Home One, this is Gold Leader."
- ―Lando Calrissian, during the Battle of Endor
Home One, also known as the Headquarters Frigate, was an MC80 Star Cruiser in the Alliance to Restore the Republic's fleet, famous for its role at the Battle of Endor and as one of Admiral Gial Ackbar's flagships. It was the namesake of the Home One type subclass and was noted as being the largest and most advanced of the Rebel Star Cruisers.
Home One belonged to the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser line of warships, and like most Mon Cal ships, it had a long cylindrical hull. Blue-gray in color, it had a tapered nose, and a bulbous stern, and it lacked the flared wings seen on the MC80 Liberty type.
In her original form, the Home One was an unarmed civilian vessel, designed for deep-space exploration, and her hull was strewn with a number of large observation viewports that would have been vulnerable in a military role. However, it is possible that, viewport bubbles notwithstanding, she was protected from the outset by the heavy hull plating and triple-redundant deflector shields that she would later carry in Rebel Alliance service.
During the Galactic Civil War, the Home One was rebuilt to serve as a command ship, carrier and battleship. Her vast viewports were plated over, and she was outfitted with a heavy offensive armament.
The hull contained twenty hangars, two of which were capable of handling larger vessels, these presumably being the large bay on the starboard side of the hull, and the main hangar on the ship's underbelly. Two smaller bays were visible on the port side of the hull, approximately opposite the large starboard bay. The secret squadron Gray Flight utilized a hangar with an aperture located in the "ceiling" of the room. The interior corridors, bridges and bulkheads of the Home One were pristine white.
The Home One was modified by Calamari technicians to be capable of splitting apart in three sections. The topmost section containing the main bridge and a forward section above the bow could separate from the main superstructure and function as additional warships or escape vehicles.
The ship was powered by four M8.0-StarDrive engines and six M4.5-StarDrive maneuvering engines, a drive system also used on the Liberty type, although the thrusters of the two designs were arranged in different configurations: where the Home One had four large and six small nozzles, the Liberty had nine of varying sizes.
Home One had a standard crew of 5,402, in addition to 78 gunners. It could carry 1,200 troops and 20,000 metric tons of cargo The minimum operating crew for the vessel was 1,230. As with all early Mon Calamari cruisers, most ship bridge controls could not be modified for use by Human hands, so the command crews were almost exclusively Mon Calamari, but the rest of the crew were a mix of all Rebel species: for example, Plourr Ilo served as a technician during the Battle of Endor.
As with most Alliance-era Mon Calamari warships, the Home One began as a civilian vessel built at the shipyards of Mon Calamari. She was designed as an unarmed exploration vessel, used to investigate deep space and to make contact with alien species.
When the Mon Calamari began to support the Alliance in earnest, the ship was selected for conversion into a warship, and became the flagship of the recently freed Ackbar. Home One became particularly important after the Alliance's defeat at the Battle of Hoth deprived Alliance High Command of a planetary headquarters, and she became the mobile base of operations of the Rebel leadership. As the flagship of Admiral Ackbar, Supreme Commander of the Rebel Fleet, the vessel was considered one of the most important assets to the Rebellion.
Home One was one of the largest ships in the Alliance fleet at the Battle of Endor and Ackbar commanded the Alliance fleet from its bridge. X2 helped Ackbar defend the ship's reactor core from attacking stormtroopers. The vessel went on to serve as Ackbar's flagship for the next five years, serving as the home base of the famed X-wing unit Rogue Squadron and participating in numerous key battles, including the Seizure of Coruscant, the Battle of Bilbringi, and the Battle of Ciutric.
Ackbar's flagship was constantly in use, due to the Supreme Commander's tendency to command important engagements personally. As a result, the vessel needed to be maintained at a constant state of readiness, which was achieved by repair yards in orbit over Coruscant.
Over the years, however, more advanced Mon Calamari starships were developed, such as the MC80B and MC90, and by 10 ABY, Ackbar was commanding the fleet from a new MC90 Star Cruiser, the Defiance. But the Home One continued to be deployed in front-line roles. She served as the command ship in the hunt for Leonia Tavira's Invid pirates in 11 ABY, leading a taskforce that included Rogue Squadron and two Victory-class Star Destroyers, and Ackbar continued to use the venerable Star Cruiser as his personal flagship throughout his tenure as Supreme Commander, so she did not leave service until 23 ABY at the earliest.
Behind the scenes
Canon is inconsistent about the weapons array aboard Home One. The best-known (and apparently most frequently stated) armament consists of 29 turbolasers and 36 ion cannons, arguably a very light armament for a vessel of this cruiser's size and importance. However, the earliest known source to give the ship's armament, the 1984 first edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, describes her as carrying 29 batteries of five turbolaser cannon each, for a more impressive total of 145 turbolasers and 36 ion cannons. Adding to the confusion, the Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition gives Home One instead an armament of 48 turbolasers and 20 ion cannons, which had previously been given as the armament of a standard MC80 Star Cruiser. The Official Star Wars Fact File 12 cites the two contrasting armaments on consecutive pages. A more recent official source, Starships of the Galaxy, gives the Home One and its subclass 36 turbolasers, 36 heavy ion cannons and six tractor beam projectors.
In the novelization of Return of the Jedi and a number of other early sources, the name Headquarters Frigate was italicized as if it were the ship's name, and "Home One" (or "Home-one") was not, as if it were merely a Call sign for the ship, comparable to "Red Leader."
Some fans have wondered how a ship can be called both a "cruiser" and a "frigate," but a possible real-world parallel is found in the United States Navy, where the term "frigate" was used for all but one of the large surface-combat warships built between 1950 and 1975, the majority of which were reclassified as "cruisers" in 1975.
Direct scaling of Home One in Return of the Jedi implies a minimum length of approximately 2.5km, and some cinematic evidence suggests a length of several kilometers. This contrasts with the 1,200-meter, 1,300-meter and 1,400-meter lengths given by Expanded Universe sources. X-Wing Alliance, which provides the source for the 1,400-meter Home One, also gives a length of 1,500 meters to Liberty-style cruisers and calls both types "MC80a"s. The most-quoted size of 1,200 meters apparently originated with West End Games, and is often presented as the generic size of MC80 Star Cruisers. The Return of the Jedi script and novelization contradict these later sources by describing Home One as the largest of the Rebel Star Cruisers, corresponding to its visual appearance in the film.
The game Star Wars: Empire at War scales Home One at approximately 3,200 meters. The game shows the Venator, Victory, Imperial, and Liberty classes in nearly perfect relative scale against each other. "Character" vessels are sometimes larger than their counterparts, which suggests that Home One may not be to scale, though the scaling is consistent with its size in Return of the Jedi.
In the Rogue Squadron games, the Home One's docking bay often acted as the main area to select spacecraft for a mission, with the exception of missions relating to Yavin or Hoth, for which the Great Temple's docking bay and the Echo Base docking bays, respectively, acted as that area instead.
- Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Notes and references
- Star Wars Technical Commentaries - Warships of the Mon Calamari
- Leland Chee commenting on the Home One size debate.