The Arquitens-class light cruiser, also known as the Jedi light cruiser or Republic light cruiser and later the Imperial light cruiser, was a line of light cruisers designed by Kuat Drive Yards that saw extensive service with the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. They would go on to see limited service under the Galactic Empire, though Kuat Drive Yards would later refit them into an updated variant for the Imperial Navy, the Arquitens-class command cruiser.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
- "The enemy ships are faster and more maneuverable. I suggest caution."
- ―TV-94, referring to the Arquitens-class light cruiser and its companion Consular-class cruisers.
The Arquitens-class were built on a broad, kite-shaped hull, in line with the Kuat Drive Yards triangular design motif that was also reflected in its contemporaries, the Venator and Acclamator-classes. It was set apart, however, by its three powerful engines (reminiscent of the smaller Consular-class space cruiser), as well as its two forward spars cleaved into the ship's triangular bow.
The bridge was a small T-shaped command tower positioned atop the hull, flanked by two turret-mounted quad light turbolasers; these were matched by identical emplacements, located on the ventral side. The cruiser's anti-fighter and anti-ship capabilities were bolstered by the quad laser batteries mounted port and starboard. All of the batteries could be retracted into the hull in the case of atmospheric operations. Additionally, the ship also had two pairs of forward concussion missile tubes.
Arquitens-class light cruisers were relatively small vessels; like the retrofitted Consular-class, they were regarded as "escort-class" vessels by the Confederacy navy (in contrast with the Venators, identified as "cruiser-class"). However, their versatility allowed them to serve in various roles, such as escorting convoys, performing reconnaissance pickets, and supporting larger capital ships. They earned the respect of both their crews and their enemy counterparts.
History[edit | edit source]
Clone Wars[edit | edit source]
- "Get back to the bridge. We need to detach before Grievous jumps ship."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to the clone naval officers aboard his Arquitens-class light cruiser during the Battle of Saleucami
Arquitens-class light cruisers were rushed into service with the Republic Navy upon the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY. One of these ships was part of Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi's flotilla during the Battle of Saleucami; it was used as bait for General Grievous, distracting him from the Jedi boarding party on his own flagship that was attempting to rescue the captured Eeth Koth. In the course of the battle, the ship was targeted at point-blank range by Grievous' flagship and was destroyed.
Several Arquitens-class light cruisers formed part of the fleet that protected Kamino when it was attacked by Grievous and Asajj Ventress. Arquitens-class ships were also part of the fleet that later engaged Ventress's fleet in the Sullust system.
Following a distress call from the Togruta colonists of the planet Kiros, Jedi Master Yoda deployed a group containing Arquitens-class light cruisers and a Venator-class Star Destroyer to investigate. After the slaves were transferred to a slave processing facility on Kadavo, an Arquitens-class cruiser helmed by Admiral Coburn maneuvered underneath the facility to deploy the Wolfpack to aid in the rescue. The troops brought the freed slaves onboard, and Coburn's ship left as Plo Koon and his squadron destroyed the facility.
Age of the Empire[edit | edit source]
Republic light cruisers continued to serve in the Imperial Navy after the Republic's transition into the Galactic Empire. One Imperial light cruiser, the Thunder Wasp (under the command of Commander Alfren Cheno), served as part of the task force of Admiral Carlou Gendling during the pacification of Umbara. The Chiss Captain Thrawn and Ensign Eli Vanto served aboard the Thunder Wasp, helping to knock out a vulture droid transmission station and effectively winning the day for the Empire.
During the Batonn sector insurgency, Admiral Thrawn commanded three Imperial light cruisers Shyrack, Flensor, and Tumnor during the assault on Nightswan's forces on Scrim Island. These light cruisers were disabled by a hidden ion cannon emplacement but Thrawn ordered his fleet to bombard the waters around the ion cannons, creating a tsunami that flooded the base and knocked out its defenses. Later, Thrawn used the cruisers as bait to entice Nightswan's ships to attack his command ship Chimaera. Nightswan's ships bypassed the cruisers, which deployed repair barges containing TIE fighters that neutralized Nightswan's fleet.
Refit program[edit | edit source]
Several years prior to 4 BBY, the Imperial Navy recalled those former Republic light cruisers still in service. At the Kuat Drive Yards, they would undergo a mass refit as part of a service life extension program. The interior was effectively gutted and replaced with radically improved systems to maximize speed, agility, combat ability and power output. This generation of refits would be the first of the Arquitens-class command cruisers.
Nevertheless, some unmodified light cruisers continued in the service of the Empire well into the Galactic Civil War. Serving as a transport, one Arquitens-class carrying credits confiscated from the Son-tuul Pride crime syndicate was hijacked in the Anthan system in 0 ABY; for their investigation of the heist, Darth Vader and Inspector Thanoth also utilized a light cruiser. Three of these ships also intercepted Princess Leia Organa's convoy after the Battle of Hoth.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Arquitens-class light cruiser first appeared in the The Clone Wars episode Grievous Intrigue. Although the ships seen in Star Wars: Commander are virtually identical to other Arquitens-class light cruisers, the bridge design is more reminiscent of a command cruiser.[source?]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
- (First identified as Jedi light cruiser)
- (First identified as Republic light cruiser)
- (First identified as Imperial light cruiser)
- Star Wars: Armada – Imperial Light Cruiser Expansion Pack
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious (Indirect mention only)
- Rise of the Separatists
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- (Picture only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- (First identified as Arquitens-class light cruiser)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Rise of the Separatists
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 60 (Starship Fact File: Arquitens-class Light Cruiser)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Grievous Intrigue"
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Darth Vader 7
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Escape from Kadavo"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nightsisters"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Kidnapped"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
- "Rebel Resolve", the first appearance of the Arquitens-class command cruisers, directly follows the events of "Call to Action," which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 BBY. Dawn of Rebellion states the conversion to the command cruiser variant happened "several years ago". As the sourcebook's in-universe perspective is apparently around the time of Star Wars Rebels, it is assumed here that the conversion took "several years" before the cruisers first appearance.
- Darth Vader 8
- Darth Vader 9
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back