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This article is about a general term for larger warships. You may be looking for a specific type of cruiser.
"Were you on a star-cruiser or a...?"
―Luke Skywalker[src]

Star Cruiser was a widely-used designation for spaceships in general[1] as well as a term used for a prominent Mon Calamari warship production line, a series of Old Republic warships and a subclass of large battlecruisers.

History

The term was sometimes used to describe spacecraft in general, and in this context, it was sometimes written lowercase as star cruiser.[2][3]. The term could also be used to specify a type of large battlecruiser,[4][5] and was used as designation for a series of Republic hammer-headed warships during the Great Galactic War[6] and later, to describe a series of large Mon Calamari warships during the Galactic Civil War.[7]

Republic usage

The Galactic Republic evidently used the term to describe their hammer-headed warships, like the Thranta-class corvette, that were active in the Great Galactic War. The smuggler Hylo Visz knew them by this term, as she compared the Defender-class prototype to the larger, similar-looking vessels.[6]

Calamari usage

The famous Mon Calamari Star Cruisers were the main capital ships of the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic. A typical Star Cruiser of the Galactic Civil War was around 1200m,[5] such as the iconic MC80 Liberty type Star Cruiser,[7] but the term could also apply to the 500m Kuari Princess, and to larger Mon Cal ships, like the Home One.[8]

Lower-case term

The lowercase term "star cruiser" was also applied to Imperial Navy warships, where it was used as an alternate designation for Star Destroyers.[9] It was also used as a synonym for the standard cruiser designation, which referred to all combat warships above approximately 400m in length, as for example the Strike-class medium cruiser was referred to in this manner.[8] Smaller warships, like the CR90 corvette, were also called this at times.[10]

Battlecruiser class

Some ships named with the upper-case "Star Cruiser" were bigger than standard Star Destroyer designs, and were large enough to be thought of as Super Star Destroyers. They were an Imperial warship class separate from both Star Destroyers and Star Dreadnoughts,[11][12] considered by some to be a subtype of the battlecruiser class used in the Anaxes War College System. Among many naval historians, any official inclusion of this subtype into their ship classification-system was debated and contested.[5] A typical example of this Star Cruiser design was the Allegiance-class battlecruiser, a 2200 m long model of Super Star Destroyer that was utilized by the Galactic Empire.[5] Likewise, the Secutor-class Star Destroyer's length would technically have placed it under the Star Cruiser classification, but its comparative lack of armament, as well as its carrier-like role qualified it as a Star Destroyer.

Behind the scenes

The term "star cruiser" first appeared in dialogue in Star Wars, written as "star-cruiser" and "starcruiser" in various versions of the script. Early Expanded Universe material such as Marvel's Star Wars comics uses the term quite loosely, including for the Executor. In the script for The Empire Strikes back, the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate is called a "Star Cruiser", with the words now capitalized. Since Return of the Jedi, however, the term has been most widely used to describe Mon Calamari Star Cruisers.

In his endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare, Jason Fry mentioned that he had planned to give an explanation for Luke asking if C-3PO and R2-D2 were on a Star Cruiser, but it ended up cut before it was released. In addition, due to some input from a TFN test reader known only as Tzizvvt78, Fry also placed the Star Cruiser line at the smaller end of the overall battlecruiser ship class. Fry liked the idea because it both accounted for the continuity for Star Cruisers without sacrificing the West End Games cruiser ship classifications incorporated into the Anaxes War College System.[13]

Known Star Cruiser classes

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

  1. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
  2. Star Wars (Marvel)
  3. Star Wars comic strip
  4. Star Wars: Complete Locations
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Essential Guide to Warfare
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Old Republic: Smuggler's Vanguard
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  9. Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
  10. Star Wars Galaxies (Quest Journal description for space mission "Kessel System: Seek and Destroy the Imperial Corvette")
  11. Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy refers to Rebel personnel using the term Star Cruiser for an Imperial warship type in-between Star Destroyers and Star Dreadnoughts in size and power.
  12. In Starship Battles Preview 1, the Super Star Destroyer term itself is described as a colloquial outgrowth from the word Star Destroyer, which described the large dagger-shaped warships used by the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars. The same article states that Super Star Destroyer was a term applied to several different dagger-shaped Imperial warship classes, making no mention of any Rebel ships being called this.
  13. http://jasonfry.tumblr.com/post/24881617404/eg-to-warfare-endnotes-pt-11

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