Star Destroyers are capital ships in the fictional Star Wars universe. The Imperial Star Destroyer, which first appears in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), is "the signature vessel of the Imperial fleet". The term "Star Destroyer" also refers to other vessels in the Star Wars universe.
Star Destroyers appear in the original three Star Wars movies and in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In addition to their movie appearances, Star Destroyers appear throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe in books, comics, and games. Numerous Star Destroyer models and toys have been released.
The Star Destroyer first appears in the original Star Wars trilogy. In the 1977 film Star Wars, Han Solo refers to them as "Imperial cruisers". The term "Star Destroyer" is not used in dialogue until Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
In the original draft scripts of the movie that would become Star Wars, the term "Stardestroyer" refers to two-man fighters flown by what would become the Galactic Empire in later drafts. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) built a 91-centimeter shooting model of the ship for A New Hope. ILM built another model measuring 259 centimeters, equipped with internal lighting to provide a better sense of scale, for The Empire Strikes Back.
Imperial-class Star Destroyers are constructed by Kuat Drive Yards and hold a distinguished place in the Imperial Navy, symbolizing the Empire's military might with a peak number of more than 25,000 vessels. Like the Victory- and Venator-class ships that precede it, the Imperial Star Destroyer is most notable for its massive size and overwhelming firepower; a single Imperial-class ship is capable of overwhelming most starships or devastating a hostile planet, and its mere presence is often enough to deter rebellion. At 1,600 meters long, Imperial-class Star Destroyers are armed with turbolasers, ion cannons and tractor beam projectors. They carry 72 TIE fighters, numerous ground forces (including stormtroopers, 20 AT-ATs and 30 AT-STs), a prefabricated base for rapid deployment to planetary surfaces and a variety of support and landing craft.
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