The MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruiser, alternatively identified as the MC80 Liberty cruiser or as the Liberty-class cruiser, was a model of combat retrofitted MC80 Star Cruiser of the Mon Calamari that was used by the Mon Cala planetary defense services, the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and the New Republic. Originally civilian vessels designed for luxury pleasure cruises and long-range exploration, the ships were converted into Heavy Star Cruisers that went on to participate in multiple battles throughout the Galactic Civil War, including a battle at Fostar Haven, the Battle of Endor, the Battle of Theed, and the Battle of Jakku.
MC80 Liberty cruisers were considered the standard MC80 model, of which there were two main types. The other model was the more heavily armed and armored MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruiser, which were precious to the fledgling Rebel Alliance Navy. Additionally, another type of Mon Calamari Cruiser was nearly identical to the MC80 Liberty cruiser, except for its lack of port and starboard wings. Several examples of the MC80 Liberty cruiser was the Liberty, the Freedom's Dawn, the Invincible Faith, and the Restoration.
The MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruiser, also identified as the MC80 Liberty cruiser or as the Liberty-class cruiser, was a class of Heavy Star Cruiser that averaged 1,200 meters in length, with some reaching 1,500 meters or 3,937 feet. The vessel was the standard class of the MC80 Star Cruiser, which included two main types including the larger and more heavily armed MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruiser, and was manufactured by Mon Calamari Shipyards, with examples costing 104,000,000 credits. Another Mon Calamari Star Cruiser was nearly identical to the Liberty cruiser, yet lacked the Liberty's port and starboard wings.
Design and equipment
No two MC80s were identical, as each one was built to an individual design for their original purpose as a civilian transport such as operating as a long-range exploration or pleasure craft, designed for civilian use to explore the galaxy or carry passengers in luxury. Each ship was unique, and handcrafted to exacting specifications. Long and sleek with an organic silhouette, the winged vessels rivaled the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer in length and mass. Sturdy, well built, and over engineered, the Liberty could sustain the rigors of constant interstellar travel and take combat well. Cruisers could carry enough consumables to last two years.
The Liberty was considered to be perfectly suited for combat, which had always been a possibility in the plan of the original designer. Numerous water-filled passages that enabled Mon Calamari to swim to different areas of the ships, were drained and retrofitted with floors and ventilation systems, and thousands of viewports were plated. The holo-displays and battle graphics were designed for the visual spectrum of the Mon Calamari, as well as control stations that required body movements other species could not emulate. The pale interiors of Liberty cruisers had multiple passageways and rooms, including a communications center, storage rooms, security rooms, and airlocks.Some Liberties were already outfitted with a military grade deflector shield, and the combat and retrofitted Liberty cruisers maintained a deflector shield generator.
MC80 Liberty cruisers were equipped with nine M8.0 StarDrive engines, allowing the ships to reach sixty MGLT and 975 kph. They were equipped with a primary Class 1 hyperdrive and a Class 9 as a secondary. Long-range sensors were also equipped on the vessels, as were escape pods in the civilian models. Liberty cruisers were extremely powerful and versatile, and also difficult to maintain as each ship was unique and component commonality was scarce between them. This didn't go unnoticed by the Alliance to Restore the Republic as they would take caution on how and where they would deploy the cruisers. Liberty cruisers were outfitted with a ventral hangar bay, although some models had a port-side hangar with a hangar door.
Armament and complement
Beneath the surfaces were large amounts of heavy weapons, and because of their firepower and sturdy hulls they had surprised the Imperials on numerous occasions. The standard weapons of Liberties were retrofitted by heavy weaponry, and included forty-eight twin heavy turbolaser batteries, evenly divided into twelve forward, twelve port, twelve starboard, and twelve aft batteries. It was also armed with twenty twin battleship ion cannon batteries, evenly split into five forward, five port, five starboard, and five aft. The cruisers lacked point-defense laser cannons. Other weapons included six hull-mounted heavy tractor beam projectors, missile tubes and broadside huge and heavy ion cannons that could perform heavy damages to enemy ships.
Although a full fighter wing of three squadrons, amounting to a total of thirty-six starfighters, were used on MC80 Liberty cruisers, they could carry up to ten squadrons for a total of seventy-two. When using three squadrons, one unit acted as a reconnaissance squadron. Other vehicles in its complement included numerous shuttles, landing craft, and utility vehicles. An MC80 Liberty cruiser's passenger capacity was 1,200 soldiers. On MC80 Liberty cruisers with the port-side hangar bay, a broadside port opening was located behind the hangar. The opening contained a weapons control room with three large ion cannons with their barrels extending past the hull of the ship and a shield separating the opening and the exterior. These ion cannons could expose their inner cooling coils and cause explosive reactions when damaged.
MC80 Liberty cruisers were staffed by 5,402 officers, pilots, and enlisted crewmembers. MC80 command crews usually consisted of Mon Calamari, and an MC80's starfighter wing was overseen by a Wing Commander who reported to the ship's captain and to the fleet's fighter command. Despite being designed for Mon Calamari, other species including humans, Sullustans, Quarren, and others could serve as crewmembers following refits.
Originally intended as civilian vessels for long-range exploration or luxury pleasure craft, refitted MC80 Liberty cruisers served in the Mon Cala planetary defense services for the Mon Calamari system and its colonies. After further ships were retrofitted, the cruisers served as heavy battleships for the Rebel Alliance, acting as a heavily armed starfighter carriers, command ships, used for capital ship engagements, and use as security cruisers.
MC80 Liberty cruisers usually maintained a handful of support ships, as they served as main Alliance ships, they usually moved from objective to objective, operated as a base of operations for starfighter patrols, or protected vital Alliance assets such as shipyards or high-ranking command staff. When in combat, an MC80 Liberty cruiser's standard tactic is to make a broadside strike against an opposing warship. If only one flank was exposed to hostile attack, the ship usually repositioned its shield to protect it. MC80 Liberty cruisers depended on their starfighter squadrons for defense against bombers, patrol boats, and gunships and it lacked point-defense weapons.
Mon Cala service
The MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruisers were originally civilian Mon Calamari Cruisers operating as luxury cruise liners and long-range exploration ships. The Mon Cala planetary defense services utilized the cruisers for local defense of the Mon Calamari system and surrounding colonies.
Shortly before the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance in 2 BBY, when the Alliance to Restore the Republic was an informal network of groups known as "the Alliance," Mon Calamari Star Cruisers underwent retrofits at the Telaris rebel stardocks to convert them into full fledged warships following multiple exoduses from their homeworld, Mon Cala. These cruisers included the MC75 Star Cruiser Profundity and several MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruisers.
Following the Destruction of Alderaan in 0 BBY, the MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruiser Aurora served within the Rebel Alliance Navy as the flagship of a fleet led by Mon Calamari Admiral Gial Ackbar. The fleet consisted of eight EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigates, eight CR90 corvettes, five GR-75 medium transports, and numerous T-65B X-wing starfighters, BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers, and UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft from Echo Squadron. The fleet intercepted a distress call from an Alderaanian refugee convoy at the trading port Fostar Haven, and members of Echo Squadron were dispatched to the location. Upon arriving, Echo Squadron was immediately engaged by an Imperial fleet led by Commodore Rae Sloane, and needed reinforcements.
During the battle at Fostar Haven, Echo Squadron called for reinforcements from the Alliance fleet, and the Aurora and several support ships arrived and engaged the Imperial flagship, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Vigilance. Although losing a frigate, the Alliance naval forces managed to rescue the Alderaanian refugees and the remainder of their forces escaped.
During the Galactic Civil War, an Imperial naval task force consisting of the Gladiator-class Star Destroyer Blood Ambition and the Raider-class corvettes Sargantuan and Warhawk, launched an invasion on the Ferra sector planet Xorrn against the Clan Assembly and a group of Old Mandalorians. As a result, the Rebel Alliance dispatched a naval squadron to Xorrn consisting of two MC80 Liberty cruisers and seven other warships. Although the Battle of Xorrn was already underway and the Empire was advancing on the surface, the rebel squadron, dubbed the Allied Armada, arrived and immediately engaged the Imperial task force.
Assault on Mako-Ta
In around 1 ABY, several months following the mutiny on Mon Cala that witnessed Star Cruisers from the Mon Cala Mercantile Fleet escape the occupation of Mon Cala and join the Rebel Alliance, at least twelve MC80 Liberty cruisers were present with the newly acquired vessels at the Alliance's Mako-Ta Space Docks.
There, the Rebel Alliance Navy had completed the retrofit of multiple Mon Calamari cruisers with Shu-Torun systems, and had gathered Alliance leaders and ambassadors for the launching ceremony. Among the MC80 Liberty cruisers was the Liberty itself. In total, around thirty-seven Mon Calamari Star Cruisers were present at Mako-Ta during the ceremony. Once the ceremony commenced, it was revealed that critical systems of the entire fleet were inoperable. At that time, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader and his Imperial Death Squadron, which included the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor and three Imperial II-class Star Destroyers, arrived from hyperspace and destroyed the cruiser Yavin's Hope.
Following its destruction, Death Squadron launched the full-scale Assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks and bombarded the helpless Alliance warships, and when rebel starfighters were able to launch, Death Squadron released all of their fighter wings to counter them. When the MC80A Republic escaped after they received clearance codes and brought their systems back online, they returned to save the rest of the Alliance fleet. After the codes dispersed to the rest of the fleet, several MC80 Liberty cruisers managed to jump into hyperspace and escape.
Continued combat service
Following the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, the core of the Rebel Alliance Navy splintered into multiple naval divisions, including the Second Division, the Fourth Division, the Sixth Division, the Seventh Division, the Eighth Division, and the Eleventh Division. Although a number of divisions were lost, the Fourth, Seventh, and Eleventh Divisions were able to survive and join each other, and travelled to Panisia to rescue the Second Division. Already under assault by the ISD Tarkin's Will, the combined Alliance fleet force consisted of multiple warships, including at least two MC80 Liberty cruisers and three MC80A Home One cruisers.
At one point an MC80 Liberty cruiser flew in the atmosphere of a terrestrial world alongside two BTL Y-wing starfighters, while another MC80 Liberty cruiser was plagued by faulty systems that went haywire and starfighters colliding on the flight deck, resulting in crew members being hospitalized. It was uncovered that the vessel was being sabotaged. In another instance, an MC80 Liberty cruiser attempted a strike at an Imperial weapons laboratory, and had to navigate through a sector of space that was full of dangerous hazards.
Battle of Endor
In 4 ABY, after learning of the existence of the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station at Endor and Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine's presence onboard from information discovered by the Bothan Spynet, the Rebel Alliance assembled the majority of its navy at Sullust. Near this time, the MC80 Liberty cruiser Invincible Faith discovered a coded message from Moff Raythe, revealing that the information was a trap for the Alliance. As a result, the Imperial Special Forces Inferno Squad infiltrated the Invincible Faith to delete the message. Inferno Squad's leader, Commander Iden Versio, allowed herself to be captured and brought aboard the cruiser, while her droid, an ID10 seeker droid, infiltrated the cruiser elsewhere.
After the droid evaded Alliance personnel and reached Versio, the special forces commander freed herself and escaped the cruiser's brig. At this time, Admiral Gial Ackbar called on the Invincible Faith to join the assault on the second Death Star. Again evading Alliance personnel, Versio and her droid reached the cruiser's communications center and deleted the message, causing a general alarm to activate. Versio fought Alliance forces and escaped through an airlock, allowing herself to be jettisoned into space. Versio's starship, the Raider II-class corvette Corvus, exited from hyperspace and picked her up, just as the Invincible Faith began to open fire with its heavy ion cannons.
Eventually, once the Alliance fleet had fully assembled at Sullust and a ground strike team infiltrated the Empire's defenses at Endor to destroy the Death Star's shield generator on the surface, the fleet used the Sanctuary Pipeline hyperspace route to secretly travel there. The Alliance fleet at Endor consisted of multiple Mon Calamari Star Cruisers, including at least five MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruisers, along with many other combat ships. During the Battle of Endor, the cruisers were to establish a perimeter around the Death Star II while Alliance fighter squadrons infiltrated the unfinished hull of the space station and destroy the main reactor from within. Upon learning that the deflector shield was still operational, Alliance forces broke away from their approach under the orders of General Landonis Balthazar Calrissian and Admiral Ackbar.
At that point, the Imperial fleet revealed itself and launched its fighters against the Alliances forces. MC80 Liberty cruisers took evasive action, and starfighter duels occurred throughout the Alliance fleet. One TIE/IN interceptor crashed into the ventral hangar of an MC80 Liberty cruiser and exploded during these actions. The Death Star II revealed that it was operational by firing its main superlaser at the Liberty. The firepower completely destroyed the Liberty, engulfing other rebel ships in the ensuing fireball. After the MC80A Home One cruiser Nautilian met the same fate as the Liberty, General Calrissian informed Admiral Ackbar that they should move in to attack the Empire's Star Destroyers at point-blank range. Although Ackbar protested that the fleet would not last long against the Star Destroyers, Calrissian believed that they would last longer and that they may destroy several of their ships.
At that point, the Alliance fleet engaged the Imperial warships at close range, as starfighters and bombers fought and crashed around the capital ships. MC80 Liberty cruisers engaged in broadsides with nearby Star Destroyers, and when the deflector shield was downed by the ground strike team and the fighters moved into the Death Star II's superstructure, they and other ships concentrated their fire on the Imperial flagship, the Executor. Soon, the Executor's bridge was destroyed by a crashing rebel RZ-1 A-wing interceptor and collided with the Death Star, as other Imperial warships were also destroyed. The Alliance fleet moved away from the Death Star II after its reactor was destroyed, and the battle station completely exploded after Alliance forces withdrew from within.
Following the destruction of the second Death Star, an MC80 Liberty cruiser travelled to the surface of the Endor moon and moved through its atmosphere as Alliance dropships arrived with more ground reinforcements, as the fighting continued on the surface. Inferno Squad, who was on the moon near the destroyed shield generator, managed to escape from the surface and travel into Endor's orbit. There, two MC80 Liberty cruisers were travelling through the Death Star ruins towards a third MC80 Liberty cruiser that was in combat with the ISD Eviscerator. Once Inferno Squad repelled rebel forces and escaped, Commander Versio rendezvoused with the Eviscerator and escaped.
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, an MC80 Liberty cruiser led a small fleet of at least four CR90 corvettes and many starfighters to launch an attack on Fondor, targeting the Fondor Shipyards and the ISD Dauntless that was docked. The cruiser deployed three UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft and opened fire with its large broadside ion cannons on the Dauntless, but the transports were destroyed by Inferno Squad. On the orders of Moff Raythe, Iden Versio boarded the rebel cruiser and wrecked the ship from the inside, taking out its armament and causing a CR90 corvette to crash into the ship. The Dauntless broke free of the shipyards and proceeded to fire upon the MC80 Liberty cruiser, causing multiple explosions and resulting in an Imperial victory.
Following a raid at the Wretch of Tayron, the Alliance learned of Operation: Cinder, a central component of late Emperor Palpatine's Contingency that involved the destruction of Imperial worlds, and decided to save as many possible. Versio and her fellow Imperial agent Del Meeko surrendered themselves to the Alliance following a skirmish on Vardos, and were brought aboard the MC80 Liberty cruiser Restoration. Following an interrogation, General Calrissian brought them to the cruiser's hangar bay and persuaded them to join their effort in stopping Operation: Cinder on Naboo. Successful, Alliance forces, consisting of Danger Squadron, the Restoration, and the Mellcrawler II, travelled to the Naboo system to reinforce Royal Naboo Security Forces attacking the climate disruption arrays and the ISD Torment, which had begun the Battle of Theed. While the Restoration fired on the Torment from a distance, starfighters destroyed the satellites and engaged Imperial fighters. Y-wing bombers destroyed the shield generators of the Star Destroyer, and the Restoration fired multiple barrages that destroyed the Torment, though not before it dispatched a wave of Imperial craft to the capital city of Theed. Ultimately, the Naboo and the Alliance prevailed and emerged victorious.
New Republic service
Final phases of war
When the Alliance to Restore the Republic was transformed into the New Republic, the MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruisers continued to serve in the new government's military, the New Republic Defense Force. An MC80 Liberty cruiser participated in the Battle of Var-Shaa against the Empire alongside an MC75 Star Cruiser and an MC95E Star Cruiser, along with supporting frigates and corvettes. The warships managed to destroy the Var-Shaa dockyard and an Imperial Star Destroyer, forcing the ISD Overseer and remaining fighters to retreat. Following the withdrawal, the cruisers moved through the wreckage of the Imperial dockyard.
Battle of Jakku
As the Empire continued to splinter into other factions such as the Imperial-Royalist coalition, the Yomo Council, and the Chadawan government, the de facto Imperial leader Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax brought the bulk of the Imperial Military to the Western Reaches planet Jakku for the Empire's last stand against the New Republic. After the New Republic Senate voted to intervene, the New Republic Defense Force was mobilized and prepared to fight on Jakku. Ships of the Republic fleets, including many MC80 Liberty cruisers, exited hyperspace and engaged Imperial naval forces in Jakku's orbit, commencing the Battle of Jakku.
While MC80 Liberty cruisers and other Republic warships attacked the Imperial flagship, the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Ravager, and its supporting Star Destroyers in orbit, other New Republic ships breached through the defenses and fought in the atmosphere. As MC80 Liberty cruisers clashed with Imperial Star Destroyers in broadsides that destroyed many ships, starfighters and bombers fought throughout the area as New Republic ground forces commenced landing operations on Imperial sites, as well as rescue efforts for downed ships.
Throughout the many fronts of the battle, many MC80 Liberty cruisers and Imperial Star Destroyers were destroyed, with entire sections of their hulls crashing to the desert surface below. Other MC80 Liberty cruisers that were destroyed crashed intact on the surface, such as Freedom's Dawn. Many MC80 Star Cruisers continued combating Imperial forces as the Ravager fell from Jakku's orbit and began crashing into the surface.
Damaged MC80 Liberty cruisers continued to participate in the battle, even as other cruisers were targeted by TIE/sa bombers and destroyed. The Star Destroyer Eviscerator was involved in broadsides with an MC80 Liberty cruiser while New Republic Commander Versio, who had defected to the Republic, destroyed the Eviscerator's starfighters and bombers. Eventually, despite continued losses by the New Republic, the Galactic Empire's forces were eventually defeated. In the battle's aftermath, the Galactic Concordance was signed by Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, ending the Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenes
The MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruiser first appeared in the third and final installment of the original trilogy of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which was directed by Richard Marquand and released in 1983. The cruiser's model was one of detailed miniature models created by Industrial Light & Magic, along with the MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruiser. The MC80 Liberty cruiser's model was created by adding wings to an already existing model used for another Mon Calamari Star Cruiser. The Liberty model was created to add more variation to the rebel fleet.
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- Star Wars: Resistance Bomber Book and 3D Wood Model
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition (Indirect mention only)
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Notes and references
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Lost Stars
- Starships and Speeders
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Star Wars: Resistance Bomber Book and 3D Wood Model
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 24 (Starship Fact File: Mon Calamari Star Cruiser)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines states that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance took place two years before the Battle of Yavin. Since the battle of Yavin occurred in 0 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, it can be deduced that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance took place in 2 BBY.
- Star Wars: Squadrons prologue story takes place shortly after the Disaster. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Disaster to 0 BBY, Squadrons' prologue story must also take place around the same year.
- Star Wars: Squadrons
- Friends Like These
- According to Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition, the Assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks occurred around a year after the Battle of Yavin. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that the battle marks the beginning of 0 ABY, the Assault must take place around 1 ABY.
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