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This article is about the starship class. For more uses of Gladiator, see Gladiator (disambiguation).

The Gladiator-class Star Destroyer was a class of warship used by the Galactic Empire.[2][6][1] There were two variants, the Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer and the Gladiator II-class Star Destroyer.[3]


A Gladiator-class Star Destroyer moving through an asteroid field

The Gladiator-class was a small Star Destroyer that shared its keel design with the Broadside-class cruiser.[1] A ventral protrusion on the hull appeared to cover the ship's main reactor, but was also the location of several cannons. The class had two main thrusters and no visible secondary thrusters.[2]

It possessed an array of capital-grade torpedo[2] or concussion missile[1] launchers and turbolaser emplacements. Torpedo loading bays were located deep inside the ships, with automated loading arms controlled from a console next to the conveyor belt that fed munitions to the launchers.[2]

The total number of guns installed was twelve dual light turbolasers, ten point defense medium laser cannons, ten medium assault concussion missile launchers and eight tractor beam projectors grouped in 6 turbolaser batteries, 3 laser batteries, 2 missile batteries and 3 tractor beam batteries.[4][1]

Ventral view of the Demolisher

The Star Destroyer class was characterized by its extensive hangar area, with an opening in the bow of the vessel, that split the forward superstructure in two,[2] similar to the Broadside-class.[7] The hangar had enough room for several starfighters to enter or exit at the same time.[2] A complement of 24 fighters was usually carried to intimidate small frontier worlds.[1] Also 5 AT-ST along a number of shuttles and landingcraft were available.[4]


The Gladiator-class was originally envisioned during the Clone Wars as a Republic escort vessel for heavier vessels, namely the Victory-class Star Destroyer, and the initial design was made by Walex Blissex for Rendili StarDrive. The final design was not finished until after the end of the Clone Wars. With the transition of the Republic to the Empire, the Victory- and Venator-class being abandoned as the principal front line warships by the Galactic Empire in favor of the larger Imperial I-class Star Destroyer (to which an escort was deemed unnecessary) the need for such an escort never came to fruition and were subsequently abandoned, the specs were handed over to Kuat Drive Yards.[1]

The Gladiator-class, seen from behind

Kuat Drive Yards repurposed the class as a long-range patrol vessel, carrying enough troops, fighters and firepower to subjugate local pirate groups and planetary defense forces in the fringe regions of the galaxy. In essence a vessel which could independently project power on less critical worlds where the expensive Imperial classes were viewed as overly redundant. However when the Rebellion began to field heavier naval elements, smaller Imperial ships like the Gladiator-class were outmatched.[1]

A ship of this class, the Demolisher, served as the flagship of Imperial Admiral Terrinald Screed[8] during his mission to the Roon system.[6] Prior to the Battle of Tammuz-an circa 15 BBY, the pirate leader Gir Kybo Ren-Cha and his band stole the Demolisher from an Imperial repair dock.[1] They utilized it to attack the planet of Tammuz-an in order to steal its riches, but were defeated and the ship was disabled.[2]

Many other Gladiator-class Star Destroyers were captured by pirates. Its value in the black market was 34 million credits.[1]

Demolisher fires a tractor beam

The Empire deployed two versions of the Gladiator: Gladiator I- and Gladiator II-class Star Destroyer.[3]

At least one Gladiator-class Star Destroyer was deployed to guard the Timira City Cloning Facility on Kamino at 2 BBY, where it later participated in a battle with the fledgling Alliance Fleet.[9]

The shipyard facilities in orbit of Lianna were used to perform maintenance of a Gladiator-class ship during the Galactic Civil War.[10]

A force comprised of the Blood Ambition (a Gladiator-class ship) and two Raider I-class corvettes attacked the planet Xorrn and fought against a Rebel fleet.[4]

Admiral Screed's Gladiator-class Star Destroyer on approach to Roon.

Behind the scenes[]

Despite being one of the earliest Star Destroyer classes seen in official media, the Gladiator-class wasn't named until 2008, when its profile appeared in The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide. Until this time, fans had simply named the class after its only known vessel, the Demolisher. In the Droids series the Demolisher seemed to fire its turbolasers from the ventral dome. The size of the starship is 500 meters in The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide and 600 meters in Friends Like These.



Notes and references[]

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