Mon Calamari cruiser
|Mon Calamari Cruiser|
The Mon Calamari cruiser Home One from Return of the Jedi
|First appearance||Return of the Jedi|
|Last appearance||The Last Jedi|
Confederacy of Independent Systems
Galactic Federation of Free Alliances
|Class||Capital Cruiser: |
|Defenses||Multiple Deflector shield generators|
60 MGLT (Megalight per hour)
Mon Calamari Star Cruisers are starships in the fictional Star Wars universe. These starships were first depicted in Return of the Jedi as the main capital ships of the Rebel Alliance fleet during the attack on the Second Death Star. Industrial Light and Magic designed the vessels to visually contrast the Galactic Empire's 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 "flying cigar" Home One command ship and a "winged" model identified in the Expanded Universe as the Liberty. The "winged" model 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 the old Expanded Universe (now Star Wars Legends) material, the Galactic Empire occupied the planet of Mon Calamari (also known as Mon Cala or Dac). After the Empire destroyed three floating cities to pacify the planet, the peaceful Mon Calamari converted their passenger liners and deep space exploration into warships, driving the Imperials from their homeworld prior to the Battle of Yavin. Joining the Rebellion, the Mon Cala's shipyards supplied the Rebels with badly-needed capital ships to take on the Imperial Navy. For this reason Emperor Palpatine had planned to use the second Death Star against Mon Cal, but this was foiled at the Battle of Endor, and upon Palpatine's return in a clone body the Imperials attacked Mon Cal with World Devastators as told in the Dark Empire comic series. In April 2014, when Lucasfilm rebranded existing Expanded Universe material as Star Wars Legends and declared it non-canonical to the franchise, the new Expanded Universe retcons this history somewhat. Before the Battle of Yavin, Darth Vader successfully subjugates Mon Cala, leading to a mass exodus of city-ships from Mon Cala. With Mon Cala remaining under Imperial occupation, many of these escaped ships were converted for war by rebels in deep-space facilities located in the remote Telaris system. A new comic series by Marvel Comics (set between A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back) starting with Star Wars 50: Hope Dies, Part I covers the mutiny on Mon Cala and Darth Vader's hunt for the Mon Calamari exodus fleet.
Each Mon Calamari vessel was individually unique due to the artistry of their Mon Calamari builders, even those of the same "class", which was frustrating for Rebel technicians. Legends texts state that the original MC80 ships had a command crew consisting almost entirely of Mon Calamari due to the ships' Mon Calamari-oriented controls and interface, although the succeeding MC90 cruisers and follow-up ships are designed to accommodate humans and other species. According to Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game sourcebooks, while smaller and carrying less weaponry than Imperial-class Star Destroyers, the Mon Calamari cruisers are often more than a match in head-to-head engagements. This is attributed to the Mon Calamari cruisers' multiple backup shields and multiple shield generators as well as more balanced all-around firing arcs, in contrast to Star Destroyers who rely upon a single powerful shield and emphasize full-forward firing arcs. The franchise's books, comics, and video games from Legends describe and depict other Mon Calamari cruisers and successor designs, such as the MC80B Mon Remonda in the Star Wars: X-wing novels, the MC90 star cruiser Galactic Voyager, the Mediator-class battle cruisers, and Viscount-class Star Defenders (which were meant to be the answer to the Executor-class Super Star Destroyers) in R.A. Salvatore's Vector Prime.
In Return of the Jedi, Admiral Ackbar (Timothy M. Rose) leads the Rebels during the Battle of Endor from the flagship, Alliance Headquarters Frigate Home One, a modified MC80A star cruiser; although that ship survives the Battle of Endor, the Death Star's superlaser destroys other Mon Calamari cruisers, including the Liberty.
In Revenge of the Sith, the Confederacy of Independent Systems (Separatists) used the Providence-class carrier/destroyer as their frontline capital ship at the Battle of Coruscant, opposite to the Old Republic Navy's Venator-class Star Destroyers. A modified variant, the Invisible Hand, serves as the command ship for Count Dooku and General Grievous. Expanded Universe material states that the Providence destroyers were constructed on the planet of Mon Cala, at the same shipyards that would later produce the Mon Calamari cruisers for the Rebel Alliance.
In Rogue One, Admiral Raddus flew his flag on the MC75 Star Cruiser Profundity at the Battle of Scarif. The design of Profundity was meant to be a cross between the MC80 star cruiser from Return of the Jedi and the Separatists' Providence-class carrier/destroyer in Revenge of the Sith.
In The Last Jedi, the Raddus, formerly known as the Dawn of Tranquility, was an MC85 Star Cruiser that served as the flagship of General Leia Organa. It was used by the Resistance during its war against the First Order. It was one of the last purpose-built warships before the signing of the Military Disarmament Act by the Galactic Empire and New Republic. The vessel gained the moniker Raddus upon its entry into the service of the Resistance, when Admiral Gial Ackbar petitioned to rename it in honor of the famed Admiral Raddus, who had died in service of the Alliance at the Battle of Scarif after defying the Rebel Alliance's political leaders and choosing to fight against seemingly insurmountable odds.
A 1994 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.
Fantasy Flight Games's Star Wars: Armada, a table top miniatures game released on March 27, 2015, adds several Mon Calamari cruisers to the Rebel side in the expansions, including the MC80 Home One, MC80 Liberty, MC75 Profundity, and MC30c Frigate.
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