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This article is about the type of warship. You may be looking for the Imperial-class Star Destroyer or The Emperor's New Clothes' song "Star Destroyer".
An Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, second generation of the Galactic Empire's signature vessel
"At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"
Admiral Ackbar, during the Battle of Endor

Star Destroyer was a term used to describe both a certain type of medium-sized[1] capital ship[2] used by the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, the New Republic, the Imperial Remnant, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the Alliance-in-exile, the Fel Empire and Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire, as well as heavily armed warships in general.[3]

The term originated with the idea of a warship powerful enough to destroy entire star systems, and did not necessarily indicate a destroyer type vessel.[3] Despite this, most designated Star Destroyers were analogous with other destroyer designs and were sometimes referred to as destroyers themselves.[4][3]

Contents

Characteristics

The Venator-class Star Destroyer was heavily associated with the Jedi Generals of the Clone Wars.

The term originated within the Old Republic and referred to ships capable of destroying entire star systems with their heavy firepower. The dagger-shape was said to facilitate the ease of this by focusing the firepower forward. Any vessel that conformed to this design, could be considered a class of Star Destroyer.[3] Even so, many models were designed with their heavy guns aimed to the sides of the vessel, obstructing each other's line-of-sight in other directions.[5]

In stricter terms, Star Destroyers were the relatively common warships that dwarfed the frigates and cruisers of one of the Galactic Empire's standard warship scales,[4][5] and were smaller than Imperial Star Cruisers.[2] Based on descriptions of the Star Dreadnought Executor, the Imperial Star Destroyer/Star Cruiser cut-off point lay somewhere around a length of 3.8 kilometers.[6]

The Victory-class Star Destroyer was a rushed production and subsequently suffered for it in naval plans.

During the Clone Wars, Star Destroyers were considered medium-weight warships.[1] With the increase in warship-sizes during the time of the Empire, Star Destroyers were sometimes denoted as smaller vessels in the Imperial Navy.[7] In combat, Star Destroyers usually surpassed contemporary destroyer designs, similar to how the star frigates eclipsed most contemporary frigate classes.[1] The Star Destroyer designation was usually used for warships ranging from about 500 meters[8][9] to about 3.8 kilometers in length,[6][10][11] but the general term was used for much larger vessels as well.[12]

In the time of the second Galactic Empire, Star Destroyers were described as some of the largest and most powerful warships of the time, taking some design-cues from Star Dreadnoughts like the Executor-class[3] and performing the roles of large battleships despite their compact frame.[13] Many Star Destroyer classes throughout the various eras doubled as carriers.[1] In these cases, they often contained one or several wings of starfighters.[5][1]

History

Early designs

Mandalorian warships attacking the Courageous at the Battle of Serroco

During the Mandalorian Wars 3,963 years before the Battle of Yavin, Venator-style warships were used by the fleets of the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders.[14] Additionally, the wedge-shaped Interdictor-class cruiser and the Centurion-class battlecruiser were made for the Galactic Republic during the wars, and later served the Sith Empire established by Darth Revan.[15][16] Examples of these ships included the Leviathan[15] and the Ravager.[17]

Clone Wars-developments

Star Destroyers that bore the distinctive wedge-shape which came to be associated with the ship type, were in the service of the later Republic Navy, around the time of the Clone Wars. The two most famous designs at the time were the Victory I- and Venator-classes, which were considered massive. Other Republic Star Destroyers, like the Imperator- and Tector-classes, became infamous for their service in the Imperial Navy.[1] The new Star Destroyer designs were born from the success of the Acclamator-class assault ship.[18][1]

The Acclamator-class assault ship had a big influence on future Star Destroyer developments.

During the Clone Wars, Rothana Heavy Engineering produced larger destroyer and battleship designs based on the Acclamator-class, though it is unknown if they were ever called "Star Destroyers".[19] Additionally, during the early stages of the war, Grizmallt was one of several industrialized worlds that researched ways to surpass Rothana's early success-story, but it is unknown if any warship classes resulted from this plan.[20]

Imperial and New Republic usage

The high cost of the Nebula-class Star Destroyer meant few ships were built.

During the time of the Empire, many smaller and less independent dagger-shaped ships, such as the Immobilizer 418 cruiser[21] and the Broadside-class cruiser,[9] were often compared to small Star Destroyers without being classified as one themselves. In the Broadside's case, it was downgraded from 'Star Destroyer' to 'cruiser', due to its lack of defensive power and mobility.[9]

While Star Destroyers served as the heaviest combatants in many fleets composed of frigates and down-scaled cruisers,[1] they performed an escort role when in the presence of specialized battleships found in the Republic Navy,[1] or larger Imperial warships such as the Executor-class.[22] Both the Republic[1] and the Empire maintained a higher-tier system of vessels heavier and more powerful than Star Destroyers, categorized from Star Cruisers to Star Dreadnoughts.[2] Building on the popularity the Star Destroyers gained in the Clone Wars, and the name of the "Super-class Star Destroyer",[23] many of these heavy vessels were referred to in military colloquialism as "Super Star Destroyers" (sometimes omitting the "Super" prefix).[2]

The New Republic also used the dagger-shape in their later Star Destroyer designs. However, not all vessels known as Star Destroyers adhered to the dagger aesthetic.[24]

Notable Star Destroyer-manufacturers through the ages included Kuat Drive Yards,[1][2][25] Rendili StarDrive,[26][24] and the Republic Engineering Corporation.[24]

Later iterations

Even though the Galactic Alliance continued to use and produce Star Destroyers, they later decided to name their new ships "battle carriers" in order to avoid reminding people of the old Imperial terror symbols.[27] By the time of the Sith-Imperial War, the resurgent Empire utilized the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer, which was described as one of the largest and most powerful warships of its time,[3] with unparallelled weapons-systems.[13] The Sith Empire led by Darth Krayt later constructed the much bigger and heavily armed Imperious-class Star Destroyer, the Imperious, which was stolen by the Galactic Alliance Remnant led by Gar Stazi when it became operational.[28]

Known designs

Aggressor-class Star Destroyer

The Aggressor-class Star Destroyer was an experimental design, whose plans and prototype vessel was stolen by the Zann Consortium and modified. The Consortium used the Aggressor-class vessels as one of their most powerful capital ships.

Bakura-class destroyer

Main article: Bakura-class destroyer

The Bakura-class Star Destroyer was created by Bakura after the Battle of Bakura in 4 ABY. It was built around an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer's annihilation reactor and was 850 meters long. Three destroyers participated in the Battle of Centerpoint Station in 18 ABY.

Chiss Star Destroyer

Main article: Chiss Star Destroyer

Chiss Star Destroyers were needle-shaped warships 1,000 meters long, built by the Chiss and armed with Masers. They participated in the Swarm War against the Killik in 36 ABY.

Gladiator-class Star Destroyer

The Gladiator-class was a small Star Destroyer class used to subjugate outlying systems and enforce order. It was 500 meters long, and had a large hangar area towards the front of the vessel, with a hangar bay opening at the bow.

Harrow

Main article: Harrow

The Harrow was similar in appearance to a Victory-class Star Destroyer, but had two main engines and two auxiliary engines instead of three main and four auxiliary engines. The vessel had only one docking bay.

In the early years of the New Republic, it participated in several skirmishes with Rogue Squadron before being defeated.

Imperator/Imperial I-class Star Destroyer

The 1,600 meter long Imperator-class was created early on in the Clone Wars, but only saw widespread deployment after the rise of the Galactic Empire. Following the Jedi Purge, the class was renamed to Imperial, but the original name was used in some official documents. It came to symbolize the tyranny of Imperial rule and was used throughout the galaxy for many decades, even long after the fall of the Empire and the establishment of both the New Republic and later the Galactic Alliance, who appropriated many vessels and used them in their own navies.

Imperial II-class Star Destroyer

The Imperial II-class was fielded years after the first model, with some cosmetic differences. It became the norm for the Imperial Navy, with some Imperial Is retrofitted to be more similar to the second generation.

Imperious-class Star Destroyer

The Imperious-class Star Destroyer Imperious was built by the Mon Calamari Shipyards for Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire. It was later stolen by the Galactic Alliance Remnant upon completion and turned into their flagship.

Interdictor Star Destroyer

The Interdictor Star Destroyer comprised several designs of Star Destroyers fitted with gravity well projectors based on the ones from the smaller Immobilizer 418 cruiser.

Main communications ship

The main communications ship was a destroyer used by the Empire at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. It jammed the scanners onboard Rebel starships, making it impossible to tell if the shield generator around the Death Star II battle station. The vessel was destroyed during the battle by Rebel starfighters.

Multi-kilometer Star Destroyer

This comprised an unknown number of ships bigger than Imperial-class Star Destroyers. They were built by at least one company, with Kuat Drive Yards producing them for decades.

Nebula/Defender-class Star Destroyer

The Nebula-class, also known as Defender-class, was a class of expensive and powerful warships. They were only 1,040 meters long, but their firepower was strong enough to dominate any known Star Destroyer class at the time and could take on some Super Star Destroyers as well. Because of their power requirements, they were very expensive and had a relatively small production run. Despite this, they performed well as core fleets during the Yuuzhan Vong War.

Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer

The Pellaeon-class was built over 100 years after the Battle of Endor and the beginning of the downfall of the first Galactic Empire. It was made by KDY for the Fel Empire, and was based on the Imperial-class and also incorporated some elements of the Executor-class Star Dreadnought. It later served as the signature vessel of Darth Krayt's Empire.

Rejuvenator-class Star Destroyer

The Rejuvenator-class was a class that fought during the tail-end of the Yuuzhan Vong War in 29 ABY.

Republic-class Star Destroyer

The Republic-class had a long design phase, beginning as a new warship project early on in the New Republic but only fielded in limited amounts after Operation Shadow Hand. Ships were distributed to several task forces at some point before the Black Fleet Crisis. They were 1,250 meters long and despite being bigger than the Nebula-class, were weaker than them, being less powerful than an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer.

Shockwave

Main article: Shockwave

The Shockwave was a heavy Star Destroyer built by Warlord Harrsk in his secret Deep Core shipyards. It resembled an oversized Imperial-class Star Destroyer, was armed with high-energy weapons, and could obliterate a Victory-class vessel in one shot. The ship was destroyed by an enemy fleet in the Battle of Harrsk's fortress in 12 ABY.

Star Destroyer (Nar Shaddaa)

This Star Destroyer was a cross between the Imperial and Venator class, with characteristics from both designs and an indentation towards the bow.

Tector-class Star Destroyer

The Tector-class was a hangarless design that was built during the Clone Wars, but only widely fielded during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Like the Imperial-class, it saw service for decades.

Turbulent-class Star Destroyer

The Turbulent-class was a small type of Star Destroyer built by the Imperial Remnant in 40 ABY and was fielded towards the end of the Second Galactic Civil War.

Venator-class Star Destroyer

The Venator-class was 1,137 meters long, and had the dual role of warship and carrier during the Clone Wars. They served as Jedi flagships during the Wars, and was heavily linked to them, which led to their gradual abandonment by the Galactic Empire. Their other weakness was long hangar bay doors, which were vulnerable while opening and closing.

Victory I-class Star Destroyer

The Victory I was rushed out of development as part of the Victor Initiative Project between KDY and Rendili StarDrive. They were 900 meters long and were not as well-made as other Star Destroyer designs, despite early successful campaigns like the hunt for the Bulwark Fleet during the Clone Wars. The Victory-class still managed to serve for many decades and for successive galactic governments despite its flaws.

Victory II-class Star Destroyer

The Victory II-class was made right after the establishment of the Galactic Empire, and was produced in even smaller amounts than the Victory I.

Behind the scenes

Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer bridge

On the commentary track of the Revenge of the Sith DVD, George Lucas referred to General Grievous's ship, a Providence-class carrier/destroyer, as a "Star Destroyer." This might mean that the term "Star Destroyer" is not supposed to be restricted to dagger-shaped warships, which fits with the existence of the Bakura-class. However, this was likely just a generalization.

Interestingly enough, the term "Star Destroyer" is used both for different classes of destroyers and as a general term for most dagger-shaped warships in use by the Empire, from smaller frigates like Demolisher to giant dreadnoughts like Executor and Eclipse. This has created some confusion, as many sources often do not specify what kind of warship they are talking about, other than writing "Star Destroyer" or "Imperial Star Destroyer". Since many stories have historically focused on the mile-long Imperial-class, it is used as a default reference unless stated otherwise.

A Lego set featuring the star destroyer has been released. It includes stormtroopers, Darth Vader, R2-Q5, Grand Moff Tarkin, Imperial Officers, and Royal Guards.

In the subtitles for the movies of the original trilogy, "Star Destroyer" is commonly mistyped as "stardestroyer."

Appearances

Non-canonical appearances

  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition (Mentioned only)
  • Soulcalibur IV (Non-canonical appearance)

Sources

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to Star Destroyer.
Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie of Star Destoyers over Hoth

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 Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 171
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Starships of the Galaxy (2007)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Imperial Sourcebook
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (First Edition), the size of the Executor was described as "five times larger than any Star Destroyer in the Imperial fleet", and length is often used as the dimension that determines ship-size in SW books.
  7. Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 143
  8. Star Wars: Droids
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
  10. Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross-Sections, p. 11
  11. Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire, p. 12
  12. Imperial Sourcebook, p. 63
  13. 13.0 13.1 Star Wars: Legacy 0
  14. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 17: Nights of Anger, Part 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  16. Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  17. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  18. The New Essential Chronology
  19. Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook
  20. Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross-Sections, p. 23
  21. The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
  22. Star Wars: Complete Locations, p. 142
  23. Starship Battles Preview 1
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Cracken's Threat Dossier
  25. Dark Empire Sourcebook
  26. Imperial Sourcebook, p. 60
  27. Betrayal
  28. Star Wars Legacy: Indomitable

This article uses material from the "Star Destroyer" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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