The LAAT/le gunship, also known as patrol transport, police gunship, known first as the Republic police gunship or Republic police helicopter and later as the Imperial patrol transport, was a gunship introduced during the Clone Wars to perform law enforcement functions on the Republic capital of Coruscant. Designed to be sleeker and smaller as well as less heavily armed than the Republic attack gunship, the patrol transport was better suited for policing the dense city-wide planet while reducing the risks of collateral damage.
After the formation of the Galactic Empire, the patrol transport saw a broader use as a patrol craft for the Imperial Military on various worlds, as well as an escort carried on some of its capital ships. Patrol transports saw extensive against various rebel cells and factions during both the early Rebellion and the Galactic Civil War.
The LAAT/le gunship was the civilian model of the LAAT/i gunship and was sleeker, smaller, and less heavily armed. The police gunship possessed a spoked cockpit and solar gatherer panels which acted as the power generator for the ship. Two ball-mounted laser cannons were underneath the cockpit and one laser cannon was mounted on the rear of the ship which were better suited for patrolling the city scape as well as having a lower risk overall in causing collateral damage.
The patrol transports were also equipped with searchlights in the event that they had to conduct searches at night or in areas of Coruscant where visibility was low, such as the underworld. The gunship's cockpit also had two seats for the pilot and gunner, with the pilot being slightly behind of and elevated over the gunner. The side hatches opened for entry, and had a ramp near the rear in the event that the circumstances required rapid deployment of its personnel.
The patrol transport was armed with ball-mounted turrets and fixed cannons. A troop bay allowed for the rapid deployment of police officers. Though utilized primarily by the Coruscant Security Force, the patrol transport also was available to the Coruscant Guard shock troopers who could procure them if need be. Following the formation of the Galactic Empire, the patrol transport was used as a patrol craft and as an escort carried on some capital ships.
The gunship was used during the Clone Wars and available to both flesh-and-blood police officers and the Guardian police droids of the Coruscant Security Force. It could also be used by the shock troopers of the Coruscant Guard and the Jedi Order.
Two of these gunships were used on Coruscant by two teams of Coruscant Guards led by clone officers Captain Rex and Commander Wolffe and Jedi Anakin Skywalker and Plo Koon to search for Skywalker's padawan Ahsoka Tano in the lower levels, after Tano escaped from the Republic military base.
The gunships were utilized by several troopers of the Coruscant Guard to search the planet for the clone trooper Fives. They eventually found him in a warehouse in the lower levels where he was shot by them. Some were stationed in the Jedi Temple's hangar.
Age of the Empire
Under the Empire, the gunship was used by the Imperial Military on various planets such as Lothal as a patrol craft to help in putting down rebellious activity. Some were also held on Imperial-class Star Destroyers, such as Admiral Kassius Konstantine's Relentless and Captain Slavin's Star Destroyer, the latter of which used them to assist a freighter in docking with it.
Patrol transports were stationed at an Imperial airfield which served as a testing ground for Grand Admiral Thrawn's TIE/D Defender Elite prototype. Patrol transports were later used to search for the wrecked prototype and the fugitive rebels Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren. However, the rebels managed to stay ahead of their Imperial pursuers. Thrawn's Noghri assassin Rukh later arrived on a patrol transport to hunt down the Spectres and Ryder Azadi's rebel cell.
Patrol transports were later dispatch to investigate an incident aboard the Mining Guild ore crawler Crawler 413-24. However, the rebels managed to deceive their Imperial captors by posing as Mining Guild personnel and indentured prisoners. Governor Arihnda Pryce rode a patrol transport during General Hera Syndulla's failed airstrike against the Imperial Armory Complex.
After Hera and Kanan Jarrus escaped the "Dome", the Empire dispatched three gunships after them. Ezra and Sabine hijacked one and shot down the other gunships. They then rendezvoused with Hera and Kanan at the Lothal City fuel depot. Governor Pryce then attacked the fuel depot with AT-AT walkers. Kanan was killed but managed to use the Force to protect his rebel comrades from the explosive wave. The other rebels escaped on their stolen patrol transport to the Lothal cliff dwelling.
Governor Pryce later brought a fleet of patrol transports carrying stormtroopers and Jumptroopers to attack the Lothal cliff dwelling, which served as the base of the Lothal rebels. Though the gunships and stormtroopers succeeded in overwhelming the base's defenses, Pryce's forces were defeated when General Syndulla arrived with reinforcements. Pryce's remaining gunships were shot down and the Governor herself was taken prisoner. The rebels later used two captured gunships to infiltrate the "Dome" during the Liberation of Lothal. Rukh also used a gunship to return to the base while Ezra used a gunship to fly aboard the Star Destroyer Chimaera to meet with Thrawn.
During the Imperial occupation of Mon Cala, the patrol transports were used to scout territory. One such gunship came across the secret rendezvous between Regent Urtya and Leia Organa's team. The smuggler Han Solo approached the boarded stormtroopers with a bribe, and during the distraction, blew it up with a thermal detonator.
Behind the scenes
The Republic police gunship first appeared in the Season 5 episode "To Catch a Jedi." The ship was originally designed for another Star Wars-related project, and was inherited by the Clone Wars team for use in this episode.
- (First identified as Imperial patrol transport)
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious (First identified as LAAT/le gunship)
- (Picture only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12
- ↑ Doctor Aphra 15: Remastered, Part II
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Rebels – "Call to Action"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Rebels – "Relics of the Old Republic"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "To Catch a Jedi"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "In the Name of the Rebellion"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Flight of the Defender"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Kindred"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Crawler Commandeers"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Jedi Night"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "DUME"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "A Fool's Hope"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
- ↑ Star Wars 44: Mutiny at Mon Cala, Part I