- "The biggest, most dangerous, most secret vessel of them all, a supership, a dreadnaught, a battlemoon. One the enemy wouldn't see coming until it was too late."
- ―Triv Pothman
The Eye of Palpatine was a colossal, irregularly shaped super dreadnaught constructed at the behest of Emperor Palpatine during the second year of the Galactic Empire. It was destroyed twelve years after the Battle of Yavin.
- "Huge, more vast than even the biggest of the Super Star Destroyers, bigger than a torpedo sphere, with firepower to waste a planet."
- ―Luke Skywalker's thoughts on the Eye of Palpatine
The deadly warship was one of the Galactic Empire's first functional superweapon. It was referred to as both a dreadnought and a battlemoon. As part of its secretive origin, the vessel was made to look like an asteroid, including impact craters created with Palpatine's direct input. The official reason for this was to evade detection by enemy vessels and worlds, although some speculated it was done to keep its development a secret due to potential outrage, or possibly because it was converted from a large space rock in order to save on material resources.
Akin to a Torpedo Sphere in role (i.e., an enormous siege platform intended to target sections of planet with myriad weapons) the Eye was larger and more heavily armed. Its firepower rivaled and possibly exceeded that of an entire fleet carrying out a Base Delta Zero–type orbital bombardment; that is, it could reduce the upper crust of a planet to molten slag using only its own weaponry. Its overall size surpassed that of several Super Star Destroyers, although its length was on par with the Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts and the Vengeance-class dreadnoughts.
The bridge was located at the bow of the vessel. A Kuat Drive Yards–style tower on the dorsal area of the ship was included solely as a deflector-shield generator. Another deflector-shield generator was located near the stern, on the ship's ventral side. The vessel had at least one sensor array, visible on the bow as a large crater. It possessed at least eight hangar bays, close to the stern; at least one of them was on an area where the ship's metallic hull was exposed. At least six sublight engines propelled the vessel, one near the dorsal side and two near the ventral side of the stern. The hyperdrive was located in the equatorial area of the vessel's stern. Its weaponry included at least four sets of ventral turbolaser batteries, a ring of eight forward-focused turbolaser batteries, and its primary weapon, a laser targeting beam emitter, located at the center of the forward-focused turbolaser battery ring. The main bridge was located directly above the targeting beam emitter, as well as the topmost turbolaser battery.
To maintain secrecy, the ship was unmanned, and all its systems were controlled by an artificial intelligence known as the Will. The ship was equipped with many TIE squadrons as well as Beta-class ETR-3 escort transports and Skipray Blastboats. Much of the ship's onboard equipment was supplied by SoroSuub Corporation.
- "Looking at the kind of thing he designed later—military and industrial both—I'd say the Emperor paid him to design a supership of some kind. That was back when they needed a vessel the size of a city to carry the blasting power they wanted. Whatever was on Belsavis, it looks like the Emperor didn't want anything breathing when the dust settled."
- ―Mara Jade on Keldor's involvement
The dreadnaught was designed by Ohran Keldor, who also had a hand in the Death Star project. Palpatine had the Eye constructed in 18 BBY, via government funds that he had diverted, and he intended to use it to destroy Belsavis's Plawal Rift, where the Children of the Jedi were being sheltered by the Ho'Din Jedi Master Plett at the time. This rift was a lush, steam-filled geothermal vent gouged into the planet's icy wastes and covered by a transparisteel dome. Since this action would have caused outrage in the Imperial Senate, he scattered the vessel's contingent of troops across the Outer Rim Territories to await pickup. The ship also was made to resemble an asteroid, even including impact craters, as a means of camouflage. Officially, the camouflage was implemented to either deceive or baffle scanners from enemy worlds and vessels, although later historians speculated that the real reason was to keep its development a secret from the Imperial Senate, due largely to Palpatine having already ordered for the commencement of the Death Star project by the time he ordered the construction of the dreadnought.
The ship was constructed at the shipyards of Rothana and at Patriim, where it was activated and sent to Belsavis to destroy the Jedi. Scheduled to fly along lightly traveled hyperlanes, it would pick up contingents of troops at Pzob, Dom-Bradden, Kirdo III, Tatooine and Alzoc III. Despite the secrecy attempts, two Jedi Knights, Geith Eris and Callista Ming, found out about it and sabotage the vessel in the Moonflower Nebula. Callista was forced to trap her spirit in the ship's computers in order to stop it. Plett and the children of the Jedi were able to leave Belsavis and escape as a result of Geith's and Callista's heroic act. The Emperor, furious at the failure of his plans, imprisoned several people for the loss of the Eye.
- "We've heard all about this ship, what is it? Where is it coming from? Are you sure it's large enough to give us the power, the armament, to create our own Allied Fleet?"
"It is, quite simply, the largest and most heavily armored battlemoon still in existence from the heyday of the Imperial Fleet, it was the prototype transition between the torpedo platforms and the original Death Star. It doesn't have the focused power of the destructor beams, but it has almost the power capacity of the Death Star…"
- ―Lord Vensell Picutorion and Irek Ismaren
The Eye remained dormant and lost until 12 ABY, when the Emperor's Hand Roganda Ismaren located it. She used her son Irek Ismaren—who had been implanted with a sub-electronic converter that allowed him to control any machine by thought—to "summon" the dormant ship to Belsavis in her attempt to revitalize the Empire.
Upon activation, the Eye of Palpatine attempted to fulfill its programming by picking up its Imperial stormtrooper contingent. But, after so many years, the troops had disappeared, except for Triv Pothman, one of 45 troopers left on the Gamorrean colony Pzob, who survived the bloodshed brought on by the various warring Gamorrean tribes.
Undaunted, the Eye went after any sentient beings found in the appropriate locations. It began grabbing groups of prisoners from various species located on the enlisted worlds. Soon the Eye was filled with numerous species including Talz, Affytechans, Jawas, Kitonaks, Tusken Raiders, Tripods, and Gamorreans. They were all brainwashed into thinking they were Imperial stormtroopers.
The Eye was eventually destroyed by Jedi student Nichos Marr over Belsavis. Although no evidence could be found in any of the surviving Imperial records recovered by the New Republic, Qwi Xux believed that the Eye had a sister ship; that ship's mission or final fate, if it even existed, had not been discovered as of 25 ABY.
- Children of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Darksaber (Mentioned only)
- "Murder in Slushtime"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 14 (Indirect mention only)
- Planet of Twilight (Mentioned only)
- The New Rebellion (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- "The Women Of Star Wars"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- "ComicScan: Luke-ing For Love In All The Wrong Places"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 7 (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Chronology
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- "Who's Who in the New Jedi Order"—Star Wars Insider 57
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
- Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 3
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 8
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Death Star Owner's Technical Manual (First pictured)