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"Shuttle TYA77, transmit clearance codes."
"Copy, Chimaera, transmitting codes now."
―An Imperial shuttle prepares to land aboard the Chimaera[src]

The ISD Chimaera (pronounced /kaɪˈmɪərə/) was a modified Imperial I-class Star Destroyer captained by Imperial officer Thrawn prior to the Galactic Civil War. It served as his command ship following his promotions to commodore, admiral and later Grand Admiral, transferring commands with him and eventually becoming the flagship of Grand Admiral's Seventh Fleet. During the Liberation of Lothal, the Chimaera was pulled into hyperspace by purrgil, which had been summoned by the young rebel Ezra Bridger. The ship was unique in which it had a stylized chimaera engraved on the ventral side of its hull.

History[edit | edit source]

Early service under Thrawn[edit | edit source]

Thrawn receives the Chimaera.

The Chimaera was an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer that saw service during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Just as the seeds of rebellion began to spread across the galaxy, the vessel was placed under the command of the Chiss officer Thrawn following his promotion to Commodore. The ship, with Thrawn as its captain, was dispatched to quell early rebel uprisings, with Lieutenant Commander Karyn Faro serving as the Chiss' first officer.[10]

Thrawn captained the vessel for some time, using his effective tactics to deal with the Empire's enemies. One of the rebel groups that was gaining influence at the time fell under the command of a mastermind who went by "Nightswan." Nightswan had been Thrawn's personal nemesis for years, although the two had never truly been formally acquainted. The Chimaera received orders to aid the recently attacked transport vessel Sempre, which Thrawn had believed to have been attacked by Nightswan's forces, which he theorized to have been headed by the recently stolen frigate Castilus. In an effort to arrive at the scene as soon as possible and ensure that they were prepared to face whatever awaited them, Thrawn ordered Faro to inspect the Chimaera's weaponry and engines.[10]

However, the Chimaera was unable to reach the transport in time, finding it adrift and the crew killed. Thrawn ultimately determined that the Sempre was actually carrying Wookiee slaves, and that they had been rescued by the rebels. In an attempt to neutralize the terrorists, the Chimaera headed to Lansend Twenty-Six, an Imperial slave processing center and former Confederacy of Independent Systems fortress. The station had fallen under attack by the time that the Chimaera had arrived, the assault being spearheaded by the Castilus. Colonel Zenoc, commander of the facility, did not have sufficient enough forces to defend it from the rebels. The presence of the Chimaera was adequate enough to provide support, its TIE fighter wing occupying the frigate and its V-19 Torrent starfighter detachments while the Star Destroyer fired on the station, concentrating all batteries on the areas where the attackers and escaped slaves were located. Once it had finished dealing with the threats within the fortress, the Chimaera turned its fire on the Castilus, neutralizing the threat and emerging from the engagement victorious.[10]

The Chimaera continued to deal with insurgent threats under Thrawn's command. A few years before the start of the Galactic Civil War, it was dispatched to the Belsmuth sector, where Governor Quesl of Botajef declared his planet independent from the Empire's rule. The Chimaera rendezvoused with Fleet Admiral Jok Donassius, who was in need of assistance in reclaiming Botajef for the Empire.[10]

Arriving in the Belsmuth sector, the Chimaera began to carry out initial strikes against the Botajef revolutionaries. The planetary defenses were immensely heavy, and one single Star Destroyer would not be enough to completely subdue the world. Fighter wings under the command of the Starfighter Commander, Senior Lieutenant Yve were dispatched to perform flybys past the two CR90 Corvettes that orbited the planet, belonging to the Botajef Defense Force. The Imperials were informed that they were invading the sovereign territory of the Jefi, a race indigenous to Botajef.[10]

The attack began not long after. Using its tractor beams, the Chimaera subdued one of the corvettes, which was taken as a prize. In the meantime, the Chimaera's TIEs managed to make short work of the planetary turbolasers. After focusing on various planetary bombardments, the defense placements were effectively neutralized. With the planetary forces in disarray, the Chimaera could focus on capturing the second corvette. After it was taken, Quesl surrendered and agreed to return to Coruscant and face trial.[10]

Serving the Ninety-Sixth Task Force[edit | edit source]

Due to his success, Thrawn was promoted to the rank of Admiral and assigned to the Ninety-Sixth Task Force. Even as he assumed control of the task force, the Chimaera remained under his command, serving as his command ship. The captaincy of the vessel was granted to a newly promoted Commander Faro, with Commander Eli Vanto, Thrawn's protégé, as another one of the ship's commanding officers. The Chimaera and the Ninety-Sixth were dispatched to the planet of Batonn to deal with a faction of insurgents in the midst of mounting an uprising in the sector. At the last minute, however, the Chimaera and the Ninety-Sixth were recalled after Thrawn refused to initiate an immediate attack against the rebels on Scrim Island.[10]

The Chimaera and the other vessels of the Ninety-Sixth were instead diverted to Sammun to quell the rebellion on that planet. In the end, the Empire secured a victory, with the rebels surrendering after two of their ships were destroyed and another four were taken as prizes. With the battle over, the Chimaera returned to Batonn to reinforce Admiral Durril and the One Oh Third Task Force, which was in complete disarray. However, instead of assisting the broken Imperial fleet, which was being battered by the planetary defenses, the Chimaera remained away from the fray at a safe distance. Upon returning to Batonn, Thrawn sent Vanto to confront Nightswan, who turned out to be Nevil Cygni, a former military contracting consultant who used his resources to fund the growing rebellion.[10]

The Chimaera during the battle for Scrim Island

Thrawn and Vanto eventually returned to the Chimaera, which was then tasked with destroying the rebel base on Scrim Island. Instead of firing directly upon the fortress, the Chimaera fired its ion cannons in the oceans surrounding the island, triggering a tsunami. Thrawn and Vanto once again headed down to the surface to meet with high command. In the meantime, full control of the Chimaera and the Ninety-Sixth Task Force was handed over to Commander Faro, who remained in command over both the vessel and the fleet during the Battle of Batonn. Not long after, most planetary forces and rebel ships in orbit were destroyed. What was left of Cygni's force then retreated to Paeragosto City, holing up in the Creekpath Mining and Refining complex. The Chimaera could not bombard the facility without destroying the entire city, so the capital ship remained in high orbit, awaiting further orders.[10]

The Chimaera attacks the rebel ships over Batonn

Later, after meeting Cygni face to face, Thrawn returned to the Chimaera and reassumed command of his ship. A fleet of thirty rebel starships emerged out of hyperspace not long after, with the Chimaera becoming engulfed in the fray. While commandeered light cruisers managed to shield the Star Destroyer from the bulk of the fleet's fire, the Chimaera was still exposed. It positioned itself behind the cruisers, which were, in fact, bait to attract most of the enemy's fire. Wings of TIE fighters were then sent to harass the fleet, while the Chimaera focused all fire on the ships. The insurgency on the surface was finally crushed after an explosion destroyed remaining rebel forces in the mines, which was secretly carried out by Governor Arihnda Pryce of Lothal, a personal friend of Thrawn. Continuously weakened by the Chimaera's fire and disheartened by news of the death of Cygni and the remaining insurgents, the remnants of the insurgent fleet retreated, with the Ninety-Sixth Task Force achieving a strategic victory.[10]

Although he did not condone the loss of unnecessary civilian lives, Thrawn took credit for the eradication of the rebels in order to advance his own career. In exchange for his many years of service, Thrawn was promoted to the prestigious rank of Grand Admiral and placed in command of the Imperial Seventh Fleet. The Chimaera also transferred over, serving as the flagship of the Empire's Seventh Fleet.[15]

Imperial flagship[edit | edit source]

In 2 BBY,[source?] Pryce lacked the forces to deal with the growing rebel threat in her sector and system, which was affiliated with a much larger cell. In need of professional assistance, believing Admiral Kassius Konstantine, then serving as the chief military officer in the system, was incompetent, she petitioned that Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin send the Seventh Fleet to help strengthen the Empire's hold over her sector.[21]

The Seventh Fleet over Lothal

After learning that the Lothal insurgents were en-route to Mykapo in order to extract rebel sympathizers, Thrawn dispatched Konstantine to go put a stop to the operation with a single Arquitens-class command cruiser. The Chimaera traveled to the system in order to reinforce the defeated commander, although the rebels were able to escape the battle.[15]

Thrawn continued the hunt for the rebels, and sent out Imperial E-XD-series infiltrator droids to secretly land on worlds in search of their hidden base. EXD-9, one of the droids, landed on Chopper Base and began its infiltration of the facility, but was compromised when Fulcrum informed the rebels of the infiltration. The droid was ultimately powered off after a skirmish against Captain Garazeb Orrelios; however, it was programmed to self-destruct if it was powered off while in combat mode. Orrelios and the droids C1-10P and AP-5 managed to disrupt the program long enough to send the unit back to the Imperial fleet and detonate its proton warhead. After Imperial engineers discovered it had returned and reactivated it, the droid self-destructed, destroying the Imperial Star Destroyer it docked with. The Chimaera was present for this, and as a result, Agent Kallus boarded the ship to inform the grand admiral. Thrawn was relatively unconcerned by this, as the sabotage only narrowed his search from a thousand systems to just ninety-four.[22]

As the Seventh Fleet continued to blockade Lothal, Thrawn requested many officers who had encountered the Spectres to board the Chimaera. These included Lieutenant Lyste, Kallus, Konstantine, Pryce, Commander Brom Titus and Captain Brunson. Lyste had recently captured a disguised Ezra Bridger, who wanted to rescue Kallus, as he was secretly Fulcrum. Bridger was brought aboard the Chimaera. While Bridger was locked away in Detention Block B7, Thrawn, Konstantine, Colonel Wullf Yularen, Kallus and Lyste met in Thrawn's Office. There, the Grand Admiral informed them of a rebel spy threat. Later, Kallus made his way to the Detention Block to release Bridger, using Lyste's code cylinder. They then made their way to Thrawn's office to erase information of the Rebels' base from his database, while also gaining clearance codes so the retrieval team could land and extract them.[16]

Thrawn and assembled Imperial personnel

Thrawn noticed the prisoner's escape and returned to his office to investigate any tampering. Kallus, Chopper, and Ezra hid while he inspected his office, whilst Kallus reprogrammed Thrawn's sentry droids in the adjacent gym to attack him, although the grand admiral was ultimately able to disable them. Kanan Jarrus and Captain Rex landed on the ship on a Sentinel-class landing craft, and attempt to extract Bridger and Kallus using stormtrooper armor as cover. However, Pryce confronted them, attempting to shoot them. Seeing Pryce shooting at who he thought to be actual stormtroopers, Lyste stunned her with his blaster, erroneously believing her to be the traitor. The chaos allowed the Rebels to escape, although Kallus chose to stay behind on the Chimaera to continue his role, since he now not only had an alibi but was also able to frame Lyste as the traitor. However, Yularen and Thrawn later discussed the outcome of the incident, not satisfied by the results. They both concluded that Lyste was far too loyal to the cause to be capable of treason, deducting that the only possible candidate was Kallus, or Fulcrum.[16]

Zero Hour[edit | edit source]

The Chimaera and the rest of the Seventh Fleet blockade Atollon

After more investigation, Thrawn was finally able to discover the location of the rebel hideout, which was situated on the planet Atollon in the system of the same name. Just as Phoenix Squadron prepared to launch a surprise attack on Lothal with the intention to attack the TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighter factory, they received a transmission from Kallus that Thrawn was preparing to launch a surprise attack on Atollon, which further delayed the attack. After realizing what Kallus had done, Thrawn saw it as good a time as any to apprehend Kallus, subduing him after a short fight. Mobilizing a portion of the Seventh Fleet from aboard the Chimaera, Thrawn set course for Atollon.[17]

After little time to prepare, the rebels found themselves outgunned and outmatched by the Seventh Fleet, which was commanded by Thrawn and Pryce on the Chimaera. The rebels proved to be no match for the fleet, which managed to destroy the forces of General Jan Dodonna within the early stages of the battle. To make matters worse, the broken rebel fleet was unable to jump to lightspeed due to the Interdictor vessel captained by Konstantine. Defying Thrawn's orders, Konstantine broke off from formation in order to face the rebel flagship, commanded by Jun Sato, the admiral's old rival. This confrontation resulted in the death of both officers after the latter collided his vessel into Konstantine's. The destruction of the interdictor gave Lieutenant Commander Bridger of the rebellion the opening he needed to go seek out reinforcements before Thrawn could order the activation of the second interdictor.[17]

The orbital bombardment of Atollon

The Chimaera and the rest of the Seventh Fleet decimated the entire rebel squadron, forcing what remained of their ships to the surface. Although the rebels managed to raise the shields just in time, Thrawn ordered that the Chimaera's turbolasers be turned to the ground to intimidate them. When he believed that they had finally had enough, Thrawn mobilized a ground party consisting of Imperial walkers and a large detachment of infantry, heading down to the surface with his own personal squad of death troopers. Thrawn temporarily relinquished control of the Chimaera to Pryce, who commanded the fleet in orbit.[17]

While Thrawn led the ground assault, the Chimaera and rest of the fleet were faced with the unexpected arrival of a small force of Mandalorians. The third party managed to take down the second Interdictor ship, allowing the remnants of the rebel fleet to escape. Aboard the flagship, Pryce ordered that the now disavowed Kallus was to be executed by being shot out of the Chimaera's airlock. Using his prowess, Kallus was able to break free after incapacitating two stormtroopers in an elevator. He slipped away to the ship's escape pods and was rescued by the rebels before they jumped into hyperspace.[17]

Working with Darth Vader[edit | edit source]

"While Woldar and Tarkin find and deal with the rebels, you and Lord Vader will take your flagship to deal with this other matter."
―Emperor Palpatine, to Grand Admiral Thrawn[src]

Following Thrawn's incomplete victory at Atollon, the Chimaera returned to Coruscant with Thrawn, where he and the Sith Lord Darth Vader were tasked by Emperor Palpatine to travel aboard the ship to the planet Batuu, to deal with a disturbance in the Force felt by Palpatine.[9]

Return to Lothal[edit | edit source]

Sometime later the Chimaera and the rest of the Seventh Fleet returned to orbit over Lothal. Soon after, the Spectres returned to the planet in secrecy in order to disrupt Thrawn's TIE/D Defender Elite program. Following a successful mission on the surface, several of the Rebels attempted to flee through the Imperial blockade in a UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft. Despite Thrawn commencing an attack on the starfighter from the Chimaera's bridge, the craft managed to escape by commencing a hyperspace jump through an Imperial construction module.[18]

Rebel X-wings engage the blockade.

Over a dozen rebel X-wing starfighters arrived soon after to attack the TIE defender factories on Lothal. They fought blockade and Captain Hera Syndulla lured Commander Vult Skerris over the Chimaera. Thrawn warned Skerris to steer clear as he prepared the Chimaera to fire on Syndulla, but Skerris refused, keen to the rebel captain. Thrawn commenced the firing, and both fighters lost their shielding in the barrage. Syndulla then attacked Skerris's fighter, and he crashed into a cruiser, sending it hurling into a Star Destroyer. The remaining X-wings then made for the surface. However, Thrawn had placed a swarm of TIE fighters to attack the X-wings, and they shot down every one of them. All of the pilots were either killed or captured, excluding Mart Mattin, who escaped with the help of the Lothal resistance group.[19]

Shortly thereafter, Thrawn took the Chimaera to Coruscant for a meeting with the Emperor over the funding for his TIE defender project, leaving the rest of the Seventh Fleet to guard Lothal. In that time, the local rebels rescued Syndulla, and after some fighting, AT-ATs accidentally destroyed the Lothal City fuel depot,[23] halting the TIE defender production. This affected Thrawn's plea for more support for the TIE defender project, and Thrawn became very angry at Governor Pryce for trying to cover it up.[24]

Shortly after, the rebels plotted to liberate Lothal from the Empire while Thrawn wasn't present. Knowing Thrawn was on his way back, they acted quickly, first luring in and capturing Governor Pryce. Thrawn received word of this from his Noghri assassin, Rukh, who had escaped the trap alive. Thrawn then arrived on the Chimaera to find that the rebels had taken the Imperial complex and prepared it to launch. Thrawn contacted the rebels, demanding their surrender, to which Bridger replied that they had all of the ground forces hostage. Thrawn dismissed it as getting them out of the way and began a bombardment of the city. Bridger gave in and surrendered to Thrawn, taking himself to the Chimaera. While on board he met with an altered hologram of the Emperor, who offered to return his dead parents to him. It was really a ruse and Bridger escaped and made for the bridge to confront Thrawn.[20]

The Chimaera is forcibly pulled into hyperspace by purrgil.

The other rebels managed to activate the Imperial complex's shield to protect the city from any further bombardment. Furthermore, some of the rebels were circling the city on the Ghost, transmitting on frequency zero to attract purrgil. Bridger made it to the bridge of the Chimaera and faced Thrawn; that was when the purrgil arrived and destroyed the blockade, before engaging the Chimaera and its escort. After taking out the other two Star Destroyers, some of the purrgil attached themselves to the Chimaera and dragged it into hyperspace, ending the short battle. With the Chimaera gone, the rebels launched and blew up the Imperial complex, killing the last of the Imperials on Lothal and liberating the planet.[20]

Design[edit | edit source]

The Chimaera, Thrawn's flagship

Despite being an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, the Chimaera had many design differences from standard Imperial Is. On the underside of its hull, the Chimaera had a large engraving representing a chimaera.[25] Another difference was the Chimaera's eight turbolasers surrounding its command tower. Unlike some other Imperial Is that had large double-barreled turrets,[26] the Star Destroyers of the Seventh Fleet featured eight-barreled turrets.[27] Additionally, the Chimaera had two opposite hangar bays, one located at either end of its ventral docking bay,[15] unlike some other Imperial I-classes.[28] A large door could cover the aft bay when it was not in use.[29]

Crew[edit | edit source]

Grand Admiral Thrawn, commander of the Chimaera

Many of the crew of the Chimaera wore a stylized symbol of a chimaera, either on their arms or pauldrons, to show their allegiance to Thrawn.[16] The second in command on the Chimaera was Commander Karyn Faro. She took control of the ship whenever Thrawn wasn't present.[10] Other officers on the Chimaera included Senior Lieutenants Lomar, Pyrondi, and Yve, Major Ayer, Flag Captain Albus Marinith,[13] and Thrawn's aide, Lieutenant Commander Eli Vanto. The bridge of the starship had its own officer corps.[10]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Chimaera first appeared in the 1991 Star Wars Legends novel Heir to the Empire. Unlike in Star Wars Rebels, however, it was an Imperial II-class star Destroyer.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 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 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  3. Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
  4. Star Wars Rebels: Head to Head
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 ToppsDigitalLogo.pngStar Wars: Card Trader (Card: Star Destroyer - Blueprints)
  6. Droids in Distress book
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
  8. Star Wars: TIE Fighter Deluxe Book and Model Set
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Thrawn: Alliances
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 Thrawn
  11. 11.0 11.1 Thrawn: Treason
  12. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Dawn of Rebellion
  14. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Iron Squadron"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Through Imperial Eyes"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Kindred"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
  21. Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow
  22. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Warhead"
  23. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Jedi Knight"
  24. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "DUME"
  25. Rebels Recon: Inside Trials of the Darksaber on (backup link)
  26. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  27. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
  28. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  29. Armada.png Star Wars: Armada – Chimaera Expansion Pack
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