- "Sir, several unidentified objects have just entered orbit."
"My blockade will intercept them."
"They've destroyed the blockade. Our ships are just gone."
- ―An Imperial officer and Grand Admiral Thrawn
The Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser, colloquially known as the Dreadnought Support Vessel or the Imperial Support Vessel, was a midsize capital ship manufactured by Rendili StarDrive and used by the naval forces of the Galactic Empire. Prior to the Battle of Yavin, the anti-Imperial Batonn insurgents employed a contingent of Dreadnought Support Vessels during a failed revolt, while several of the cruisers later served as part of Grand Admiral Thrawn's blockade over the planet Lothal in the year 0 BBY. The blockade lasted until Lothal's liberation from the Empire, when all Imperial ships present were destroyed by a pod of the space-faring purrgil creatures.
During the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel Alliance used a stolen Imperial Support Vessel, 49AX3, against the Empire. The rebels transported their soldiers aboard the ship while raiding Imperial Refining Platform M36 in the Outer Rim Territories.
- "Load up the shuttles! We've gotta evac!"
- ―Commander Luke Skywalker, to a rebel trooper
The Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser, also known as the Dreadnought Support Vessel or the Imperial Support Vessel, was an oblong, midsize capital ship class manufactured by Rendili StarDrive. Designed to support multiple weapon configurations, the versatile cruiser was equipped with a dorsal sensor dish located near the stern of the ship, a Class 2 hyperdrive, and twelve sublight engines in varying shapes and sizes. The vessel's exterior featured a gray hull along with several elliptical and rectangular protrusions amidship. The interior featured a bridge and viewports at the bow and sides. Imperial Support Vessel 49AX3, which was stolen by the Rebel Alliance, carried multiple shuttles while under rebel command.
Unlike the Galactic Empire's Dreadnought Support Vessels, those employed by the Batonn insurgents had a clamshell-like bow, while the protrusions located amidship were red-colored. They also featured red markings at the bow section, a trait shared by other insurgent starships.
- "Incoming! Ten ships on vector one-ten by 80. Batonn insurgents!"
"Two more groups incoming. Eleven vessels each. Admiral, they're targeting the cruisers."
- ―Imperial sensor officers, reporting to Admiral Thrawn
A group of insurgents led by Nevil Cygni on the planet Batonn used Dreadnought Support Vessels in battle against the Galactic Empire a few years before the Battle of Yavin. During the siege of the Creekpath Mining and Refining complex, several of the vessels were part of the insurgent attack squadrons that opposed Admiral Thrawn's naval forces orbiting Batonn.
Although they targeted Thrawn's Arquitens-class light cruisers, the insurgents were defeated by the Imperial forces. The vast majority of the rebel forces were destroyed by Imperial TIE fighters and Thrawn's flagship, the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera, due to Thrawn anticipating Cygni's strategy.
Imperial blockade of LothalEdit
The Imperial Support Vessel was one of the starship classes used by the Imperial Navy. In 0 BBY, shortly before the Battle of Yavin, the Dreadnought-class heavy cruisers served as part of Grand Admiral Thrawn's Seventh Fleet during its blockade over the planet Lothal amid ongoing conflict with local rebel forces.
The blockade ultimately proved unable to contain the rebel presence on Lothal. After the rebel light freighter Ghost sneaked through the blockade by attaching itself to a passing cargo freighter, the Lothal resistance, led by Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger, launched a final attack on the Imperial forces and liberated Lothal from its occupation. During the engagement, the entire blockade, including many Imperial Support Vessels, was destroyed by a pod of purrgil—massive, whale-like creatures that were capable of naturally traveling through hyperspace—as part of Bridger's plan.
Raid at Imperial Refining Platform M36Edit
- "We just secured a year's worth of fuel for the fleet. If we jump through an asteroid, we wouldn't just blow ourselves—we'd blow up the Rebellion's hopes."
- ―A Pau'an rebel major
Circa 3–4 ABY during the Galactic Civil War, a team of Rebel Alliance soldiers led by a Pau'an major undertook a raid at Imperial Refining Platform M36 in the Outer Rim Territories, using the stolen Imperial Support Vessel 49AX3 as transport. Assisted by the Jedi Commander Luke Skywalker and his T-65B X-wing starfighter, the rebels stole the refinery's fuel supplies for the rebel fleet, but their escape was blocked by an Imperial-class Star Destroyer after the Pau'an refused to enter hyperspace through the surrounding asteroid field.
Skywalker soon landed his X-wing in the Imperial Support Vessel's hangar after destroying several attacking Imperial TIE fighters. He and the Pau'an then used the latter's private shuttle to draw away the attention of the remaining TIEs. The tactic worked, and the rebels aboard 49AX3 were able to escape, fleeing to a nearby world.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Dreadnought-class first featured as a background ship in "A Fool's Hope," the penultimate episode in the final season of the Star Wars Rebels television series, which first aired on March 5, 2018. Prior to the episode's release, the ship was initially showcased in a trailer for the series finale. The cruiser's colloquial name, Imperial Support Vessel, was revealed through concept art illustrations by Andre Kirk in the accompanying "A Fool's Hope" episode guide on StarWars.com. The 2019 reference book Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition later introduced its technical name as Dreadnought-class. Unlike other sources, the book does not capitalize the colloquial name, rendering it as Imperial support vessel. "Every Type of Ship in Star Wars Rebels," a 2019 installment of the Star Wars By the Numbers web series created for StarWarsKids.com, also identified the ship as the Dreadnought Support Vessel.
The designs for the Imperial Support Vessel were derived from the Imperial Dreadnaught, which figured prominently in The Thrawn Trilogy, a Star Wars Legends novel series written by Timothy Zahn. The Dreadnaughts originated in the 1989 Imperial Sourcebook, written by Greg Gorden and published by West End Games for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game.
- (First identified as Imperial Support Vessel)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition (First identified as Dreadnought-class)
- (First identified as Dreadnought Support Vessel)
Notes and referencesEdit
- (First pictured)