- "A starship is a weapon, but it's the crew that makes it deadly."
- ―An old spacer's line
Starships were commonly powered by ion engines, the most common form of sublight drives, and many—usually the larger vessels—were equipped with hyperdrive generators, used to reach hyperspace as lightspeed would not be fast enough. Light-years would take years to travel across using sublight drives. Across the galaxy, many starships were armed, usually with laser cannons. Capital ships often featured turbolaser emplacements or missile launchers, and some featured hangar bays that could carry starfighters. Weapons helped defend against star pirates and military forces. Deflector shields countered the effects of laser weaponry, protecting the starship from attack. Once these shields fell the captain would surrender to their attackers.
A starship's bridge was its control room, most often seen at the stern of large vessels such as Star Destroyers and other capital ships. Smaller ships, like transports and fighters, had cockpits rather than actual bridges.
The bridge was an essential part of the craft. Most of the time, the controls to a starship's subsystems were located here. The bridge was therefore usually the first area of a starship to be targeted when under attack. Knocking out the bridge usually rendered the starship useless for the duration of the battle. For example, when the Imperial Super Star Destroyer Executor had its bridge obliterated by an out of control RZ-1 A-wing interceptor during the Battle of Endor, she plunged out of control into the second Death Star, and was destroyed.
Intergalactic starflight became possible with the invention of the dual-drive system, which included an anti-grav drive to exit a system's gravity well, allowing inter-system travel, and a hyperdrive system for faster-than-light travel.
- Yacht — A luxurious vessel typically owned by a politician, diplomat or rich person.
- Starfighter — A small one- or two-man vessel typically used for dogfighting.
- Bomber — A slower ship armed with bombs.
- Scout vessel — A small, fast ship used to scout an area before a main force arrives.
- Transport — A cargo or passenger carrier.
- Shuttle — A small craft used to transport personnel, usually at least partially though space.
- Gunship — Used for atmospheric or space combat.
- System patrol craft — Used for in-system operations; usually lacked hyperdrives.
- Freighter — A cargo or freight carrier.
- Capital ship — The largest of starships, often used as a warship.
- Space station — An artificial structure for use in orbit or deep space.
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- Starship on Wikipedia