Mon Calamari cruiser
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2012)|
The Mon Calamari cruiser Home One from Return of the Jedi
|First appearance||Return of the Jedi|
|References||Star Wars Databank|
Tractor beam projectors
|Length||1,200-17,000 Meters (depending on the ship)|
Mon Calamari cruisers are starships in the fictional Star Wars universe. These starships were first depicted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi as part of the Rebel Alliance fleet that attacks the second Death Star. Industrial Light and Magic designed the vessels to visually contrast the Imperial Star Destroyers. Various Mon Calamari cruisers also appear in literature and video games of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Replicas, toys and other depictions of the ships have been released by several merchandise companies.
Origin and design 
Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) created two Mon Calamari cruiser designs: the cylindrical Home One command ship and a "winged" model identified in the Expanded Universe as the Liberty, which would have its wings removed and thrusters modified to portray another subtype. The ships were designed to be as aesthetically different from the Imperial Star Destroyers as possible, although the filming crew disliked the "pickle ships" due to the models' unflattering angles. The ships' design precluded ILM's modelmakers from kitbashing other models to create the ships; the model was largely vacuformed. Internal neon lights provided lighting, and detail was painted on by using the second Death Star model's exposed framework as a makeshift frisket.
According to Expanded Universe material, the peaceful Mon Calamari converted their passenger liners into warships to support the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Expanded Universe texts state that the ships are crewed almost entirely by Mon Calamari due to the ships' Mon Calamari-oriented controls and interface. The primary opponent of Mon Calamari cruisers are the Imperial Star Destroyers. Although Mon Calamari cruisers are roughly the same size as most Imperial Destroyers, in head-to-head engagements the Mon Calamari cruisers are usually at a disadvantage, due to their thinner armor. Even so, Mon Calamari cruisers are still a formidable threat to the Imperial fleet; their large numbers of fighter squadrons, modular weapons systems and overlapping shields make them ideal for hit-and-run attacks on Imperial ships, bases, and military outposts. In Return of the Jedi, Admiral Ackbar (Timothy M. Rose) leads the Rebels during the Battle of Endor from the Mon Calamari cruiser Home One; although that ship survives, the Death Star's superlaser destroys other Mon Calamari cruisers, including the Liberty. The franchise's books, comics, and video games describe and depict other Mon Calamari cruisers and successor designs, such as the Mediator-class battle cruisers and Viscount-class Star Defenders in R.A. Salvatore's Vector Prime.
A 1995 Micro Machines three-pack included a winged Mon Calamari cruiser toy, and a 1996 three-pack included the other variety. Hasbro in 2003 planned to release a Mon Calamari cruiser as part of its Action Fleet collection but they cancelled the line before producing it. Decipher and Wizards of the Coast published Mon Calamari cruiser cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively. In 2006, Wizards of the Coast created a Mon Calamari Star Defender miniature as part of its Star Wars Miniatures Starship Battles game. Mon Calamari cruisers are player-controllable units in LucasArts' Empire at War real-time strategy.
- "Mon Calamari Cruiser (Expanded Universe)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-21.[dead link]
- "Mon Calamari Cruiser (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-21.[dead link]
- Peterson, Lorne (2006). Sculpting A Galaxy — Inside the Star Wars Model Shop. San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. p. 43. ISBN 1-933784-03-2.
- "Mon Calamari Cruiser (The Movies)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- Salvatore, R.A. (1999-10-05). Vector Prime. The New Jedi Order. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-42844-7.
- "#VII: Mon Calamari Star Cruiser, Jabba's Sail Barge, Speeder Bike w/Rebel (1995)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "#XI: Cloud City, Mon Calamari Rebel Cruiser, Escape Pod (1996)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "Mon Calamari Starcruiser". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "Star Wars Customizable Card Game Complete Card List" (PDF). Decipher, Inc. 2001-08-23. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "Mon Calamari Cruiser". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "Starship Battles Preview 1". Wizards of the Coast. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "Star Wars Empire at War". LucasArts. Retrieved 2007-09-25. The Fleets -> Mon Calamari Cruiser
- Mon Calamari Star Cruiser in the Official StarWars.com Encyclopedia
- Mon Calamari Star Cruiser on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki