Star Wars Legends – Top 5 Star Destroyers

Although the most common large capital ship used by the Empire in the original Star Wars films is either the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer or the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, both sharing the distinctive triangular-wedge design that has become synonymous with the term ‘Star Destroyer’ for many fans of the series, there are in fact many other capital ships, both Imperial and non-Imperial, that share the classification of ‘Star Destroyer’. This blog post will explore some other variations of Star Destroyer, and to make things interesting that means that this list will not feature either of the previously mentioned Star Destroyers in the Imperial-class line. We will also not be featuring any Super Star Destroyers either. To begin, we will discuss what is arguably the second most well-known Star Destroyer to fans:

#5 – The Venator-class Star Destroyer

This ship is an iconic Republic carrier from the Clone Wars era, and despite being forced into the role of a battleship despite its specialisation for fighter-carrying, this class of ship proved its worth during the Republic’s conflict with the CIS. As seen primarily in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, fleets of Venator-class Star Destroyers were able to defeat CIS fleets that vastly outnumbered them, due largely in part to their Jedi commanders but also due to the robustness of the ship class itself. Even when critically damaged, Venator-class Star Destroyers were still capable of performing incredibly well, and considering each individual ship is capable of carrying dozens of fighters and transports, even one Venator has the potential to do serious damage to a fleet.

#4 – The Interdictor-class cruiser

The inclusion of this warship is somewhat of a stretch – this ship is most likely a distant technological ancestor of the Star Destroyer, though the ship is not named as such. Nonetheless, from both a practical and a narrative perspective, the ship fulfils the role of a Star Destroyer – the Interdictor-class cruiser is capable of carrying fighters, troops and other equipment, and apparently possesses firepower great enough to level entire ecumenopolises. This ship was in operation thousands of years before the events of the movies, in roughly 3956 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) during the events of the Knights of the Old Republic series. These ships, although ancient compared to the other ships on this list, were extremely effective warships in their day, and featured a gravity well projector that prevents enemy vessels from jumping into hyperspace.

#3 – The Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer

From one extreme of the Star Wars timeline to the other, this Star Destroyer is featured in the Legacy era comics, set well after 120 ABY. Though this ship is arguably the most powerful on this list, it is included lower down as it is technically a Super Star Destroyer of its era, as capital ships later in the Star Wars timeline tend to get smaller. However, despite being smaller than the standard Imperial Star Destroyers, it possesses far more firepower. The Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer also makes use of its vertical incline, with guns placed in optimal firing positions on the front of the ship so that they can direct fire at all sides. According to Star Wars lore, this ship possesses a huge number of weapons – 50 heavy turbolasers, 40 ion cannons and 50 proton torpedo launchers, among other things – it is also capable of creating an interdiction field. This ship can also function as a carrier, and due to the more modernised starfighters in the Legacy era, the Pellaeon-class possess far more capable starfighters than the standard Imperial Star Destroyers seen in the movies.

#2 – The Secutor-class Star Destroyer

This ship serves as somewhat of a hybrid between the Venator-class and Imperial-class Star Destroyers at first glance, although its design history is more vague – it was apparently designed towards the end of the Republic era to either succeed or become a complementary starship to the Venator, although the Imperial takeover meant that the doctrine of the now-Imperial navy switched to more firepower-focused capital ships and less carriers, meaning the Secutor-class was pushed to the sidelines. However, it is known that at least some were made, and were possibly used as late as Emperor Palpatine’s return to power in 10 ABY. This ship has the carrying capacity for multiple squadrons of starfighters, in keeping with its role as a carrier like the Venator, but it also possesses significant armament of its own

Honourable Mention – The Allegiance-class battlecruiser

Although it is large enough that it could be argued that it is in fact a design of Super Star Destroyer, the Allegiance-class battlecruiser has an honourable mention on this list because it is a powerhouse. Although completely doing away with the idea of a hangar altogether, and therefore relying on support ships to be fully adaptable in combat, the Allegiance-class responds to any threat it faces with a ridiculous amount of firepower. It features a whopping 12 octuple turbolaser batteries, 3 axial gun-batteries and 6 trench gun-batteries, meaning it not only has a huge array of armament but it also has certain weapons positioned for different situations – the axial guns, for example, serve as effective broadside weapons. Although the lack of a hangar is a critical downside to this ship, the sheer amount of turbolaser fire it can dish out almost makes up for it.

#1 – The Nebula-class Star Destroyer

This ship hails from the era of the New Republic, and it essentially corrects the majority of the issues plagued by the traditional Imperial Star Destroyer. Despite their status as an Imperial ship, the New Republic made extensive use of captured Imperial Star Destroyers in their fight against the various Imperial splinter factions, but eventually a replacement ship had to be created. The Nebula-class Star Destroyer removes the exposed bridge that was a critical weakness of previous Star Destroyer designs, and due to its heavily modernised weapons, armour and technology, the ship is smaller than an Imperial Star Destroyer and yet far more powerful. Capable of carrying several New Republic starfighters into battle, the Nebula-class Star Destroyer is supported somewhat by its counterpart ship in the New Republic fleet, the Endurance-class fleet carrier, which was capable of carrying more starfighters yet also featured several of the downsides present in previous Star Destroyer models, such as the exposed bridge. As such, the Nebula-class Star Destroyer is undoubtedly the best Star Destroyer in the New Republic fleet and was one of the best types of Star Destroyer ever created.

Star Trek – Top 10 Federation Starship Classes

The world of Star Trek is defined by magnificent and elaborate starship designs of various diverse cultures, races and factions. The show has created dozens of iconic starship designs, many of which are recognisable even to people who have never seen the show, but by far the most iconic are the various Federation Starships that … Continue reading “Star Trek – Top 10 Federation Starship Classes”

The world of Star Trek is defined by magnificent and elaborate starship designs of various diverse cultures, races and factions. The show has created dozens of iconic starship designs, many of which are recognisable even to people who have never seen the show, but by far the most iconic are the Federation Starships that appear throughout the various incarnations of the legendary series. For those not in the know, the Federation in Star Trek is made up of a multitude of different races, including humans, and the starships we see throughout the show ferry our heroes from planet to planet, engage in ship-to-ship combat, and provide a home from home for the sizeable crew that make it their mission to explore the furthest reaches of space.

The question remains, however: which Federation starship type is the best? Of course, there are many different criteria that can be used to define what the ‘best’ class of ship is, from how iconic it is to how powerful it is within the show itself. For the purposes of this list, we will be factoring in several different criteria including longevity, artistic design, reliability and physical power, and ship classes from either the revival movies or the expanded universe will not be included. With that out of the way:

10 – Miranda-class

miranda class

Although it may be accidental, the Miranda-class has become somewhat of a running joke in the Star Trek universe, due to the numerous cases of Miranda-class vessels getting destroyed, attacked, lost, captured or having their entire crew die of old age. This is almost certainly due to the incredible quality of the original studio model of the USS Reliant, which led to the show’s creators re-using the same model for many other less important ships. It may seem odd now, but the USS Reliant was actually supposed to be quite powerful compared to the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as it is capable of holding its own in a fight against Kirk and his crew. However, subsequent appearances of Miranda-class vessels have presented the ship as being woefully under-powered, possibly due to the huge time jump between the Original Series and TNG.

9 – Prometheus-class

prometheus class.jpg

Visually, the Prometheus-class is awesome – the pointed primary hull, the four nacelles – and of course the infamous ‘multi-vector assault mode’ which splits the ship into three sections for coordinated attacks – but the reason why this ship ranks low on the list is the ease by which it is captured in the show, during its only significant appearance in Star Trek: Voyager’s Message in a Bottle. Despite featuring advanced armaments, prototype tactical configurations and improved shields, the ship is already in Romulan hands before we are even introduced to it, which begs the question – how on Earth did the Romulans manage to steal this advanced top secret prototype so easily? Clearly the crew were redshirts in disguise, considering they apparently all just dropped dead with little resistance.

8 – Nebula-class


A smaller and more compact cousin of the Galaxy-class starship, Nebula-class vessels are shown to share the same levels of endurance as their larger cousins in the show, with examples like the USS Phoenix and the USS Sutherland holding their own against comparatively larger starships, including the Galaxy-class itself. One of the best things about this vessel is its design, as it includes the newer, sleeker design of Federation Starship whilst also invoking a sense of continuity, since the ship is structurally similar to the previously-mentioned Miranda-class ships.

7 Ambassador-class


Despite its brief appearance, the Ambassador-class USS Enterprise-C proved the worth of this class both as a Federation starship but also as a ship bearing the name Enterprise. The design of this ship has a clear motive – to form a link to bridge the gap between the USS Enterprise from the Original Series and the USS Enterprise-D from TNG – and it works perfectly. The clearly separate Saucer, Engineering and Nacelle sections are reminiscent of the original Enterprise, with the blue circular deflector dish resembling that of the Enterprise-A, and yet the colour scheme and sleeker look makes it visually similar to the Enterprise-D, providing clear continuity between the classes and forming a ‘missing link’ between the Original Series and TNG.

6 – Sovereign-class

sovereign class

From one Enterprise to another, the most famous Sovereign-class starship is of course the USS Enterprise-E, the final ship in the mainline show in the chronology of Enterprises. Created to replace the unwieldy Enterprise-D model that was unsuitable for big-budget movie levels of filming, the Sovereign-class is meant to represent the pinnacle of Federation starship design for its era, featuring advanced ‘Quantum Torpedoes’ to replace the regular old photon torpedoes and a more traditional Federation starship design that incorporates updated technology. Unfortunately, the entire point of the Sovereign-class’s creation was made redundant by the transition from physical models to entirely CGI ships towards the end of the TNG Movies, but we can still appreciate the fantastic design.

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5 – Excelsior-class


The ‘new kid on the block’ towards the end of the Original Series era, the Excelsior-class was essentially the sleeker, cooler younger brother to the now-outdated Constitution-class ships. With famous post-Original Series starships like the USS Excelsior and the USS Enterprise-B represented by the Excelsior-class, it remains one of the most famous and well-known Federation ship classes that is not the primary ship of a mainline TV series, although it does feature prominently in Star Trek VI and Generations. Interestingly, the prototype Excelsior-class ship was captained by none other than Hikaru Sulu, further solidifying the idea that the Excelsior-class bears the torch passed on from the older Constitution-class.

4 –  Defiant-class


Although the design of the Defiant-class ships represents a radical deviation from the standard Federation starship look, within the context of the show the change was warranted. Throughout the late-TNG and Deep Space Nine era of Star Trek, the Federation is faced with enemies that require a more tactical and combat-orientated response, rather than  the usual ‘exploration first, combat second’ philosophy that had previously dominated their starship designs. The Defiant-class represents a prototype of dedicated warship designed to fight and defeat the Borg, a vicious and powerful threat to the Galaxy. Seeing action throughout Deep Space Nine and First Contact, the Defiant-class lives up to its role as a combat vessel by aiding in the defence of Earth from the Borg and the war with the Dominon.

3 – Constitution-class

constitution class.jpg

The grandfather of Federation starships, this is the one that started it all. This design would go on to influence each and every Federation starship to come, and is respected as one of the most iconic and memorable starship designs ever created. In terms of the show’s continuity, the Constitution-class is far from the first Federation starship to be created, but the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 is certainly its most famous, and the adventures of Captain Kirk and his crew go on to become almost akin to the stuff of legend by the time of the Voyager and DS9 era. The ship itself is supposed to be one of the best Federation ship designs of its time, and although it is far outstripped by the Federation starships shown in later Star Trek incarnations, the legacy of the Constitution-class is upheld through the name Enterprise, and all the fantastic ships of that name to come. Talking of which…

2 – Galaxy-class


Known most famously for the USS Enterprise-D from TNG, the Galaxy-class starship serve as the primary setting for TNG, and so forms the backbone for what is arguably the essential Star Trek experience, depending on how you rate it in comparison with the Original Series. As a result, like the Constitution-class, the Galaxy-class has become one of the most recognisable ships in all of Star Trek. From a visual standpoint, this vessel effectively conveyed that massive changes had occurred in the Star Trek universe since the era of the Original Series. The ship maintains the same basic shape as the earlier incarnation, but with a sleeker design and more advanced-looking engine and sensor technology. In-universe, the Galaxy-class is a powerful exploration vessel, and although we never see the Enterprise-D go head-to-head with a Romulan Warbird to the death, the vessel is held in high regard by many allies and enemies of the Federation, making it a formidable vessel.

1 – Intrepid-class


Despite being smaller than the Galaxy-class, less advanced than the Sovereign-class and less iconic than the Constitution-class, the Intrepid-class is a fantastic ship in its own right. Quick and nimble, it demonstrates its efficiency throughout Star Trek: Voyager as the titular USS Voyager holds its own against practically everything the Delta Quadrant can throw at it, provided no time-travel is involved. The Intrepid-class personifies the apparent change in Starfleet from the era of TNG, with stark grey metallic corridors replacing the beige and wood-paneled interior of the Galaxy-class ships, and more focus on speed and durability than sheer power of its weapons. The design of the Intrepid-class also departed from the traditional Federation starship design, doing away with the separate saucer and engineering sections and opting instead for a sleeker, more aerodynamic dagger-shaped design. This design choice complements Captain Janeway’s spiky personality, and it is no surprise that some species in the Delta Quadrant come to see the USS Voyager as a warship, since Janeway demonstrates the Intrepid-class’s resourcefulness when dealing with more powerful enemies like the Borg, by pushing the craft to its very limits. Indeed, in an alternate timeline in which Voyager is constantly attacked by a race that can negate shielding technology, Janeway and her crew manage to keep Voyager running after weeks of constant attack, to the point that the ship loses an entire deck but still functions. Likewise, the Borg modifications made to the ship during Star Trek: Voyager demonstrate the ship’s adaptability, as does its ability to actually land on planets, a gimmick that is used about as often as the Galaxy-classes’ saucer separation.

Do you agree with this list? What is your favourite Star Trek ship design? Leave a comment below with your ranking, and see below for more Star Trek related posts.

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