighters), one squadron of TIE Interceptors, one squadron of TIE Bombers (lower priority ships had to make do with TIE/gt starfighter-bombers). Often one or two flights in a fighter squadron were TIE/fc starfighters. Sometimes one of the fighter squadrons was used for training purposes. By the Battle of Endor, one of these fighter squadrons had been phased out in favor of a second squadron of TIE Interceptors.[23]

Imperial I-class Star Destroyer in a planet's atmosphere.

The attack hangar was located on the underside on the ship and was guarded by a set of armored doors. TIE fighter service and refueling bays, and TIE launch hangars surrounded the main hangar. TIEs were launched from cycling racks and pilots boarded from overhead gantries and were released into space as they disengaged from the front position in the racks.[20]

Returning fighters landed in separate hangars and then were guided by small tractor beams into receiver-carriers. The receivers carried the TIE to a debarkation station where the pilot would exit. Once moved through the transfer tunnels to a launch hangar, the fighter could be serviced and refueled in a separate bay. In the hangar, the TIEs were cycled through a launch rack and ready for the next launch. The small forward hangar was for shuttle craft carrying high-ranking officials. The forward hangar was also used as a back-up to the main hangar.[20]

These ships carried 9,700 troops, as well as massive war vehicles such as AT-AT and AT-ST walkers.[16] AT-AT barges and other landing craft were used to deliver ground assault forces to a planet's surface.[16][20][24][25] Although larger landing craft could only be carried onboard bigger Imperial vessels,[10] the Imperial-class could transfer a large number of heavy walkers to smaller transport ships via a detachable rail system.[26]

The Star Destroyer could use its guns and TIE starfighters to support any surface action. If a planet required a lasting presence, a Star Destroyer could quickly deploy a prefabricated garrison base.[16] Like most other Star Destroyer models, the Imperial-class was capable of entering atmospheres and supporting ground operations directly.[27][28][29]

Propulsion systems

Ion engines on an Imperial I.

There were entire planets that, throughout their history, did not expend as much power as an Imperial-class ship did in one hyperspace jump.[16] The hyperspace generator was located along the ship's ventral surface.[21] A massive solar ionization reactor bulged from the ventral spine, annihilating hypermatter as fuel to power the ship. Auxiliary reactors flanked the main reactor and the three reactors were connected to the three main engines. In addition, the backup engines were connected to additional reactors as well.[20]

Catastrophic release braces were located underneath the ventral reactor bulge, in case of emergencies where the core of the main reactor had to be ejected from the ship.[30]

For sublight propulsion, the Imperial-class relied on an array of three primary Destroyer-I ion engines produced by KDY specifically for the vessels. For emergency situations requiring additional thrust, the Imperial-class could use its four Gemon-4 ion engines.[23] The engines were capable of accelerating the ship with a force of several thousand g.[25]

Bridge tower

The command bridge tower of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer was massive, and the command bridge followed a design similar to that of many other KDY warship classes, such as the Venator-class[31], the Executor-class designs.[7] The sensor array on top of the Mk. I's tower had support beams running diagonally across it. These would later be substituted for vertical ones during a minor refit, which made the array look similar to the one on Mk. II vessels.[32] The two globes atop the bridge tower served two purposes: aiding both in hyperspace communication and deflector shield generation. The proximity of the deflector shield generators made the bridge tower one of the most protected parts of the Star Destroyer[23][33]


"I hate the look of these new mass-produced Imperator-class Destroyers. None of the artistry that went into the old Acclamators or Venators—even the Victory Twos. So goes elegance."
Brudi Gayn
An Imperial I-class Star Destroyer as seen from below.

Republic origin

The Imperator-class was designed as a massive, powerful, mid-sized warship,[3], and appeared in limited numbers during the Clone Wars, where it served in several Republic task forces.[2] As the war neared its end in 19 BBY, the production lines of new Imperator-class and Tector-class destroyers expanded, while the lines for the older, lighter Venator-class slowed down.[3]

The first vessel was named the Executrix,[18] while the second was the Exactor, which later served as the first personal flagship of the Imperial enforcer Darth Vader.[34] There was also an Imperator among the Mk.I models, sharing the class name.[35] Following the Great Jedi Purge and the establishment of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY, the Imperator model was renamed Imperial-class[3] and production of the class was increased even further[34] and refined.[19] Despite the name change, some Imperial documents continued to use the original name to identify the class.[11]

Imperial service

The Exactor orbiting New Plympto in 19 BBY.

Imperator/Imperial-class Star Destroyers had a distinguished career in the Imperial Starfleet, where they symbolized the Empire's military might (for better or worse). Eventually, these Star Destroyers rendered older vessels, like the Venator-class, obsolete.[36]

In 1 BBY, the Vector (Star Destroyer) was a 1-class Star Destroyer. Almost the entire crew of the ship were wiped out by the Blackwing disease.

Capable of laying waste to entire worlds (provided those worlds did not have planetary shields), the Imperial-class became infamous as the prime enforcer of Imperial rule, and even served as a small, peacekeeping battleship.[16][20] According to official records, over 25,000 were eventually produced.[37] Many were destroyed in the fratricidal warfare that consumed the Empire after the death of Emperor Palpatine at Endor in 4 ABY, while others defected or were captured over the years.[13]

Within sector-level fleets, the ISD served a central battleship role, being the flagship of the unit known as the "Battle Squadron." A Sector Group was responsible for patrolling a given sector and was composed of 24 Star Destroyers.[21] It was also observed to operate more or less independently and often far from support ships and facilities. Through many operations, the ISD functioned as a destroyer, a capital ship fast enough to chase down blockade runners and protect fleets. As an escort, it also supported Imperial Star Cruisers and Star Dreadnoughts in fleet combat.[38][10]

When he assaulted Hoth, Darth Vader commanded the Star Dreadnought Executor and brought along a flotilla of Imperial-class vessels from Death Squadron to assault the planet. The Rebellion's heavy ion cannon, powered by the reactor of a Star Battlecruiser, easily overwhelmed individual Star Destroyer shields and rapidly disabled ships in orbit.[32][39]

A refitted Imperial I-class Star Destroyer escorting the Executor.

In the New Republic era, Imperial-class Star Destroyers continued in the escort role for larger vessels in campaigns like Operation Shadow Hand in 10 ABY. The Super Star Destroyer Allegiance led a task force of Imperial-class ships and World Devastators during the First Battle of Mon Calamari.[40] This was one of many fleets that struck out from the Core as part of the operation, which was aimed at taking back most of the Galactic Empire's former territories. Operation Shadow Hand saw a relatively heavy use of different types of Super Star Destroyers supported by Star Destroyers.[40]

However, due to lack of logistics, not all Imperial remnant factions made use of Super Star Destroyers. For instance, Grand Admiral Thrawn massed a sizable force in 9 ABY, but could not obtain any larger warships. In those instances, Star Destroyers like the Imperial-class acted as main command ships of a navy.[41][42]

Later service

This particular class of vessel saw extensive service in other navies, including that of the successor-states the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance.[13] Some New Republic Imperial I-class Star Destroyers, like the Mon Mothma, were refitted to include gravity well projectors.[43]

Private service

One Star Destroyer was operated by a private individual—the Errant Venture, formerly the Virulence, which had been captained by the smuggler Booster Terrik. The warship was claimed by Booster in the wake of the decisive Battle of Thyferra that concluded the Bacta War,[44] 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 turbolasers were permitted, and even those were not always functional.[45]

Years later, the vessel received a comprehensive refit in exchange for Booster permitting its 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.[46] While Captain Terrik was not permitted to keep all of his weapons after the operation, they were reinstated when the Yuuzhan Vong War occurred. During the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, she served as a temporary Jedi sanctuary and also as squadron flagship.[47]


Imperial II-class Star Destroyer

Several variant designs and refits were made using the Imperial-class as a basis. The most famous and widely produced, was the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, the second iteration of the class. It included improved armor and weaponry, a different sensor tower and other cosmetic differences.[14]

Imperial-class variant

Imperial-class variant design.

Similar to how some Victory-class vessels borrowed design elements from the Imperial-class[48], at least one Imperial variant borrowed elements of the Victory-class. It had an elongated command tower and wing-structures on the side of the superstructure.[49]

Interdictor Star Destroyer

Another variant was the Interdictor Star Destroyer, heavily modified Imperial-class ships that were fitted with gravity-well generators and utilized to halt hyperspace travel for enemy ships.[50]

Behind the scenes

There has been some disagreement over the name of the class. Early material by Geoffrey Mandel, now considered unofficial, showed the Star Destroyer model smaller than they later appeared. The class-name Imperator was used for these drawings, and the ships were to be produced at the Gyndine shipyards. Many of the designs were greatly upscaled shortly before production began. Some critics suggest that naming one of the Empire's class of ships Imperial is redundancy in name.

Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections eventually put the debate to rest, by clarifying the issue—while the class was originally named Imperator, it was renamed Imperial at some point after the Great Jedi Purge. Other sources would later on reference Imperator, including the novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader and the EU-section on the Venator-class Star Destroyer's  official profile in the Databank. The word "Imperator" is Latin and was used as a title for "An army commander in the Roman Republic". Later, during the Roman Empire, it became a title worn by the Emperors and signified "The supreme power of the Roman emperor".

Star Destroyer concept sketch.

Based on an animatic of a Revenge of the Sith TV spot, an Imperator-class Star Destroyer was scheduled to make an appearance during the final scenes of the film, but was apparently cut out and replaced with a Venator-class in post-production.

Imperial-class Star Destroyers have featured prominently in many Star Wars computer games. However, they have generally been "toned-down" to allow the player some chance of defeating them with a starfighter. Some of these game mechanics have included shooting sensor globes and reactor bulbs with your starfighter to bring down the whole ship.

Imperial-class Star Destroyers have sometimes been referred to as cruisers. The book Starships of the Galaxy (Saga Edition) referred to most common Star Destroyers as being classified as "star cruisers", with lowercase letters. It also noted that unlike the term "Star Destroyer", "star cruiser" means "a naval cruiser that travels through space".[51] Since the Imperial-class has also been called a "star destroyer", the class can be seen as either a naval destroyer or a cruiser, given similarities in their roles. Imperial-class ships have also been described as battleships (more specifically, "peacekeeping battleships").[1] This is presumably because one Imperial constituted a line on its own. RotS:ICS also mention warships being "downscaled", depicting at least two separate classification systems, one where regular Star Destroyers are destroyers and another where they are battleships.

Numerous Expanded Universe sources state that the Imperial I is armed with 60 identical turbolasers and 60 identical ion cannons. However, analysis of the Star Destroyer models used in the films shows that this is a flawed description. The Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections factbook followed the movie model more closely, describing three twin-barreled heavy turbolasers and one ion cannon on each side of the command tower, one quad-laser cannon in each side trench, three cannons in front of the terrace superstructure, and numerous smaller guns lining each trench, as well as several tractor beam projectors located inside the vessel.

The Star Wars Technical Journal offers a slightly different number for the crew requirement: 4,520 officers and 32,565 enlisted men making a total crew of 37,085.


Non-canon appearances

  • Prey (Ambiguously canonical source)
  • Trooper
  • Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope
  • Tag & Bink Are Dead
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game — Ultimate Sith Edition


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections, p. 5
  4. 4.0 4.1 Strike Force: Shantipole
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  6. Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy, with the Executor 100 times more massive, it requires at least 100 times more energy to move and vice versa.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 170
  8. From a Richard Edlund interview in CINEFEX February 1983 issue
  9. Star Wars Screen Entertainment
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 143
  11. 11.0 11.1 Acme Specplate Imperial Star Destroyer blueprint
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Multiple post-ROTJ books, like the X-wing series.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Imperial Sourcebook, p. 62
  15. Imperial Sourcebook, p. 60
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Imperial Sourcebook, p. 61
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Imperial Star Destroyer in the Databank
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  19. 19.0 19.1 Republic attack cruiser in the Databank
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections, p. 6-7
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Star Wars Technical Journal
  22. Observations of the model
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
  24. Star Wars: Force Commander
  25. 25.0 25.1 The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
  26. X-wing Rogue Squadron: Mandatory Retirement
  27. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  28. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  29. Dark Empire II
  30. Visual Guide -- Chapter 3: Imperial Boarding Party
  31. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  32. 32.0 32.1 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  33. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (video game)
  34. 34.0 34.1 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
  35. Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire
  36. Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
  37. Specter of the Past, p. 7
  38. Rebellion Era Sourcebook
  39. Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 142-143 + fold-out
  40. 40.0 40.1 Dark Empire
  41. Thrawn Trilogy
  42. Darksaber
  43. Star by Star
  44. X-wing: The Bacta War
  45. I, Jedi
  46. The Hand of Thrawn Duology
  47. The New Jedi Order
  48. Death Star II Limited
  49. Star Wars Sourcebook
  50. Starships of the Galaxy (2001)
  51. Starships of the Galaxy (Saga Edition)

See also

External links

  • Dr. Curtis Saxton's Star Wars Technical Commentaries
  • Michael Wong's extensive Star Wars analysis and forums
Kuat capital ship classes
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Acclamator I-class - Acclamator II-class
Broadside-class cruiser kdb-1
Ardent-class - Class 1000 cruiser - Corona-class
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Lancer-class - MedStar-class - Nebulon-B2
Pelta-class - Star Galleon-class - Zebulon-B
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Gladiator-class - Imperial I-class - Imperial II-class
Interdictor - Kuat - Multi kilometer-long type
Pellaeon-class - Storm Fleet - Tector-class
Venator-class - Victory I-class - Victory II-class
KDY light - Kuat heavy
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Imperial - Procurator-class - Vengeance
Battleships/Star Dreadnoughts
Eclipse-class - Executor-class - Mandator I-class
Mandator II-class - Sovereign-class
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This article uses material from the "Imperial I-class Star Destroyer" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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