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- "A starship is a weapon, but it's the crew that makes it deadly."
- ―An old spacer's line
A starship, also known as a starcruiser, spaceship, spacecraft, or simply ship, was a vessel designed for interstellar travel, specifically between star systems. Starships were distinguished by the inclusion of a hyperdrive, a piece of equipment that made light speed travel possible.
Interstellar flight became possible with the invention of the dual-drive system. Starships use sublight drives to leave a planet's gravity well, using the hyperdrive to travel between stars at faster than light speed.
Certain vessels were armed with laser cannons, turbolaser emplacements, or missile launchers. Some were equipped with deflector shields, countering the effects of laser weaponry, thus protecting the ship from attack and asteroid impacts. Larger ships also acted as carriers, transporting dozens or hundreds of fighters for combat operations.
A small, single-man fighter, such as the X-wing starfighter, could be flown by one pilot, with the help of an astromech droid. Larger vessels, like the Super Star Destroyers, would be crewed by thousands of personnel, who are responsible for ongoing maintenance and operations. Larger ships also had a bridge, the command center.
- 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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