Star Destroyer

Two Imperial II-class Star Destroyers and a group of TIE fighters pursue the Millennium Falcon.

Star Destroyers are capital ships in the fictional Star Wars universe. The Imperial Star Destroyer, which first appears in the first seconds of Star Wars (1977), is "the signature vessel of the Imperial fleet".[1] These ships were stated as being 1600 meters in length, crewed by 46,785 military personnel, and fielded complements of 145 smaller ships and vehicles. [2] The term "Star Destroyer" also refers to other vessels in the Star Wars universe. Star Destroyers appear in the original three Star Wars movies and in Revenge of the Sith (2005). In addition to their movie appearances, Star Destroyers appear throughout the Star Wars expanded universe in television, books, comics, and games. Numerous Star Destroyer models and toys have been released.

Republic and Separatists

Star Wars creator George Lucas calls the cigar-shaped Separatist cruisers visible at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith "Star Destroyers" in the movie's DVD commentary track.[3]

Venator-class Star Destroyers, also known as "Republic attack cruisers", appear in Revenge of the Sith and in the Expanded Universe.[4] The ship's design is meant to bridge the appearance of the Acclamator-class transports in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and the Imperial class in the original trilogy.[4] While the ships first appear with a red and grey Republic color scheme, the Venator at the movie's end is gray and white; this lack of color signifies the Empire's rise to power.[4]

Victory-class Star Destroyers appear as early as Brian Daley's 1979 book Han Solo's Revenge, and since then have appeared in Expanded Universe books and games.[5] Designed by Rendili StarDrive in the Star Wars universe, the Victory-class is 900 meters (3,000 ft) long and features fewer weapons and less cargo space than an Imperial Star Destroyer.[6]

Galactic Empire

Imperial class

Imperial-class Star Destroyer
First appearance Star Wars
Affiliation Galactic Empire
New Republic
Launched 19 BBY
Decommissioned Active
References Imperial Navy Ship Identification Guide
General characteristics
Class Various
Fighters 6 TIE squadrons (72 fighters)
Auxiliary craft 2 Lambda-class shuttles
Armaments Turbolasers
Ion cannons
Tractor beam projectors
Defenses Shield generators
Propulsion Solar ionization reactor
Length 1,600 meters (5,200 ft)[1]
Width 1,015 meters (3,330 ft)[1]

The Star Destroyer first appears in the original Star Wars trilogy. In the 1977 film Star Wars, Han Solo refers to them as "Imperial cruisers".[7] The term "Star Destroyer" is not used in dialogue until The Empire Strikes Back (1980).[1]

In the original draft scripts of the movie that would become Star Wars, the term "Stardestroyer" refers to two-man fighters flown by what would become the Galactic Empire in later drafts.[1] Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) built a 91-centimeter (36 in) shooting model of the ship for Star Wars.[1] ILM built another model measuring 259 centimeters (102 in), equipped with internal lighting to provide a better sense of scale, for The Empire Strikes Back.[1]


An Imperial Star Destroyer first appears in the opening scene of Star Wars, chasing the Tantive IV. This appearance shows the Imperial ship's massive size in comparison to the Tantive IV. They are prominently featured throughout the original trilogy pursuing the Millennium Falcon when departing Tatooine, during the attack on Hoth and ensuing chase through the asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back, and in the final Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. In The Force Awakens, a wrecked Star Destroyer is seen on the planet Jakku.

Imperial-class Star Destroyers are constructed by Kuat Drive Yards and hold a distinguished place in the Imperial Navy, symbolizing the Empire's military might with a peak number of more than 25,000 vessels,[6] though thousands were lost/destroyed to warlordism following Palpatine's death. The Imperial-class Star Destroyer is also informally referred to as an Imperial cruiser. Like the Victory- and Venator-class ships that precede it, the Imperial Star Destroyer is most notable for its massive size and overwhelming firepower; a single Imperial-class ship is capable of overwhelming most starships or devastating a hostile planet, and its mere presence is often enough to deter rebellion.[6] At 1,600 meters (5,200 ft) long, Imperial-class Star Destroyers are armed with turbolasers, ion cannons and tractor beam projectors.[6] They carry 72 TIE fighters, numerous ground forces (including stormtroopers, 20 AT-ATs and 30 AT-STs), a prefabricated base for rapid deployment to planetary surfaces and a variety of support and landing craft.[6]

In the Expanded Universe, after the climactic Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance captured several Imperial-class ships and added them to their own fleet.[8] As the Rebel Alliance transitioned into the New Republic and gradually took large portions of the galaxy from the remnants of the Empire, it was able to procure more of the powerful ships as well as the vital shipyards and facilities with which to operate them.[9] Although the New Republic eventually upgrades its starfleet with newer ship types, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer remains in service well into the New Jedi Order era and fights during the Yuuzhan Vong war.[9]

A crashed Imperial-class destroyer, the Inflictor, appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Its battered and wrecked hulk is frequently plundered for spare parts by the inhabitants of the planet Jakku, most notably Rey, who lives near the wreck and often sells parts from the Inflictor at the nearby Niima Outpost.

Super Star Destroyer

Executor-class Star Dreadnought
Executor-class Super Star Destroyer

The Super Star Destroyer Executor, Darth Vader's flagship, in The Empire Strikes Back
First appearance The Empire Strikes Back
Affiliation Galactic Empire
New Republic
Launched 1 ABY
Decommissioned Active
General characteristics
Class Executor
Fighters 144 TIE fighters
Auxiliary craft Up to 200
Armaments Turbolasers
Ion cannons
Tractor beam projectors
Defenses Shield Generators
Propulsion Solar Ionization Reactor
Length 19 km (62,336.0 ft)

Super Star Destroyers ("SSD" or "Super-class Star Destroyers") are gargantuan vessels that dwarf even the standard Imperial-class Star Destroyers.[10][11] The shooting model for the Super Star Destroyer Executor in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi was 282 centimeters (111 in) long.[11] In addition to appearing in these two films, Super Star Destroyers appear in the Star Wars expanded universe's books and games. Some Expanded Universe material refer to these ships as "Star Dreadnoughts".[12]


Kevin J. Anderson's novel Darksaber describes a Super Star Destroyer as being "worth twenty Imperial Star Destroyers".[13] The Executor is Darth Vader's flagship in The Empire Strikes Back and is the Imperial command ship at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.[11] Admiral Ozzel commands the Executor at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, with command shifting to Admiral Piett later in the movie and through Return of the Jedi. During the Battle of Endor, a crippled A-wing piloted by Arvel Crynyd crashes into the ship's bridge, causing the Executor to crash into the second Death Star and explode.[11]

Roleplaying material identifies the Executor as the first of the Executor class, while identifies it as the first of the Super class.[6][11] Wizards of the Coast explains that the "Super class" label was used to hide the ship's "true nature from the Imperial Senate"; this bureaucratic fiction became the source of the type's nickname.[14] Originally described in A Guide to the Star Wars Universe in 1984 as being 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) long, Executor-class ships were later described as being 19 kilometers (12 mi) long.[11][15]

A second Super-class Star Destroyer, the Lusankya, is described in Michael Stackpole's X-Wing novels as Ysanne Isard's private prison and, later, the primary Imperial support vessel during Isard's time on Thyferra.[16] The ship is captured and used by the New Republic, eventually being destroyed when it rams a Yuuzhan Vong worldship in Aaron Allston's Enemy Lines novels.[9][16] The novel Darksaber features the Night Hammer, a Super Star Destroyer "plated with stealth armor", making it "virtually invisible to enemy forces".[13]

A third Super Star Destroyer is shown among the wreckage of Jakku in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Finn and Rey fly the Millennium Falcon through the overturned derelict to escape pursuing TIE-Fighters. One of the movie's prequel novels, Star Wars: Aftermath, identifies the ship as the Ravager, the last of the Super-class Star Destroyers. The 2015 video game Star Wars Battlefront also depicts the destruction of the Ravager during the Battle of Jakku, where it is shot down by the Rebel Fleet and capsizes midflight before finally crashing in the background.

The First Order

Resurgent class

Star Wars: The Force Awakens features the new Resurgent-class of Star Destroyers belonging to the First Order. The First Order's Star Destroyers are different from the old Imperial ships as the bridge superstructure has a lower profile and the lower keel juts out further than the upper half. One of these ships is the Finalizer, under the command of Kylo Ren.

Star Wars Legends

The Conqueror-class Star Destroyer was built by Admiral Grekins's navy. There were only three of this type produced, the Conqueror, the Ravager, and the Vanquisher.

The Super Star Destroyer Eclipse is the reborn Emperor Palpatine's flagship in the Dark Empire comic series, and it also appears in the Forces of Corruption expansion for Star Wars: Empire at War.[8][17] According to sourcebooks, the Eclipse's armor and shields allow it to ram Mon Calamari cruisers, and its thousands of armaments include a scaled-down version of the Death Stars' superlaser cannon, capable of cracking a planet's crust.[8] The ship is destroyed when Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo combine Force abilities to cause Palpatine's Force Storms to go out of control and destroy the vessel.[8] The Eclipse II serves as Palpatine's flagship until it is destroyed in Empire's End. A scaled-down version of the Eclipse, the Sovereign class, is featured in Expanded Universe material from the same time period.[8]

The Dark Nest trilogy by Troy Denning includes two types of Star Destroyers used by the Chiss Ascendancy and the Star Destroyer Admiral Ackbar used by the Galactic Alliance.[18][19] The existence of the Tector-class is established in the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections book.[20] The West End Games Star Wars Role-playing game Imperial Sourcebook game supplement introduced Interdictor-class Star Destroyers that can pull ships out of, or prevent their entry into, hyperspace; with their most prominent features being large spheres that emit false hyperspace mass shadows. The Legacy comics introduce the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyers.


In 2002, Lego released a 3,104-piece Imperial-class Star Destroyer building kit for their Ultimate Collectors' Series line.[21] The model is almost one meter long and includes a scale model of the Rebel Blockade Runner.[21] In 2004, they released a Star Destroyer set for their Minis series. This one is just a few inches long and has no minifigures. In 2006, a smaller set was released, just over half a meter long and containing various minifigures.[22] In 2010 a Midi-Scale model was also released. This includes no minifigures and is less than one foot long. Lego also released a 50-inch (130 cm), 3,152-piece model of the Executor in September 2011.[23]

The Super Star Destroyer has also been merchandised. Kenner wanted to use a less ominous name than Executor for the toy playset of Darth Vader's meditation chamber.[11] An advertisement agency's list of 153 alternatives included Starbase Malevolent, Black Coven, Haphaestus VII, and Cosmocurse;[11] ultimately, the toy was labeled "Darth Vader's Star Destroyer".[11] In 2006, Wizards of the Coast created an Executor miniature as part of its Star Wars Miniatures Starship Battles game.[14] An electronic Super Star Destroyer toy released by Hasbro "is the rarest among Hasbro's Collector Fleet".[24]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Star Wars: Databank: Imperial Star Destroyer". Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  2. Sansweet, Stephen J. (1998). Star Wars Encyclopedia. New York: Del Rey. ISBN 978-0-345-40227-1.
  3. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary
  4. 1 2 3 "Star Wars: Databank: Republic attack cruiser". Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  5. Daley, Brian (1979-10-12). Han Solo's Revenge. Han Solo Adventures. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-28475-5.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gorden, Greg (1993). Star Wars Imperial Sourcebook (2nd ed.). West End Games. ISBN 0-87431-210-8.
  7. Star Wars: A New Hope script
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Horne, Michael Allen (June 1993). Dark Empire Sourcebook. West End Games. ISBN 0-87431-194-2.
  9. 1 2 3 Wiker, J.D.; Steve Miller. The New Jedi Order Sourcebook. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2777-1.
  10. Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Star Wars: Databank: Super Star Destroyer". Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  12. Fry, Jason; Paul R. Urquhart (2012-04-01). Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare. Titan Publishing Company. p. 117. ISBN 978-1781161401.
  13. 1 2 Anderson, Kevin J. (1996). Darksaber. Bantam Spectra. pp. 155–156. ISBN 0-553-57611-9.
  14. 1 2 "Starship Battles Preview 1". Wizards of the Coast. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  15. Sarli, Gary M. (2006-03-09). "Jedi Counseling 84". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  16. 1 2 "Isard, Ysanne (Expanded Universe)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  17. Ocampo, Jason (2006-10-25). "Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption for PC Review". Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  18. Denning, Troy (2005-07-26). The Joiner King. Star Wars: Dark Nest. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-46304-8.
  19. Denning, Troy (2005-09-25). The Unseen Queen. Star Wars: Dark Nest. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-46303-X.
  20. Saxton, Curtis (2005-04-02). Incredible Cross-sections of Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith: The Definitive Guide to Spaceships and Vehicles. DK Children. ISBN 0-7566-1129-6.
  21. 1 2 "Imperial Star Destroyer". Star Wars: Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
  22. "Star Wars: Collecting: LEGO Sail Barge and Star Destroyer are Cruising Soon". Lucasfilm. 2006-01-06. Archived from the original on 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  23. Terdiman, Danial (2011-06-17). "Darth Vader's personal Lego spaceship flies Sept. 1". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  24. Star Wars: Cargo Bay – Electronic Super Star Destroyer at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 June 2013)

External links

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