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"Their deflector shield is too strong! We'll never get through it!"
Ric Olié during the attack on the Droid Control Ship[5]

The Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship was one of the many warships used by the Trade Federation and the Separatist Navy, and arguably the most important weapon in their arsenals. Droid Control Ships were used to coordinate battle droid armies.[1]


Droid Control Ship schematics

The ship was similar in appearance to the standard Lucrehulk-class battleship — a toroidal hull with engines in the stern, docking claws at the bow, and a detachable core ship in the center.[1]

The major addition to the Droid Control Ship was an array of transmitters and broadcasting equipment, which allowed it to control a large battle droid army on a planetary surface. Each ship had two large main antennas and six backup antennas. Sensor equipment included one main sensor rectenna and two auxiliary sensor rectennas. The core ship has two more sensor rectennas.

Equally important, the Droid Control Ship was equipped with 16 signal receiver dishes, located around the perimeter of the vessel, to pick up transmissions from droid units. Each of these receiver dishes has a pair of boost panels to squelch noise or interference. The ship was fitted with an extremely powerful Central Control Computer to sort through and process incoming information, formulate commands, and broadcast them to the surface.[1]

To compensate for this additional power drain, Droid Control Ships were equipped with two reactor cores — one at the back of each hangar — providing more energy. Unfortunately, there was a fatal flaw in this design: Both reactors were linked; if one core were to be destroyed, the other would go with it, which was exploited by Anakin Skywalker during its attack on Naboo.[1]

The Droid Control Ship Vuutun Palaa during the Blockade of Naboo

The complement of a Lucrehulk-class droid control ship was 1,500 Vulture Droids, 50 C-9979 landing craft, 550 Multi-Troop Transports, 6,250 Armored Assault Tanks and 1,500 Platoon Attack Craft.[3]

This vulnerability would ultimately prove to be the downfall of early Trade Federation military strategy: with all commands emanating from a central control ship, destruction of that ship would essentially shut down every droid under its control. Enemy forces would capitalize on this weakness, destroying the orbital platform and thereby leaving the planetary-bound droid armies helpless.[1] Following the Battle of Naboo, however, most B1-Series battle droids were altered to make them independent of the control ships, able to function even with the loss of vessel (even though the older models would continue to be used).


The Vuutun Palaa destroyed by Anakin Skywalker during the Battle of Naboo.

During the Battle of Naboo, Bravo Squadron—led by Ric Olié—launched from Theed in the hopes that they could take out the orbital warship, the Vuutun Palaa. All their efforts proved to be for naught since the ship's deflector shield was too strong for the Naboo starfighters to break through.[5]

Eventually, however, the Droid Control Ship was destroyed when Anakin Skywalker—escaping from a number of droid fighters—flew into the ship's hangar, and inadvertently destroyed the starboard reactor with a pair of proton torpedoes. The ship went down in seconds, but Skywalker still managed to steer his starfighter out of the hangar, and escape with the rest of the Naboo pilots.[5]

After the Battle of Naboo, the Trade Federation modified the Droid Control Ship, along with the standard battleship, so that its core ship could detach and land on a planet's surface. This was part of a ruse meant to trick the Republic into thinking that the Federation was dismantling all its warships.[1]

They would be used in the Clone Wars as the Trade Federation was assimilated into the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Unlike the main battleship variant, the Control Ships did not get any weapons upgrades.[6] A modified ship with jamming capabilities was used and destroyed at the Battle of Balamak.

About a year after the First Battle of Geonosis, the RAS Prosecutor went missing within the Chaykin Cluster, which resulted in the dispatch of the Republic's clone commandos, specifically Delta Squad. Once aboard, the commandos battled their way through the ship, encountering a Trandoshan nest, who had stolen the ship to sell to the Trade Federation in exchange for weapons and troops. Eventually, a droid control ship arrived to claim the ship, with the result of the commandos destroying the Federation ships with the help of a nearby Republic assault ship. Just like what had happened at the Battle of Naboo, the droid attackers aboard the assault ship had ceased entirely once the control ship was badly damaged enough.

Years after the Clone Wars, after the rise of the Galactic Empire and Palpatine's Declaration of a New Order, these ships were used by Separatist holdouts. Following the Declaration of Rebellion and the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, at least one of these vessels was used by the Rebels in an attack on the Death Star during the early days of the Galactic Civil War.


Droid Control Ship.

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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