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"Vader's on that ship."
―Luke Skywalker — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

The Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor was the personal flagship of the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader and one of the largest and most powerful Imperial vessels ever constructed. Under Vader's command, the Executor led the Death Squadron following the Battle of Yavin and oversaw the Imperial assault on the Rebel Alliance's Echo Base during the Battle of Hoth. While serving as the Imperial command ship during the Battle of Endor, the Executor was destroyed after a wayward Rebel A-wing starfighter piloted by Arvel Crynyd that crashed into its bridge, causing the Super Star Destroyer to lose control and smash into the Death Star II.

DescriptionEdit

One of the largest and most powerful Imperial vessels ever created, the Executor was 19,000 meters long,[2] eclipsing its escorting Imperial-class Star Destroyers,[7] and boasted more than 5,000 turbolasers and ion cannons. The center of her arrowhead-shaped hull was covered by a city-like superstructure, while the underside hosted most of the engineering systems. The aft end of the Executor was marked by a trapezoid command tower crowned by two geodesic communication and deflection domes; at the bottom end of the hull were thirteen thrusters responsible for moving the vessel.[2]

Service historyEdit

Built by Kuat Drive Yards,[1] the Executor was intended to take the place of the Annihilator as Grand General Cassio Tagge's flagship and the greatest starship in the entire Imperial fleet.[10] By the aftermath of the War on Shu-Torun, the Super Star Destroyer was entering the final stages of its construction at the orbital shipyards of Kuat.[11]

Some time later, the Executor became the command ship of the Death Squadron, a fleet of capital ships assigned to the Sith Lord Darth Vader and commanded by Admiral Kendal Ozzel,[7] replacing Devastator as Vader's flagship.[12] Many of the stormtroopers who served aboard the ship were selected due to their excellent performance in the Imperial Academy.[4] After the pivotal Battle of Yavin that saw the Alliance to Restore the Republic destroy the Galactic Empire's Death Star superweapon, Vader and the flotilla were tasked with finding the Rebels' base.[7]

ExecutorShuttle-ESB

The Executor waits for Vader's shuttle near the planet Bespin

Three years after the Battle of Yavin,[5] an Imperial probe droid located the Rebel hideout, Echo Base, on the frozen planet of Hoth. Although Admiral Ozzel disagreed with Vader, who sensed they found the Rebels, the Dark Lord ordered him to move the fleet to the Hoth system. However, Ozzel brought out his ships out of hyperspace too close to the system, which allowed the Rebels to raise their defensive base shields, forcing the Empire to initiate a ground assault. Ozzel was subsequently killed by Vader for his failure, and promoted Captain Firmus Piett to serve as his successor.[7]

As the Empire evicted the Rebels from Hoth's surface, the Executor, accompanied by several Star Destroyers, pursued the fleeing Millennium Falcon, the YT-1300 light freighter of Rebel-affiliated smuggler Han Solo, into the Hoth asteroid belt adjacent to the Anoat system. Vader eventually ordered the Executor to abandon the pursuit and get clear of the asteroid field, in order for him to communicate with Emperor Palpatine without disruptions. He later moved the ship to the gas giant Bespin, where he intended to trap the fugitives headed there aboard the Falcon in order to lure out his son, Luke Skywalker.[7]

Battle of EndorEdit

"We've got to give those fighters more time. Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer!"
―Admiral Gial Ackbar, issuing the destruction of Executor[src]

One year later,[5] the Executor, still commanded by Admiral Piett, served as the flagship for an Imperial fleet of Star Destroyers that assembled at the remote forest moon of Endor, where the Empire's new superweapon, the second Death Star was under construction. When a Rebel fleet arrived into the system in an attempt to destroy the incomplete battle station, initiating the Battle of Endor, the Executor and the fleet moved into position to prevent the Rebels from retreating. Admiral Piett, however, did not attack the Rebels, as Galactic Emperor Palpatine wanted to demonstrate the destructive power of the Death Star's superlaser against the cornered Rebel capital ships.[6]

FleetJunkiesCloseYourEyes-ROTJHD

The Executor is destroyed.

Fleeing the Death Star's firepower, the Rebels engaged Piett's Star Destroyers at close range while their ground assault team destroyed the shield generator protecting the superweapon, allowing the Rebel fighters to fly into its superstructure. The Alliance Fleet commander, Admiral Gial Ackbar, wishing to buy more time for the fighters to accomplish their mission, ordered a concentrated barrage against the Executor. As the Alliance warships focused their fire on the Super Star Destroyer, two RZ-1 A-wing interceptors strafed the Executor’s bridge deflector shields, bringing them down. In response, Piett ordered the forward batteries to intensify their firepower to prevent anything from penetrating the window of opportunity.[6]

Aware that the Executor would become the fulcrum of not only the battle but also the balance of power in the entire Outer Rim, Admiral Rae Sloane moved her Vigilance to flank position on the Executor to try and defend it.[13] However, Rebel Green Leader Arvel Crynyd, with his A-wing starfighter badly damaged by fire from the Executor, managed to retain just enough control of his stricken ship to send it towards the Imperial vessel's unshielded bridge. Seeing the threat, Piett once again shouted to intensify the forward batteries, but it was too late; the Rebel fighter crashed into the Executor command tower. As explosions engulfed the bridge, the massive ship listed to port and plunged towards the Death Star's surface, exploding upon impact.[6]

LegacyEdit

Following the Executor's destruction, the Rebels went on to win the Battle of Endor by destroying the second Death Star, while Darth Vader, the former owner of the Executor was redeemed as Anakin Skywalker by killing Emperor Palpatine, his Sith Master.[6]

Behind the scenesEdit

In Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!, Tom Angleberger's retelling of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the Super Star Destroyer present at the battle of Endor was mistakenly referred to as "the Eclipse, the Emperor's own Super Star Destroyer."[14] In Angleberger's manuscript, that mistake had been caught and fixed by Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group,[15] who even specifically added that "There's only one Super Star Destroyer [at Endor], and it's the Executor."[16] Despite Hidalgo's correction, the mistake still appeared in the released version of the story.[14]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Encyclopedia-Logo Super Star Destroyer in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Encyclopedia-Logo Admiral Ozzel in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Breznican, Anthony (July 16, 2015). 'Star Wars: Aftermath' novel reveals tragic, violent uprising after 'Return of the Jedi'. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on July 16, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 TwitterLogo @HolocronKeeper (Leland Chee) on Twitter. “0 10 10-13 13 27 32 35 36” (screenshot)—The tweet in question refers to the number of in-universe years between the canon films and television shows. Using simple math, it can be deduced when Return of the Jedi takes place on the timeline.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Lost Stars
  9. Encyclopedia-Logo Admiral Piett in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  10. Jordan D. White. Executor vs. Annihilator. Tumblr. Retrieved on May 12, 2016.
  11. Star Wars: Darth Vader 20: End of Games, Part I
  12. SWInsider "Blade Squadron"—Star Wars Insider 149150
  13. "The Levers of Power"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  15. TwitterLogo @OrigamiYoda (Tom Angleberger) on Twitter. “@LordZack01 @Coopx30 @LelalMekha in this picture you can see that Pablo caught the mistake and fixed it: http://ow.ly/i/dwrKu” (screenshot)
  16. TwitterLogo @OrigamiYoda (Tom Angleberger) on Twitter. “@LordZack01 @Coopx30 @LelalMekha @wookieepedia Are you guys ready for this? Here’s Pablo’s note on my manuscript: http://ow.ly/i/dwr9R” (screenshot)

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