Imperial Star Destroyer Basics

The Star Wars Actors Guild 77 (SWAG77) ask questions about Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship, The Chimaera. Thrawn made modifications to the Imperial Star Destroyer class I (Disney canon) when he became the ship’s commanding officer, Commodore. The only modification that fans can see is the ventral hull with his family’s emblem, the Chimaera, a monstrous three-headed creature represented with spider legs, multiple stalked eyes, and two serpentine heads perched atop long barbed necks (source).

Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship, The Chimaera

However, Thrawn’s Chimaera engraved emblem on the ventral hull is not the only modification that Thrawn added to his Imperial Star Destroyer. There must be more. What more? What modifications?

SWAG77’s hypothesis is modifications to the engines and their components, as well as hyperdrives and thrusters. Modified weapons are present, but not turbolasers overall functions, but in composition and engineering tolerance ranges. Turbolasers turrets fire plasma but can fire more plasma that the overall heat energy overload does not shutdown the weapons. We will discuss these modifications further in a separate post. Stay tuned.

We need basic information on Star Destroyers overall. 

This review is about how Star Destroyers enter the atmosphere and hover over land areas to block enemies’ activities.

In Star Wars Legends’ Canon, Star Destroyers never entered the planetary atmosphere. They docked in high orbit and used shuttles to travel to the surface of a planet. We have seen Star Destroyer dock in high orbit in recent movies and TV programs. The prime examples in the movies Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One. The writers kept high orbital Star Destroyer docking in the Disney canon originally in Legends’ Canon.

Orbital Landing Docks Above Planets

Santhe Shipyards on Corellia ISD assembly
high above in Star Wars Solo: A Star Wars Story

However, there has been confusion in search and literature about whether Star Destroyers can enter a planet’s atmosphere and “land” on the surface of a planet. There is no mention of Star Destroyers landing on a planet’s surface in Legends’ and Disney’s canon. In the Clone Wars, fans see that the Venator and Acclimator classes of starships can land on a planet’s surface.

This question and comment on Reddit did not age well.

Still, The Venator Ships land on planets and they are smaller in size to Imperial-class I Star Destroyers that do not land on planets, at this moment.

What Imperial Star Destroyers do is enter a planet’s atmosphere and hover over land. Two images show the Imperial class-I Star Destroyer, Dauntless, with two vantage points. The following two and youtube video images show Imperial class-I Star Destroyers hovering over Lothal with large spotlights (picture A) and Grand Admiral Thrawn’s 7th Fleet Star Destroyers when Thrawn fired on the Lothal city (picture B). The image examples from Disney’s canon show Star Destroyers hover over land in the atmosphere.

The Imperial Star Destroyer Dauntless hovering over the Holy City on the Jedha Moon in Rogue One.

Star Wars Imperial class-I Star Destroyers hovering over Lothal

From Everything Star Wars

So, in the Legends’ Canon, Star Destroyers never go in a planet’s atmosphere (unless crashing into the planet) and never landing on planets. In Disney Canon, Clone Wars Venator (possibly Acclimator) Starships could land on a planet’s surface. In the Star Wars Rebels TV Show and the movies, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One, Star Destroyers do can enter the planet’s atmosphere and they hover over a city in the planet’s atmosphere as a blockade.

Now for the special modifications of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s ISD Flagship, The Chimaera before “destroyed” by Ezra Bridger’s Force Powers and Purrgil Space Whales jumping into hyperspace to an unknown planet in the Unknown Regions.

Published by Star Wars Actors Guild 77

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