Star Wars has no shortage of epic spaceships that have become as iconic in sci-fi as much as the characters who pilot them.
The original trilogy gave us the Millennium Falcon and X-Wings, while the often-divisive prequel movies gave us podracing and Jedi Starfighters. Even the more recent sequel trilogy had some incredibly inventive spaceships with the First Order’s Supremacy, and Kylo Ren’s own Silencer ship. But throughout the saga, few ships can instil as much fear and terror than the dreaded Destroyer ships.
These massive battleships were home to some of the galaxy’s most fearsome weapons - and villains - during the Emperor’s evil reign. While Destroyer ships have appeared throughout all three Star Wars film trilogies and across several TV series and novels, there is still a lot left to discover about the gargantuan ships. Mostly known for their role under the Imperial Empire, here we will explore their use during the Clone Wars by the Galactic Republic, and then later for the First Order.
Think you’re a real Star Wars expert? Have a read of these ten Destroyer facts and see which trivia titbits you already know and prove you’re the real Chosen One.
10. Used By Jedi During The Clone Wars And Known As ‘Jedi Cruisers’
While movie fans first saw Destroyer ships being used by the Emperor and Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, they canonically were around before then. Known as Venator-Class Star Destroyers, or sometimes Jedi Cruisers due to their role of transporting troops and Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars, the Destroyer ships have a history long before the rise of the Galactic Empire.
With a crew of 7,400 these earlier Destroyers were smaller than their later Imperial counterparts but still packed a punch when it comes to weapons. Boasting eight heavy turbolaser turrets, two medium dual turbolaser cannons, and 52 point-defense laser cannons, the Venator-Class Star Destroyer was fast enough to chase down blockade runners and big enough to lead independent missions such as the liberation of Utapau, when Obi-Wan Kenobi takes down General Grievous and his forces.
These early Destroyer ships had one design flaw that was rectified for later models. The opening and closing process of the deck’s armoured bow doors was incredibly slow, leaving the ship vulnerable. Although once doors were operational and open, the long dorsal flight deck enabled hundreds of starfighters to launch rapidly.