- "A gem among the smaller capital ships."
- ―U.O. Statura
The Braha'tok-class gunship, known frequently as the Dornean gunship, was a model of gunship built by the Dornean Braha'ket Fleetworks Conglomerate. Well-armed with turbolasers and concussion missile launchers, it could carry two starfighters in its underbelly. Braha'tok-class gunships were initially built to protect Dornea from the Empire, but many of them eventually saw service with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, especially during the Galactic Civil War. Braha'tok-class gunships served with the Alliance as late as the Battle of Endor and after the War, they were still serving Dornea as late as 34 ABY.
Two notable Braha'tok-class gunships were the Orion and the Apailana's Promise. The Orion was among the three of its kind that were destroyed in the Battle of Atollon, while the Apailana's Promise served as escort to the CR90 corvette Thunderstrike. When the corvette was shot down at Sullust, the Promise fled the planet, but returned soon after and kept an Imperial-class Star Destroyer at bay to protect the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry until an infiltrator sabotaged the Star Destroyer from the inside.
The Dornean gunship was a type of gunship frequently referred to as the "Dornean gunship" for its use at Dornea. 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 was built at 90 meters long with a silver-plated hull to deflect solar radiation. The rebel soldier Hazram Namir described it to be a mean, compact, dagger of a ship. The Dornean gunship could carry 15 passengers and have a crew of 75 personnel. As well as this, it had a capacity of 300 and enough consumables for its average crew to last eight months.
For systems, the Dornean gunship possessed a navigation computer as well as a long range sensor systems, though it was not equipped for interstellar encryption. It had a class 1 hyperdrive, which was located between two of its three sublight engine units at the rear of the ship. The command bridge was situated in the ships bow. Dornean gunships were powerful for their size, bearing an armament of eight concussion missile launchers and eight double turbolaser cannons. Two double turbolaser cannons were seen above and below the ships bow, with a dorsal and a ventral turret also found towards the center of the ship. Two side turrets were seen at the middle of the ship as well. As well as weaponry, the Dornean gunship could bear a complement of two starfighters, that were attached to the gunships undercarriage.
The Dornean gunship was designed for fast attack, bombardment, and anti-starfighter roles. They were initially built for the protection of Dornea from the Galactic Empire, but many became a part of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. In the Alliance Fleet, Dornean gunships were still used for anti-starfighter roles, as well as escorting larger starships like CR90 corvettes.
Early rebellion against the Empire
- "Commander, They've destroyed the Orion."
- ―A rebel, reporting the Orion's destruction
Dornean gunships were originally manufactured by Dornean Braha'ket Fleetworks Conglomerate to protect the Dornean homeworld, Dornea, from the Galactic Empire. Eventually some Dornean gunships saw service in the early rebellion 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 corvettes, and GR-75 medium transports—following the Blockade of Ibaar.
Following the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the year 2 BBY, the Orion and two other Dornean gunships traveled with General Jan Dodonna's fleet to Phoenix Cell's base on Atollon. The two forces amassed in preparation for an attack on Lothal's TIE defender factory. However, both rebel cells were ambushed by the forces of Grand Admiral Thrawn. A battle ensued, and although many starships were destroyed in the battle, the Dornean gunships remained undamaged. As his tactic became too costly, Commander Jun Sato of Phoenix Cell ordered the fleet to charge the blockade and the three gunships advanced. However, the Imperial-class Star Destroyers thwarted the assault and the Orion was destroyed by TIE fighters.
Soon after, Commander Sato rammed his flagship, the Phoenix Nest, into an Interdictor-class Star Destroyer to allow one of his ships to escape and fetch help from the Mandalorians. Unfortunately, with their formation broken the rebel starships were forced to flee to Atollon. The ships housed themselves under the shield of Phoenix Cell's base, awaiting Thrawn's incoming ground forces. Thrawn's forces soon overran the base and in the midst of the chaos, several rebel ships escaped from the base. A Dornean gunship was one of these ships, and was followed the other rebel ships as they flew back towards Thrawn's blockade. As the ships ran the blockade, this Dornean gunship was lost.
Galactic Civil War
In 0 BBY, at least three Dornean gunships traveled with the Alliance Fleet, led by Admiral Raddus, to assist a rebel attack on Scarif. While a few starfighters were able to pass through the Scarif Shield Gate to assist the main objective, the rest of the fleet had to deal with the Star Destroyers and TIE fighters above and the Dornean gunships held of TIEs weaving between the rebel starships. 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 Dornean gunship barely avoided collision with the Star Destroyer as it arrived and managed to escape soon after.
The Battle of Scarif was a success for the Alliance and kick-started the Galactic Civil War. After another decisive victory at Yavin, Dornea decided to join the rebel cause, supplying more of these gunships for the rebel war effort.
During the Galactic Civil War, one Dornean gunship, named the Apailana's Promise, served as the escort to the CR90 corvette Thunderstrike, the carrier of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry. The gunship saw action in many battles, sometimes helping the Thunderstrikes escape in desperate situations. On one occasion when it covered the Thunderstrike's escape from an Imperial Destroyer. After the deaths of Captain Micha Evon and the Thunderstrike's main officers, Commander Tohna was transferred to the corvette from the Apailana's Promise. During the Siege of Inyusu Tor, the Thunderstrike was shot down and the Sixty-First were left stranded on Sullust. The Apailana's Promise initially retreated off-planet, but returned soon after and kept the Star Destroyer Herald distracted whilst the Sixty-First defended the Inyusu Tor mineral processing facility from the ground forces. The gunship survived the fight with its gun batteries drained and its shielding overheated but its hull still intact.
Following the Battle of Hoth, a few Dornean gunships were stationed at the rebel base on 5251977 when the crew of the Mighty Oak Apocalypse joined the Alliance. In 4 ABY, at least four of these ships rendezvoused with the Alliance Fleet near Sullust and one was seen flying 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 Dornean gunship was seen fending off TIE fighters and TIE interceptors when the Millennium Falcon passed it. When General Lando Calrissian ordered the fleet to engage the Star Destroyers, at least four Dornean gunships were at the vanguard of the fleet as it closed in on the blockade. As the battle drew to a close, at least two of the gunships escaped with the rest of the fleet as it flew towards the forest moon of Endor, away from the Death Star as it exploded.
New Republic Era
- "Who still uses these?"
"Dornea, my dear Statura. Dornea uses them."
- ―U.O. Statura and Admiral Gial Ackbar
In 34 ABY, Dornean gunships were still utilized by Dornea. After U.O. Statura questioned Admiral Gial Ackbar via a note in The Rebel Files about who still used the Dornean gunship, Ackbar replied by writing that Dornea still used them.
Behind the scenes
- "Glad this ship was able to find new life."
- ―Pablo Hidalgo, on the Braha'tok-class gunship
The Braha'tok-class gunship first appeared as a background ship in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, directed by Richard Marquand. It appeared as the Dornean gunship in the 2015 novel Lost Stars by Claudia Gray and was later identified as the Braha'tok-class gunship in the reference book Star Wars: The Rebel Files, released in 2017. In concept art for Solo: A Star Wars Story, one was included in a depiction of a Corellian spaceport flying above a large landing area.
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.
Creation and development
- "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 Bill George after art director Joe Johnston asked him to create a background starship for the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi,. With little time to work with, he spent as little as two days designing the ship. The kit-bashed model was given the name "ROJ BG ship", standing for either 'Return of the Jedi background ship' or 'Return of the Jedi Bill George ship'. However, when it was then 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. A new model of the Braha'tok-class gunship was eventually made for the Star Wars Rebels episode "Zero Hour", which aired March 25 2017. The animation model was also translated into a photo-real version for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released on December 16 2016.
- Lost Stars (First identified as Dornean gunship)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- Battlefront: Twilight Company
- 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
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files (First identified as Braha'tok-class gunship)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Knights of Fate
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- X-Wing: Second Edition – Huge Ship Conversion Kit
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Knights of Fate
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ 5.0 5.1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lost Stars
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Battlefront: Twilight Company
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- ↑ The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Laurent Perini’s ROTJ and Rogue One Dornean Gunship. Modeler Magic (May 6 2017). Retrieved on January 21, 2019. "The little hammerhead model has returned in Rogue One!"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 screenshot) (In response to "A few years ago, @pablohidalgo published a photo of the ILM model.") (
- Laurent Perini’s ROTJ and Rogue One Dornean Gunship. Modeler Magic (May 6 2017). Retrieved on January 21, 2019. "The little hammerhead model has returned in Rogue One!"