User:BinaryTed/Super Star Destroyer
[[|thumb|380px|right|A squadron of massive, mile-long Imperial-class Star Destroyers cruise in formation with a ten mile long Executor-class Star Dreadnaught - a battleship the size of Hilton Head Island.]]
Super Star Destroyer, often abbreviated SSD, is used to refer to any ship in the Star Wars fictional universe used by the Galactic Empire's Starfleet with a wedge-shaped design larger than the 1,600m long Imperial-class Star Destroyer. As such, any ship listed below can be termed as a "Super Star Destroyer", whatever its more formal designation, and this is the most commonly taken path by Star Wars characters regardless of their alignment.
- 1 Allegiance-class Star Destroyer
- 2 Executor-class Star Dreadnought
- 3 Vengeance-type
- 4 Eclipse-class Star Dreadnought
- 5 Sovereign-class Star Dreadnought
Allegiance-class Star Destroyer
The 2,200 meter long Allegiance-type Star Destroyer is a dedicated fleet destroyer with heavy armor and no hangar bay, similar to the Tector-class. Unlike the Tector, the Allegiance has a large ventral bulb, implying a massive reactor and very powerful weapons and shields. The proper class name of this class is not known; Allegiance is the only named representative of the class. In the Dark Empire comics, ships of this class were seen at several major battles and were also the primary escorts of the Imperial flagship Eclipse. Allegiance was referred to as a "Super Star Destroyer", so it may be considered a light cruiser rather than a destroyer.
Executor-class Star Dreadnought
Also known as the Super-class Star Destroyer, Executor-class Star Destroyer, and Executor-class Super Star Destroyer.
The Executor is an often-debated ship among Star Wars fans. Official materials and fan speculation have placed the length at 8, 12, 12.8, 13, 17.6, and 19 kilometers — the last being the most recent figure officially published, seen in the Star Wars Databank as well as Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy, and the figure best supported by appearing 11–12 times as long as the Imperial-class in the films.
The ITW places over 5,000 turbolasers and ion cannons and numerous lesser weapons on the Executor. Older sources give it 250 heavy turbolaser batteries, 250 turbolaser batteries, 250 concussion missile tubes, 250 ion cannons, and 40 tractor beam projectors, and either 144, 216, or "thousands" of fighters.
Two prefabricated garrison bases are also stored on board for rapid deployment of ground forces. Her shields are said to be able to dissipate power output equal to a medium-sized star; in one comic, the shields are shown to protect the Executor in a collision with three Imperial-class Star Destroyers exiting hyperspace.
As was discovered by the Rebels at the Battle of Endor, the immense warship did have a weakness. By disabling the shield generators atop the command bridge, the bridge became vulnerable. This was accidentally exploited by Arvel Crynyd whose A-wing impacted the Executors bridge, sending the ship plummeting into the Death Star.
The Super-class includes Darth Vader's flagship, the "Executor."
Past depictions of the Super in the Expanded Universe
Initially, Super Star Destroyers were described in official literature as eight miles or kilometers long, and having perhaps five times the firepower and twice the fighter capacity of an Imperial-class. This has changed over time, largely in response to fans pointing out publicly that the Executor is clearly more than 5–8 times the length of the Imperial Star Destroyers seen in the movie.
Interestingly, some official sources indirectly implied that Super Star Destroyers were longer than 8 kilometers before the revisions of official statistics began. For example, in the 1997 novel The Bacta War, the captain of the Executor's sister ship Lusankya referred to a rogue Imperial Star Destroyer as "a ship a tenth of our size". The 1997 computer game X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power also, while depicting the Super Star Destroyer Vengeance as 8 kilometers in length within the game, displayed the ship in its cover art as being well over 10 times the length of its accompanying Star Destroyers.
Nevertheless, the smaller Super Star Destroyer holds an allure within Star Wars fandom, partly due to the wide proliferation of the class. The poor combat performance of many Super Star Destroyers in official literature is often held as proof that the ship could not possibly be eleven times the length of an Imperial-class. Some suggest that these smaller Super Star Destroyers described are a different class from the Executor, allowing them to be 8–13 km long regardless of the length of the Executor.
The most recent Expanded Universe materials call the Executor-class a Star Dreadnaught. This shift, and the status of the older "Super Star Destroyer" term is hotly disputed among fans. Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy explains that the "Super Star Destroyer" designation is colloquial, while the "Star Dreadnought" designation is the formal term. Incorrectly, this designation is often spelled "Star Dreadnaught"; it is printed as "Star Dreadnought" and the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser is an entirely separate class of ship.
For some who find the "Super-class" particularly distasteful as a name, derivatives like "Superior" or "Superb" were often used — both of the latter are strictly fanon. Vessels for which this rationalization is particularly common are mentioned below.
List of Executor-class ships
[[|thumb|right|The Executor-class SSD considerably outmassed Imperial-class Star Destroyers, which served as support vessels.]]
There are many Executor-class Star Destroyers in the Expanded Universe canon. By the time of the Battle of Hoth, there were at least four Executor-class ships in operation with many more under construction; the exact number of ships of this class that were completed before the Battle of Endor is unknown. As there are so few known ships of the class, it is appropriate to list those that have appeared by name:
- Aggressor — Admiral Roek's flagship was stationed in the Inner Rim region prior to the Battle of Endor. Later, it was recalled to Corellia to protect the Corellian Engineering Corporation shipyards. It is believed to have been destroyed during a fratricidal battle between warlord Imperial factions, when it collided with a torpedo sphere at the Battle Of Tralus. Grand Admiral Pitta used a torpedo sphere to defend the planet Tralus from Grand Admiral Grunger's entire fleet of 30 Star Destroyers, 60 Strike Cruises and 100 Carrack Cruisers, until Grunger rammed the Aggressor into Pitta's sphere killing them both.
- Executor — The lead ship of its class and the only such vessel featured in the movies. This ship was the first ship of its type, built at the Fondor Shipyards. Executor was involved in the siege of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, and the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. The ship was destroyed by the Rebel Alliance during the Battle of Endor, colliding with the second Death Star after its bridge was destroyed by Arvel Crynyd's crashing A-wing fighter, along with many of the Imperial Navy's finest officers. There is some irony in this, as the Executor was designed by Lira Wessex, and the A-Wing that caused its loss was designed by Walex Blissex, her father.
- Guardian — This ship was stationed in the Core regions and was the flagship of Fleet Admiral Gaen Drommel, who (like many high-ranking Imperial officers) turned to warlordism after the death of Emperor Palpatine. Three years after the Battle of Endor, the ship was severely damaged in battle with the nascent New Republic. She was captured by the New Republic some ten years later, apparently in poor condition and was eventually repaired. Guardian saw operational service in the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and became a Galactic Alliance command-ship/mobile base.
- Intimidator — Originally assigned to Black Sword Command together with two other anonymous "Super Star Destroyers", Intimidator was rechristened Pride of Yevetha and pressed into service for the Duskhan League after the Yevethan revolt at the Black Fifteen shipyards over N'zoth. It was later reacquired by subjugated human crewmen during a revolt. Intimidator eventually came to rest as a heavily-damaged derelict somewhere in the galactic core.
- Iron Fist — This ship was the flagship of Warlord Zsinj's fleet. It was the symbol of the warlord's power, and he used it to terrorize worlds into submission. Iron Fist was reported destroyed at Selaggis, but was later found intact and still in Zsinj's service at his primary shipyard over the planet Dathomir. Iron Fist was soon destroyed during a battle over Dathomir between his fleet and the Hapan Navy, when the Millennium Falcon fired two concussion missiles into the bridge. Originally named HIMS Brawl, and renamed by Zsinj after his first command, a Victory-class Star Destroyer.
- Knight Hammer — Seeing the inefficiencies of the Emperor's heirs, Admiral Daala murdered most of the warlords who had risen to power after the fall of the Empire. Consolidating command over the remaining Imperial military, Daala took command of the Night Hammer, which had been built in secret by one of the murdered warlords, Supreme General Delvardus, and renamed it to Knight Hammer in preparation for the attack on Luke Skywalker's Jedi academy on Yavin 4. Different than most Star Destroyers, the Knight Hammer was entirely black. It also had stealth technology, emitting no outward light and reducing its sensor cross section. During the attack on the Jedi academy, the Knight Hammer fell victim to sabotage by ex-Jedi Knight Callista when she was able to sabotage the engines by pointing all TIE bombers at the rear hangar bay (at the bulkhead by the engines). They fired their missiles, breaking through the bulkhead and heavily damaging the engines; the vessel was subsequently destroyed when it was pulled into Yavin's gravity well, but not before Admiral Daala evacuated the crew.
- Lusankya — This was the sister-ship of the Executor. Both ships were built at the same time at separate facilities, both under the name of Executor. When they were completed, one went on to become the ship seen in the movies, the other was renamed Lusankya and somehow ended up buried under the surface of Coruscant, capital of the Empire. The method Emperor Palpatine used to hide the Lusankya's existence is unknown, but fans have speculated he must have either used the Force to erase the memories of the ship's builders, or ordered the deaths of millions and an extraordinary cover-up. Lusankya was given to Ysanne Isard, who used it to flee Coruscant after it was conquered by the New Republic using repulsors installed on the ship to leave the atmosphere. The ship was eventually captured by Wedge Antilles over Thyferra, and became a vessel in the New Republic's fleet. Under orders of Mon Mothma, Lusankya was decommissioned, but was reactivated some years before the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. She was finally destroyed around 25 years after the Battle of Endor, when it was sent on a suicide mission to ram a Yuuzhan Vong Worldship.
- Razor's Kiss — Although it was built for the Empire by Kuat Drive Yards, this ship was never commissioned in service to the Empire. When it was nearly completed, a commando force sent by Warlord Zsinj took control of it, and began fighting their way out of the shipyards. When the ships stationed there moved to intercept it, Warlord Zsinj brought in his fleet, led by another Executor-class ship named Iron Fist, to protect it until they jumped out of the system. Unfortunately for Zsinj, one member of his commando forces was a spy dispatched by the New Republic's Wraith Squadron, who destroyed the shield generators and planted a program in the ship's computers that told the New Republic's fleet the location it escaped to. Razor's Kiss was destroyed by the New Republic before ever seeing a real battle. Its remains were recovered and became the Second Death, which Warlord Zsinj used to fool the New Republic into thinking the Iron Fist was destroyed at Selaggis.
- Reaper — Originally the flagship of Grand Moff Governor Ardus Kaine, it was eventually acquired by Admiral Pelleaon after consolidating Kaine's former holdings (the Pentastar Alignment) into the Imperial Remnant. Reaper was destroyed in combat with the New Republic.
- Terror — The flagship of Admiral Sarn as part of Grand Admiral Martio Batch's Project Phantom at Immdar Alpha involving the mass-use of stygian crystal cloaking devices on V38 assault fighters. Rebel agents managed to use a single fighter to damage key components of HIMS Terror. The ship was destroyed, along with the Immdar Alpha facility and the majority of Project PHANTOM.
- Vindictive — Flagship of Grand Admiral Harkelan, used to launch full-scale war in the Core Systems in order to reassert control over the Imperial factions. The ship was an altered Executor - class ship, capable of conducting entire planetary invasions. The ship was thought to be destroyed, but evidence points to the fact that the ship made a blind hyperspace jump, and may be in the Outer Rim Territories.
- Vengeance — Admiral Senn's flagship in the suppression of the lawless Airam sector. She was eventually destroyed in a battle with out-gunned Rebel forces when Rogue squadron and the Rebels managed to destroy the shields with several Dreadnaughts on suicide runs, then rammed the Vengeance's bridge with the Airam corvette Thunder. The Rebels fired heavy rockets at the heavily-damaged ship, destroying it.
- Whelm — This ship was flagship of the Azure Hammer Command in Sector Zero, the Imperial Center Oversector, containing the capital of the Empire. Leading a fleet of fifty-seven capital ships, Whelm served as the personal flagship of Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik.
- Two Anonymous Black Sword "Super Star Destroyers" — In addition to the captured HIMS Intimidator, there were two additional Super Star Destroyers indicated to be of the same class deployed within Black Sword Command, but not ensconced at the shipyard of Black Fifteen that was seized by Yevethan partisans. It is possible that one or both of these ships was retained/obtained by the Imperial Remnant sometime after the Armistice, and could possibly be the unknown-name "Super Star Destroyer" present at Bastion in "Destiny's Way" (speculation on this craft is discussed below), however, their eventual fate is unknown and undocumented.
- Anonymous Executor-class at the Fondor Shipyards (partially constructed) — During the film era of the Galactic Civil War, Rogue Squadron used captured TIE hunters to infiltrate an Imperial construction yard at Fondor and destroy the cloaking devices protecting an under-construction vessel of the Executor-class. It was destroyed when all three cloaking devices were destroyed by the alliance fighters, creating a chain reaction that destroyed the ship.
- Defiant?/Stalwart? — Limitations on the resources available to the Imperial Remnant, and a poor economy ended production of ships larger than the 600 meter long Vindicator-class until around the time of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, where one, presumably Executor-class, ship was commissioned in the Imperial Starfleet. This ship may be HIMS Defiant or the HIMS Stalwart (not to be confused with Grand Admiral Thrawn's famous Victory-class Star Destroyer Stalwart) as seen in Force Heretic I: Remnant at the Battle of Borosk.
The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels implies that following the end of the Galactic Civil War, a small number of "Super Star Destroyers" of unspecified class were brought back into Imperial hands by unreconstructed Imperial units and former ex-Imperial warlords. Some of these unknown ships may be of the Executor-class.
In Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the Dark Jedi and Imperial Inquisitor Jerec commands his small fleet of Star Destroyers from a jet-black 10 kilometer-long "Super Star Destroyer" named the Vengeance. Little is known about the capabilities of the Vengeance, except that it carries a number of TIE fighters, and is capable of defeating a small Corellian Corvette. The most striking feature of the ship is its slender frame, which was narrower than standard Star Destroyers, almost sword-like in comparison to the usual dagger-shape, with two wings sticking out the sides near the engines. The ship class which the Vengeance belongs to is unknown. It has been referred to as a Super Star Destroyer variant. However, such a description is of little use, as the term "Super Star Destroyer" has been applied to many different classes of warship larger than the standard Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and the Vengeance bears few similarities to the Executor-class.
Jerec interrogated one of the two people who knew about the location of the Valley of the Jedi, Qu Rahn on-board the Vengeance. The Vengeance was last seen taking Jerec and his Dark Jedi to the planet Ruusan, the location of the Valley of the Jedi. Accompanying the ship was a large transport and a small task force of Imperial-class Star Destroyers. Vengeance may be a one-of-a-kind flagship, although this is never directly stated. It is quite possible that Vengeance was one of three Super Star Destroyers from Black Sword Command, since the other two were never accounted for, and neither was Vengeance. After transporting Jerec, command of the Vengeance was taken by the Reborn Emperor's chief Intelligence agent, Blackhole, as a token of Jerec's loyalty. Presumably, Blackhole returned to the Deep Core and Byss with the vessel; this supposition is supported by the depiction in Dark Empire of a ship in orbit in the Byss system with a striking resemblance to the Vengeance.
Interestingly, the Vengeance's slim form contrasts greatly with its wide array of engines; this, along with the decreased surface area would allow for considerably fewer guns than on ships like the Executor or Admiral Mils Giel's flagship
Eclipse-class Star Dreadnought
[[|frame|Eclipse Star Dreadnought]]
- Also known as the Eclipse-class Star Destroyer and Eclipse-class Super Star Destroyer
The 17.5-kilometer-long Eclipse-class Star Destroyer was larger than the Sovereign-class ships and much more massive than the longer Executor-class Star Destroyer. The first of this class, the Eclipse, became the reborn Emperor's flagship. It was supposedly one of the most heavily armed ships in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. It carried thousands of turbolaser and heavy turbolaser cannons. It also had powerful shields and heavy jet-black armor, making it difficult to destroy in space combat and allowing it to even ram enemy ships without taking serious damage. The multiple gravity-well projectors were used to prevent enemies from escaping into hyperspace, forcing them to either surrender or fight a hopeless battle against the Eclipse. The most important feature was a superlaser cannon located on the bow of the Eclipse. Although it was not as powerful as the superlaser on the Death Star, it was of advanced design (hence the smaller size and faster recharge) and was capable of cracking a planet's crust and vaporizing enemy capital ships.
According to the West End Games RPG statistics, Eclipse carried 600 TIE Interceptors and 96 TIE Bombers, divided into 58 squadrons; for ground assault, it carried 150,000 Imperial Stormtroopers, 100 AT-ATs, 10 gravity-well projectors, and five prefabricated bases. The Eclipse was said to be crewed by over 700,000 personnel. West End Games RPG statistics state that Eclipse was 17.5 km long; this contradicts the description given in Dark Empire, where the length is explicitly stated to be 10 miles (16 km). However, the author of the Dark Empire Sourcebook suggests that an additional mile was added to Palpatine's personal flagship, and is indicative of customization and personalization for Palpatine, and not the standard class. It also may be the result of the spasmatic construction apparent in the first example of this class.
The power of the Eclipse-class' superlaser as described is self-contradictory. It has been described as 2/3rds the power of the Death Star's prime weapon. Visual analysis of Alderaan's destruction in ANH suggested the Death Star superlaser inserted at least a million times more energy than the minimum for permanently breaking up a planet. Therefore a weapon with "2/3rds the power" would be more than sufficient to irrevocably shatter a planet, yet it was also stated that the Eclipse's superlaser was not powerful enough to destroy a planet. There is some speculation as to whether the 2/3rds number refers to the magnitude of the energy release as opposed to the total value; this would put the main weapon below the threshold necessary to destroy a planet. Another possibility, as the Death Star's superlaser consisted of eight (or, in the Death Star II, nine) individual beams which combined into a single larger beam after firing, is that the Eclipse-class' superlaser had 2/3rds the power of one of the Death Star superlaser's component beams.
The Eclipse was destroyed along with the reborn Emperor Palpatine when Luke Skywalker and his sister Princess Leia managed to disrupt the Emperor's control of a titanic Force Storm, a massive conflagration of Dark Side energy that he had summoned in order to wipe out the massed New Republic fleet. Afterwards, a second Eclipse-class ship was built, dubbed the Eclipse II. Above the planet Byss, R2-D2 took control of the Eclipse II's computers and then sent it on a collision course with the Galaxy Gun superweapon. A testament to the integrity of its hull, the Eclipse II plowed right through the weapon. The Galaxy Gun's misfired projectile was pulled by Byss' gravity, obliterating the new Imperial throne world and taking the Emperor's command ship with it.
Based on the misconceptions regarding the length of the Executor-class Star Destroyer, it seems the Eclipse was initially intended by the writers to be about twice the length of the Executor. A retcon to reestablish this in the wake of the retconning of the length of the Executor to 19 kilometers from 8 kilometers may or may not be forthcoming. The shorter length remains visually consistent with the Allegiance-type vessels seen escorting Eclipse in the comic.
Sovereign-class Star Dreadnought
- Also known as the Sovereign-class Star Destroyer and Sovereign-class Super Star Destroyer
The 15-kilometer-long Sovereign-class dreadnoughts are surpassed in size only by the Eclipse-class and Executor-class Star Dreadnought, though only two Eclipse- class SSD's were ever built, each to a substantially different design plan. The Sovereign is essentially a scaled-down version of the slightly larger Eclipse. It has fewer weapons, a slower hyperdrive, and carries a smaller complement of starfighters and crew. Designed to instill fear, the Sovereign-class ships were equipped with an axial superlaser designed to devastate a world. According to the West End Games RPG stats, the Sovereign-class boasted 500 heavy turbolaser cannons, 500 turbolaser batteries, 75 ion cannons, 100 tractor beam projectors, 5 gravity well projectors, and carried 605,745 crew.
Only four Sovereign-class Star Dreadnoughts were laid down before Byss was destroyed: Sovereign, Autarch, Heresiarch, and Despot. None were fully completed and launched. Some sources suggest all were captured or destroyed by the New Republic within a year, but Empire's End appears to imply that they were destroyed when the Galaxy Gun projectile destroyed Byss, which their shipyards orbited.
Based on the misconceptions regarding the length of the Executor-class Star Dreadnought, it seems Sovereign-class ships were initially intended by the writers to be far larger than Darth Vader's infamous flagship.