- "A gem among the smaller capital ships."
- ―Ushos O. Statura
The Braha'tok-class gunship, also known as the Dornean gunship or shortened to Braha'tok, was a model of gunship designed by the Dornean species and built by the Dornean Braha'ket Fleetworks Conglomerate to protect their homeworld, Dornea, from the Galactic Empire. Standing at 90 meters long, the vessel was armed with eight turbolaser cannons and eight concussion missile launchers and could carry two starfighters in its underbelly, linked to attachment clips. The Braha'toks were designed as dedicated anti-starfighter platforms and many eventually saw service as a part of the Rebel Alliance's fleet. Three of the gunships, including the Orion, fought in the Battle of Atollon and at least another three took part in the Battle of Scarif.
One Braha'tok-class gunship named the Apailana's Promise served as escort to the CR90 corvette Thunderstrike for the Alliance's 61st Mobile Infantry in 3 ABY, protecting the larger vessel from Imperial forces in numerous battles and distracting the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Herald during the Siege of Inyusu Tor to protect rebel ground forces. At least four Braha'toks joined the Alliance fleet at the Battle of Endor. The Apailana's Promise came to serve the New Republic in the Battle of Jakku, the final battle of the war, in 5 ABY. Despite being considered outdated by Admiral Ushos O. Statura, these gunships continued to protect Dornea as late as 34 ABY. In 35 ABY, at least four gunships fought with the citizens' fleet against the Sith Eternal's fleet during the Battle of Exegol.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Role
- 3 History
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 External links
The Braha'tok-class gunship, also referred to as the Dornean gunship or simply Braha'tok, was a type of gunship, built at 90 meters long, which bordered the line between being a gunboat or a corvette. Produced by the Dornean Braha'ket Fleetworks Conglomerate, the gunship costed a total of 1,400,000 credits and could reach speeds of 800 kph in a planet's atmosphere. It also had a silver-plated hull to deflect solar radiation which was very durable and was reinforced by the quick cycling deflector shield generators that could protect from rapid-fire weapons. The Braha'tok-class gunship was narrow with a similar resemblance to a CR90 corvette. The rebel soldier Hazram Namir described one Braha'tok to be a mean, compact, dagger of a ship.
The Braha'tok-class gunship could carry 15 passengers and have a complement of 70 officers and other enlisted crew. As well as this, it had a encumbrance capacity of 300 and enough consumables to last eight months. For systems, the vessel possessed a navigation computer as well as a long range sensor systems, though it was not equipped for interstellar encryption. The Braha'tok had a class 3 primary hyperdrive and a class 15 backup hyperdrive, located between two of its three sublight engine units at the rear of the ship. The command bridge was situated in the ships bow.
Braha'tok-class gunships were powerful for their size, bearing an armament of eight concussion missile launchers and eight double turbolaser cannons. While the bow of the gunship bore a dorsal and a ventral twin turbolaser cannon, the center of the vessel had turbolaser cannons positioned on the port, starboard, dorsal and ventral sides. Aside from these, the gunship was also able to deploy flares. As well as weaponry, the Braha'tok could carry two starfighters, linked to attachment clips located on the port and starboard sides towards the center of the vessel. Modifications could allow the gunship to carry additional starfighters and even a small freighter.
The Braha'tok-gunships was designed by the Dorneans as dedicated anti-starfighter platforms and served as screening vessels, defending larger vessels from starfighters and small capital ships like corvettes or frigates. Typically deployed in pairs, the gunships had the ability to take on swarms of TIE fighters and pose a threat to small capital ships, although the Braha'toks were not equipped for extended fights with larger starships. The Braha'tok-class gunship could also be used as a mobile base of operations.
Initially manufactured for the protection of planet Dornea from the Galactic Empire, many Braha'toks became a part of the Rebel Alliance and the Alliance's successor the New Republic. In the Alliance Fleet, the gunships were still used for anti-starfighter roles, as well as fast attack, bombardment, screening, and as escort to larger starships like CR90 corvettes. Use of Braha'toks by pirates in the Outer Rim Territories was not unheard of.
Early rebel service
- "Commander, They've destroyed the Orion."
- ―A rebel, reporting the Orion's destruction
The Braha'tok-class gunship was designed by the Dorneans and manufactured by Dornean Braha'ket Fleetworks Conglomerate to protect the Dornean homeworld, Dornea, from the Galactic Empire. Eventually some of these gunships saw service in the Galactic Civil War against the Empire and were listed by the Mon Calamari aides Caitken and Shollan as a part of the major composition of rebel starships—alongside Pelta-class frigates, CR90 corvettes, CR70 corvettes, Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes, and GR-75 medium transports—in a document sent by Admiral Raddus to Commander-in-Chief Mon Mothma following the Blockade of Ibaar, which took place in 4 BBY.
Following the formation of the Rebel Alliance in the year 2 BBY, three Braha'tok-class gunships part of the Massassi Group rebel cell, including the Orion, were among a fleet led by General Jan Dodonna which amassed with another rebel cell named Phoenix Cell above the planet Atollon. The two forces amassed in preparation for an attack on the planet Lothal's TIE defender factory. However, Imperial forces led by Grand Admiral Thrawn arrived out of hyperspace and blockaded the planet. A battle ensued, and although numerous rebel starships were destroyed in the battle initially, the three Braha'toks gunships remained intact. As the Alliance's initial tactics became too costly, Commander Jun Sato of Phoenix Cell ordered the fleet to charge the blockade, which saw the three Braha'toks at the vanguard of the assault. However, the Imperial-class Star Destroyers thwarted the assault and the Orion was destroyed by TIE fighters.
With the more rebel vessels falling to Thrawn's fleet, Sato crashed his flagship, the Phoenix Nest, into an Interdictor-class Star Destroyer to allow one of his ships to escape and seek help from allies. The rest of the rebel forces soon fled to Phoenix Cell's base on the surface of Atollon after Dodonna's flagship was too destroyed. The starships housed themselves under the shield of the base, awaiting Thrawn's incoming ground forces. When the Imperial forces overran the base shortly after, several rebel vessels, including a Braha'tok-class gunship, escaped and flew up to Atollon's orbit to try and bypass Thrawn's blockade. As the fleeing forces ran the blockade, the Braha'tok was lost.
Battle of Scarif
- "All ships make a jump to hyperspace."
- ―Raddus, to the ships of the Alliance Fleet
In 0 BBY, at least three Braha'tok-class gunships traveled with the Alliance Fleet, led by Raddus, to assist a rebel attack on the planet Scarif. While a few starfighters were able to pass through Scarif's Shield Gate to assist the ground forces, the rest of the fleet engaged the pair of Star Destroyers and their TIE fighters above and the Braha'toks helped fight the TIEs weaving between the rebel starships. Two of the gunships also stuck close to the rebel flagship, the MC75 Star Cruiser Profundity, protecting it as best they could from the multitue of TIEs.
Once the main objective had been completed, Raddus ordered the fleet to jump to hyperspace. Although many ships were able to escape, the Star Destroyer Devastator arrived and cut off the rest. One Braha'tok-class gunship barely avoided collision with the Star Destroyer but managed to escape soon after. The Battle of Scarif was ultimately a success for the Alliance, and after another rebel victory at Yavin, Dornea decided to join the rebel cause, supplying more Braha'tok-class gunships for the Alliance fleet.
During the Galactic Civil War, one rebel Braha'tok-class gunship named the Apailana's Promise, or simply Promise. served as the escort to the CR90 corvette Thunderstrike, the carrier of the Alliance's 61st Mobile Infantry—better known as Twilight Company. The gunship carried two X-wing starfighters for the company and the vessel's crew of a few dozen navy veterans came to collectively owe Twilight Company nearly 50,000 credits.
In 3 ABY, the Promise traveled with Twilight Company to the planet Haidoral Prime, where the company defeated the defending Imperial forces and extracted Governor Everi Chalis, whom wished to defect to the company. Three days later, the two ships crossed paths with an Imperial reconnaissance squadron, leading to a short battle between the two opposing sides. The Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise took minor systems damages during the exchange of fire and the Promise lost three of its crew. Days later, the gunship's X-wings assisted Twilight Company during a campaign on the jungle planet Coyerti.
Evading Imperial pursuit
- "We've been lucky so far. The Empire hasn't had forces positioned to do more than harry us."
- ―Sairgon reflects on the Imperial attacks
Three days after their departure from Coyerti, the Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise were attacked by an Imperial destroyer. The Promise and its X-wings were quick to defend the Thunderstrike and they soon escaped. The two starships were then ambushed thirty hours later in the Enrivi system by a light cruiser and a TIE fighter squadron. The Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise destroyed the attackers, and the pair were attacked again nineteen hours after that in the Chonsetta system by a squadron of TIE interceptors which had been hiding in a comet trail.
It was soon discovered that the Thunderstrike's hyperdrive was leaking hypermatter for the Empire to follow. Captain Micha Evon, the commanding officer of Twilight Company, held a meeting with the bridge crew of both the Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise as well as senior members of the company to discuss a solution for this. In this meeting, it was decided that Twilight Company was to seize supplies from an Imperial cargo transport. Thus the Promise traveled with the Thunderstrike to the Redhurne system and hid behind an asteroid belt which had once been part of a planet in anticipation of a target. The two vessels waited two hours until an Imperial heavy freighter and ambushed it from both sides.
Flanked both ways, the freighter chose to veer away from the Promise to avoid the gunships considerable firepower and move towards the Thunderstrike. The corvette returned fire at the Imperial heavy freighter and launched at least six boarding pods carrying squads of rebel troopers to infiltrate the cargo transport. The Promise fended off the TIE fighters that defended the freighter while the Thunderstrike's continued firing upon the transport to keep its crew occupied. When an Imperial Gozanti-class cruiser soon arrived to join the battle, Evon hastened the withdrawal of the boarding party to the Thunderstrike. As the two ships then jumped out of the system under heavy fire, the Promise lost its deflector shield generator trying to block fire from the Thunderstrike. The mission, though, was a success, with the needed supplies obtained.
- "The Thunderstrike and the Promise will rendezvous with three other battle groups in deep space. We've allocated a month to get both ships back in shape and let the company heal up."
- ―Micha Evon, to Hazram Namir
With the supplies obtained to repair the Thunderstrike, Evon arranged for the corvette and the Promise to meet with three other battle groups in the Elochar sector, allocating a month for both to get repairs while the captain, Chalis, First Sergeant Hazram Namir, and two others visited the Alliance High Command on the planet Hoth. Ten days after the Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise joined the flotilla, the former took aboard survivors from the light freighter Trumpet's Call after the vessel arrived without working life support. The survivors, however, were Imperial spies. The spies attacked the Thunderstrike's bridge and killed the officers, but not before Lieutenant Sairgon was able to warn the rest of the flotilla. Only the Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise remained as the other rebel starships fled.
When the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer the Herald to apprehend Chalis, the Promise, whose crew was unaware of the situation aboard the Thunderstrike, put itself between the corvette and the Star Destroyer to protect the former from turbolaser fire. After the spies aboard the Thunderstrike were killed, the Promise received new coordinates and followed the corvette into hyperspace.
- "Technically command falls to me, after Howl and Sairgon and Paonu and—well. Sharn, would you object to a voice vote?"
"Your company, your show. The Promise will back you either way."
- ―Von Geiz and Sharn
The Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise retreated to the planet Ankhural, where the Thunderstrike received repairs on the ground while a skeleton crew worked on the Promise in orbit. Namir and Chalis soon arrived with news that Howl and the rest of their group had been killed during an attack on Hoth.
Chalis soon proposed a new mission for Twilight Company during a meeting between senior members of Twilight Company. Named Operation Ringbreaker, it sought to force redeployments from the Kuat Drive Yards by attacking soft Imperial targets along the Rimma Trade Route. Sharn, the second-in-command of the Apailana's Promise, represented the gunship during the meeting and pledged the vessel's support for Twilight Company's final decision. A subsequent vote went in favor of Operation Ringbreaker, and the Thunderstrike and Promise soon departed from Ankhural and began their new mission. Commander Tohna, an officer aboard the Promise, was transferred to the Thunderstrike to take charge of its bridge crew and left the gunship with high praise from his peers.
During Twilight Company's deployment on the warehouse planet Mardona III as a part of Operation Ringbreaker, the Thunderstrike and Promise flew through the atmosphere at close proximity, being chased by hundreds of TIE fighters. Once the company's dropships deployed the troops from the Thunderstrike, the corvette and the Promise left the system, later returning upon Namir's signal to retrieve the soldiers under the cover of a storm. After Mardona III, Twilight Company attacked a number of other Imperial installations before putting in for repairs on the junk world Heap Nine. After another successful mission, only the planets Sullust and Malastare remained for Twilight Company to attack before the Kuat driveyards.
Siege of Inyusu Tor
- "Twilight? This is the Promise. We've been ambushed—the whole blasted swarm came in from behind the moon. They were waiting for the Thunderstrike to hit atmo…"
- ―A female crew member
The Thunderstrike and Apailana's Promise jumped out of hyperspace so within half a million kilometers of Sullust, with the sudden clench of gravity almost tearing the two vessels apart. Twilight Company was deployed and captured the Inyusu Tor mineral processing facility. However, when the Thunderstrike and Promise, they faced a heavy amount of TIE fighters presence and gunship covered the corvettes flank. Realizing that the squadron of TIEs had ambushed them, the Promise reported the trap to Namir on the ground and he ordered the ships pull up. The Thunderstrike instead plummeted and crashed on Sullust, with the Promise and its X-wings fleeing the Sullust.
Now stranded on Sullust, Twilight Company set up defense at the Inyusu Tor facility and attempted to contact the Promise and determine its position, although they could not maintain a channel for more than a minute. After Namir was missing in action in the nearby city Pinyumb, Chalis devised a plan to hijack ships in the Pinyumb spaceport and flee under the cover of the Promise. However, Namir returned to Twilight Company and with the decision for the company to stay and defend the facility.
The Promise later returned to Sullust with its X-wings and distracted the Herald, which was there to destroy Twilight Company. Late into the battle, Chalis allowed herself to be captured by the Herald on a stolen shuttle and she set off around twenty Ion bombs, crippling the Star Destroyer's power, forcing its withdrawal from Sullust. By that time, the Promise had drained its laser batteries and overheated its deflector shields.
Late stages of the war
- "The Promise just reported in. No sighting of Shadow Wing's bulk freighter."
- ―A bridge officer aboard the Deliverance, to Hera Syndulla
At some point after the Battle of Hoth, a few Braha'tok-class gunships were stationed at the rebel base on the planet 5251977 when the crew of the light freighter Mighty Oak Apocalypse joined the Alliance. In 4 ABY, at least four of the gunships rendezvoused with the Alliance Fleet near Sullust and where one flew in concert with the MC80 Star Cruiser Home One. The fleet went on to attack the second Death Star where they were quickly cut off by several dozen Star Destroyers.
During the battle, a Braha'tok-class gunship was seen fighting TIEs when the YT-1300 light freighter Millennium Falcon passed it. When General Lando Calrissian ordered the fleet to engage the Star Destroyers, at least four of the gunships flew at the vanguard of the fleet as it closed in on the blockade. As the battle drew to a close, at least two Braha'toks escaped with the rest of the fleet as it flew towards the forest moon Endor, away from the Death Star as it exploded.
In 5 ABY, the Alliance, which had since reorganized into the New Republic, attacked the Empire at the planet Jakku. The Apailana's Promise was among the New Republic's fleet, and aided the refitted New Republic Star Destroyer Deliverance in looking out for the Empire's 204th Imperial Fighter Wing, better known as Shadow Wing. The Promise reported no sightings of the fighter wing's flagship, the bulk freighter Yadeez, and General Hera Syndulla was informed of the report aboard the Deliverance. The New Republic ultimately won the battle, which marked the end of the Galactic Civil War.
New Republic Era
- "Who still uses these?"
"Dornea, my dear Statura. Dornea uses them."
- ―Ushos O. Statura and Gial Ackbar
In the years after the Galactic Civil War, Braha'tok-class gunships were still used by the Dorneans to protect Dornea. In 34 ABY, after the The Rebel Files were uncovered in an excavation and reached the private military group called the Resistance, numerous of their officers reviewed the documentations. In a documentation including the Braha'tok, Admiral Ushos O. Statura questioned via a note about who still used the gunship. Admiral Gial Ackbar replied by writing that Dornea still used them.
In 35 ABY, Calrissian and Chewbacca traveled to the Core Worlds to muster any starships that could assist the Resistance who were fighting against Darth Sidious and the Sith Eternal at the planet Exegol. At least four Braha'tok-class gunship joined the large citizens' fleet that replied to their call, travelling to Exegol to fight the Sith Eternal fleet. Although the fleet was successful in destroying many Xyston-class Star Destroyers, Darth Sidious struck the starships with Force lightning, disabling them. One Braha'tok was flying near General Poe Dameron's T-70 X-wing starfighter when both were disabled. However, the fleet were able to regain power and fight again after Sidious was distracted and killed by his granddaughter Rey Skywalker. Following their victory, the fleet traveled to the Resistance's base on the jungle moon Ajan Kloss for the victory celebrations.
Behind the scenes
- "Glad this ship was able to find new life."
- ―Pablo Hidalgo, on the Braha'tok-class gunship
The starship later known as the Braha'tok-class gunship first appeared as a background ship in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the third installment of the Star Wars original trilogy, directed by Richard Marquand. The Dornean gunship was first mentioned in the 2015 novel Lost Stars, written by Claudia Gray, but not linked to the starship in Return of the Jedi.
However, the background ship reappeared in Gareth Edwards' 2016 anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the Dornean gunship was mentioned in Pablo Hidalgo's visual guide for the film released on the same day. Hidalgo then referred to the background ship as the Dornean gunship in "Rogue One Secrets," an episode of The Star Wars Show uploaded onto YouTube in early 2017, confirming the two to be the same starship. The gunship was later identified as the Braha'tok-class gunship in the 2017 reference book and box set Star Wars: The Rebel Files, written by Daniel Wallace. The Braha'tok was also included in a depiction of a Corellian spaceport, flying above a landing area, in concept art for Ron Howard's 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In Star Wars Legends, the Braha'tok-class gunship was identified and elaborated, in 2006, on in the StarWars.com Databank by StarWars.com member "Ello137" through the Hyperspace feature "What's The Story?". Ello137 saw the competition as an opportunity to link obscure elements of the Expanded Universe with obscure things in the movies.
- "When I presented it to Joe Johnston he stated that it looked like “Something from Galactica”."
- ―Bill George explains Joe Johnston's view on the Braha'tok-class gunship
The first model of the Braha'tok-class gunship was conceived by the Industrial Light & Magic model maker Bill George for Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi after art director Joe Johnston asked him to create a background starship for the film. With little time to work with, George spent as little as two days designing the ship, mainly through kitbashing, making the main body out of a very thin vacuformed fuselage from an item on his kit wall. Due to how thin the model was, George strengthened it by filling it with urethane, which made the object very heavy for its size. The finished design was given the name "ROJ BG ship", standing for either 'Return of the Jedi background ship' or 'Return of the Jedi Bill George ship'.
When the ROJ BG ship was first presented to Johnston, he disliked it, saying it looked like a starship out of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Subsequently, the ship had a very small role in the final film. However, fans latched onto the obscure background ship and, according to Pablo Hidalgo, it became celebrated. The model of the gunship was stored in the Lucasfilm Archives while black and white reference photos of it were stored in Lucasfilm's image unit. In 2003, Hidalgo was researching the "cantina aliens" when he found the photos in a filing cabinet and posted them on StarWars.com.
- "We started building that model for Rebels, they translated it into a photo real version for…er Rogue."
- ―Pablo Hidalgo details the new model for Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Braha'tok-class gunship found a second life when its own animation model was eventually made for the television show Star Wars Rebels' season three finale "Zero Hour," which was directed by Justin Ridge and made its debut on March 25 2017. The animation model was also translated into a photo-real version for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Hidalgo later revealed details about the Braha'tok's behind the scenes history in "Rogue One Secrets" and "Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates," a panel part of Celebration Orlando in 2017.
After a fan posted her replica of the gunship on "Modeler's Miniatures & Magic," a gallery site for model builders, George praised the fan's post, telling the story of how he created the model for the Braha'tok-class gunship. In response to a fan thread on Twitter on the gunship which reiterated details Hidalgo had formally given on the models history, Hidalgo himself gave further information on his discovery of the reference photos which he had posted on StarWars.com.
Star Wars: The Rebel Files and DK Publishing's 2018 reference book Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles, written by Landry Q. Walker, claim that the crew of the Braha'tok-class gunship is 75 whereas the 2018 and 2020 Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game sourcebooks Knights of Fate and Starships and Speeders set it as 70. Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles states the gunships hyperdrive to be class 1, but Knights of Fate and Starship and Speeders also contradicts this, setting it as class 3. This article uses the information from Knights of Fate and Starships and Speeders as the more recent sources.
The armament of the Braha'tok-class gunship in Knights of Fate and Starships and Speeders—two proton torpedo launchers, four concussion missile launchers, two twin light turbolaser cannons and eight quad laser cannons—also contradicts Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles and DK publishing's 2019 reference book Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition, both of which claim the armament is eight concussion missile launchers and eight turbolasers. Star Wars: The Rebel Files and The Art of Star Wars Rebels, the book of concept art for the Star Wars Rebels written by Daniel Wallace and released in 2020, also state that the armament is concussion missile launchers and turbolasers. This article prioritizes the information on the armament given by Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles and Ultimate Star Wars: New Edition.
The Art of Star Wars Rebels claims that starfighters could dock into a hangar in the Braha'tok-class gunship, whereas numerous other sources, including Rebel Files, Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles, Knights of Fate, Starships and Speeders and Alexander Freed's 2015 novel Battlefront: Twilight Company, claim that the gunship carries the fighters on its undercarriage. Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles further specifies that the Braha'tok possesses attachment clips to carry the starfighters. This article ignores the information given by The Art of Star Wars Rebels in this case.
- Lost Stars (First identified as Dornean gunship, simultaneous with Lost Stars audiobook)
- Lost Stars audiobook
- Star Wars: Starfighter Missions
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story audiobook
- Battlefront: Twilight Company
- Battlefront: Twilight Company audiobook
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker