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Class four container transports, also referred to simply as Imperial cargo ships, were tetrahedral, hyperspace-capable bulk freighters built by Kuat Drive Yards and used by the Galactic Empire to haul large numbers of crates and containers across the galaxy.

Characteristics and role[]

The bridge module of an Imperial cargo ship

The class four container transport was shaped like a tetrahedron resting on the longest of its six edges. The bridge module was located in front of the ship, at the narrowest vertex of the recumbent tetrahedron, and resembled[2] that of the Arquitens-class command cruiser.[4] An assembly of up to 210 large containers was attached to the rear triangular side of the ship, encased between the sublight engines positioned at each of the three angles.[2] However, containers could be removed to make room for a hangar bay at the rear of the cargo portion.[5] The cargo of the transport could be accessed from the inside through at least one entry and exit point between the cargo and the vessel.[2]

In addition to its sublight drives, the Imperial cargo ship was equipped with a hyperdrive, which allowed it to travel through hyperspace. It was also armed, boasting one top-mounted double-barrelled turbolaser battery and two side-mounted laser turrets.[2]

Every Imperial cargo ship required the presence of an inventory droid to track and monitor all the goods to ensure it was organized and safely arrived at its destination on time. Also, inventory droids were tasked with logging every item and crew member of the transport and in addition were able to view the Imperial data network. Imperial cargo ships were used to haul large quantities of containers and crates from spaceport to spaceport.[3] For security purposes, Imperial cargo ships had stormtroopers and a security complement of at least five DT-series sentry droids.[5]


In order to steal a cargo ship, Chopper jettisoned its freight assembly.

"You stole an Imperial freighter?"
―Hera Syndulla, to Chopper[src]

Class four container transports were in use shortly after the formation of the Galactic Empire. On a mission to Corellia, the rogue clones of the Bad Batch got past the planet's sensors undetected by attaching their shuttle, the Havoc Marauder, to the underside of the freight assembly of a transport approaching the planet, detaching when the ship was close enough to the planetary surface.[6]

In 3 BBY,[7] the rebel astromech Chopper stowed away on an Imperial cargo ship docked at the Horizon Base. Eventually, the astromech joined forces with the ship's inventory droid, an RA-7 protocol droid called AP-5, to steal the vessel from the Empire. In order to do so, Chopper managed to trap the stormtroopers serving aboard the ship in the freight assembly, before jettisoning the soldiers along with the containers. AP-5 then transmitted the coordinates for the planet Atollon to Chopper's Spectres and the Phoenix Cell despite the opposition of the Imperial captain. Chopper then rendezvoused the cargo transport with the rebels above Atollon.[2]

In 2 BBY, the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka and the Jablogian crime lord Azmorigan acquired the flight plan for a cargo transport. They disabled the transport with ion mines. However, the ship drifted into the upper atmosphere of the planet Wynkahthu, where it was trapped in a storm. Most of Hondo's Ugnaught crew with the exception of Melch were lost while boarding the ship. Hondo and Azmorigan managed to reach the ship with the help of the Spectres and AP-5, who was familiar with that class of ships. They managed to restart the ship and steal a cargo of proton bombs and treasures. However, the recovery team was forced to flee when it accidentally activated the sentry droids. The recovery team fled back to their starship, the Ghost, before the cargo ship descended into the vortex and exploded.[5]

Later, during the Spectres' attempts to liberate the planet Lothal from the Empire, Hera Syndulla, at Ohnaka's suggestion, latched the Ghost onto the hull of a container transport to sneak past the Imperial blockade of Lothal. After waiting for some time, they latched onto the ship once it exited hyperspace, successfully passing through the Imperial blockade.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

The Imperial cargo ship appears in the Star Wars Rebels series, first appearing in the second-season episode "The Forgotten Droid."[2] Dave Filoni, supervising director of the show's first two seasons, built a model of the cargo ship out of a manila folder when the show's crew was breaking the story of "The Forgotten Droid."[9]



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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Forgotten Droid"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 StarWars-DatabankII.png Imperial Cargo Ship in the Databank (backup link)
  4. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Resolve"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Wynkahthu Job"
  6. Star Wars Bad Batch.jpg Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Decommissioned"
  7. Dawn of Rebellion dates the attack on Phoenix Squadron to three years before the Battle of Yavin, or 3 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas' dating system. As the heist at Horizon Base take place immediately before the attack on Phoenix Squadron, it can be determined that it also takes place in 3 BBY.
  8. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "A Fool's Hope"
  9. TwitterLogo.svg Steven Melching (@stevenmelching) on Twitter: "Fun fact: Filoni built a model of this ship out of a manila folder while we were breaking the story. #StarWarsRebels" (screenshot)