The Heraklon-class transport was a frigate-type transport starship that was widely used by the Galactic Republic during the time of the Dark Wars. Typically used as a cargo freighter, its versatility allowed for a broad use as a passenger liner especially in the Core Worlds and Inner Rim.
In 3951 BBY, the sales reputation of the Heraklon-class transport sank, as one of the ships was shot down above Onderon during the planet's blockade amid the Onderon Civil War and crashed on the moon Dxun. However, changes in the ship's advertising to a focus on safety in case of an accident guaranteed the continued production of the Heraklon-class.
The Heraklon-class transport was a frigate-type transport starship. As it was easy to use and very versatile, it saw use in a number of different functions. It had a simple construct, leaving the entire front part of the ship for crew quarters and cargo, and placing the engineering section and ship systems in the narrow tail. The cargo holds took up the majority of space inside the transport, and they could be modified to carry specialized cargoes of livestock. The passenger accommodation could also be modified to carry 450 people with three-tier bunk rooms, or just 150 in luxury rooms. A number of Heraklon-class transports were even purchased by various travel companies for use as luxury liners. Heraklon-class transports were built without any weapon systems fitted, so as to reduce production costs. This forced trader captains to avoid traveling outside of secure routes typically found near the Core Worlds, traveling in larger groups and thus essentially forming a caravan, or to hire an armed escort to provide security against pirates and other outlaws.
Due the versatility of the Heraklon-class transport ships, they saw a wide range of use. In the galaxy, most typically these ships were used as cargo freighters. In the Core Worlds and Inner Rim, they usually were configured to carry passengers as a liner or even as a cruiser. The Heraklon-class transports also saw use in the hands of smugglers and pirates, who benefited from the myriad of pockets that could be found in the ship. Pirates often modified the central section of the ship to have concealed hangars for small fighters so as to ambush unsuspecting merchant vessels traveling too close to the pirates' claimed territory.
The Heraklon-class transport was built by Sadon Shipwrights during the time of the Dark Wars and was an updated version of the Dionad-class transport. Sales were initially quite high, and Heraklon-class transports became more popular than similar transports that were used by Sadon's rivals.
However, in 3951 BBY, the Heraklon-class transport gained some negative publicity, due to the actions of the Zhug brothers, a group of Duros bounty hunters. The Zhug brothers acquired a Heraklon-class ship for their personal use and with it attempted to land in the city Iziz on the planet Onderon. However, Colonel Tobin of the Onderonian military had blockaded the world due to the Onderon Civil War and prevented the Zhugs from landing by shooting their ship, thus forcing them to crash on Onderon's moon, Dxun.
As a result of the incident, sales of Heraklon-class transports decreased and some of Sadon's executives began considering developing an alternative design of transport to replace the Heraklon-class. However, the Heraklon-class was saved by a change in Sadon's advertising strategies; the focus centered on how the passengers and cargo of a Heraklon-class transport would be safe in the event of an accident. The campaign worked and sales returned to a profitable level, ensuring the continued production of the Heraklon-class.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Heraklon-class transport was first introduced in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, a video game released by Obsidian Entertainment at the end of 2004. Several ships of this class were briefly seen in the cutscene when arriving on Onderon, waiting to be let through the blockade. It also appeared as unnamed wreckage of the Zhug brothers on the surface of Dxun. Although no name is shown in the game, the game model of the wreckage is labeled as "Zhug Ship" in dialog file.
The Heraklon-class transport ship first received its canon name alongside the technical description and history of the model in Message to Spacers 9, an article written by Patrick Stutzman and released in 2010 as an online supplement for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game. The article also contained details of the events that led to the Zhug brothers crash-landing on Dxun, identifying that the damage had been caused by Onderon separatists forces under Colonel Tobin's command.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- (First identified as Heraklon-class transport)