"However, while the Nemesis is an extremely effective weapons-platform, perfectly suited to the roles of close-air support and civilian pacification, it may simply be too exotic for widespread service."
Inspector-General Moff Rebu[src]

The Nemesis-class gunship was an experimental military vessel that was produced by the Galactic Empire during the early phase of the Galactic Civil War. The gunship boasted an array of heavy weapons, including missile launchers and a heavy repeating cannon. But due to the complexities and firepower incorporated in its design, the gunship came with a very heavy price tag, thus making it affordable only to wealthiest regional governors of the Empire.

Barely a year after the onset of the Galactic Civil War, a renegade clone of Darth Vader's late secret apprentice, Galen Marek, traveled to Cato Neimoidia to rescue the Jedi General Rahm Kota of the Rebel Alliance. As the rogue clone unleashed a relentless rampage of devastation on Tarko-se and its Imperial garrison, he soon discovered that two Nemesis-class gunships were included in the city's defense by the planetary administrator, Baron Merillion Tarko. Yet despite their considerable and deadly arsenal, both gunships proved to be no match against the clone's extremely powerful command of the Force. Shortly after destroying the gunships, the clone successfully rescued Kota from captivity, resulting in Tarko's death and the complete destruction of his city.


"During certain maneuvers, the jets produce a turbulent backwash of superheated air which creates an immensely loud, high-pitched shrieking sound."
―Inspector-General Moff Rebu[src]

The Nemesis-class gunship was designed to provide close-air support for Imperial forces and to pacify rebellious citizens. Consequently, the gunships of the Nemesis design were built as heavy-weapons platforms. Their arsenal incorporated an array of highly advanced weapons, as well as better quality in firepower and greater quantity in ammunition than previous gunships. The Nemesis' primary weapons were the anti-personnel Hellcaster cannon and the anti-armor concussion missile launchers.[1]

Another unique feature in the design of the Nemesis-class was its engine system. Unlike previous gunships that utilized the usual repulsorlift engines, the Nemesis was equipped with a jet-drive system, which produced a turbulent backwash of superheated air that created an extremely high-pitched sound. Due to the vessel's angled jet-drives, only specially trained pilots were capable of controlling the Nemesis-class gunships.[1]


"Both the Hellcaster cannon and concussion missiles were highly effective in, respectively, an anti-personnel and anti-armor capacity, and the gunship returned to base with only minimal damage."
―Inspector-General Moff Rebu[src]

The Galactic Empire ruled through the fear of its citizens, particularly their fear of the relentless Imperial war machine and its unrivaled technology. Therefore, Imperial starships and vehicles were designed to strike terror deep into the Empire's enemies, both in appearance and firepower. The Nemesis-class gunship was a direct result of the Imperial hardline stance on galactic domination and total war. Like many other vessels in the Empire's seemingly unlimited arsenal, the Nemesis was built for the purpose of breaking the resolve of enemy units, either through fear of the threat of force, or though the exercising of said force.[1]

The Nemesis-class gunship was suitable for both military operations against insurgent elements and planetary occupation to suppress discontent civilians. In either capacity, the Nemesis was meant to project the might of Imperial power and the futility of rebellion. The Nemesis' performance on Polomie and its role on Cato Neimoidia are testaments to its primary function as a symbol of terror, as well as its effectiveness against enemy units and vehicles.[1]

By and large, the Nemesis' greatest strengths were its highly destructive—and incredibly expensive—arsenal and firepower. With its Hellcaster cannon and concussion missile launchers, combined with a large quantity of ammunition, the gunship was one of the most lethal vessels in the Imperial Navy by the year 1 BBY. Although the metal that composed its hull offered strong protection against conventional weapons and attacks,[1] the gunship was extremely vulnerable to its own weapons. During the destruction of Tarko-se on Cato Neimoidia, a wayward clone of Galen Marek destroyed two Nemesis-class gunships by redirecting concussion missiles back to their original source.[2]


Development and testingEdit

"I am pleased to report that the Cygnus Spaceworks Nemesis-class gunship exceeded all expectations during its first field test against the Rebel stronghold on Polomie."
―Inspector-General Moff Rebu[src]
Merillion Tarko

Baron Merillion Tarko possessed two Nemesis-class gunships in his private army.

Around the time when the Galactic Civil War broke out between the dominant Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, Cygnus Spaceworks had just completed a new gunship for the Imperial Navy. The Nemesis-class gunship was regarded as the most exotically designed military vessel of its time. The Nemesis was given its first field test on Polomie where Imperial armed forces were dispatched to destroy a Rebel stronghold. The Nemesis' performance was virtually nothing less than perfection. Aside from exceeding all expectations of its hopeful designers and employers, the Nemesis barely retained minimal damage from its first engagement.[1]

An unexpected, yet welcomed side-effect of the Nemesis' jet-drive system was discovered during the fighting as well. The gunship's jets produced an extremely loud shrieking noise that caused Rebel morale to decrease significantly, to the point where many Rebel troops dropped their weapons and fled in utter terror. Inspector-General Moff Rebu praised the Nemesis, especially the characteristics and effects of its exceptionally well-designed weapons system, in his report to the Imperial Department of Military Research.[1]

However, despite Moff Rebu's full recommendation of the Nemesis-class gunship, he was displeased to realize that the unique vessel would never likely see mass production precisely because of its "one of a kind" status. Ironically, the Nemesis was far too complicated by its own design. Its use of angled jet drives, rather than repulsors, required specially trained pilots, thus putting too high a demand on manpower. The vessel's weaponry were also an issue; the Hellcaster cannon required heavy elements that made ammunition too expensive and difficult to produce. As a result, only the Empire's wealthiest Moffs and governors were able to afford to pay for the Nemesis' extremely high price.[1]

Catastrophe on Cato NeimoidiaEdit

"Consequently, the Nemesis is likely to be seen only within the private forces of particularly wealthy Moffs and governors."
―Inspector-General Moff Rebu[src]
Starkiller Cato Neimoidia

A renegade clone of the original Starkiller destroyed Baron Tarko's Nemesis-class gunships on Cato Neimoidia.

Moff Rebu's prediction of the limited use of Nemesis-class gunships were proven to be accurate. Due to their limited numbers, the highly experimental gunships were regulated to Imperial-occupied worlds where the native populations had to be occasionally pacified—a suitable role for the Nemesis. One of the Moffs who was able to afford the costs of the gunship was Baron Merillion Tarko, the Imperial governor of Cato Neimoidia. As a former Separatist world that betrayed the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars, the Empire naturally attached a large military garrison to occupy the planet and ensure its loyalty to Emperor Palpatine. Although the Neimoidians were cowards by instinct without the protection of their battle droid army, Tarko nonetheless added two Nemesis-class gunships to his private force of stormtroopers, scout troopers, jumptroopers, carbonite war droids and Imperial Sith Acolytes.[1]

By 1 BBY, a rogue clone of the late Galen Marek, former apprentice to the Sith Lord Darth Vader, escaped from Kamino. Created amongst a series of genetically-imperfect duplicates secretly commissioned by Vader, the renegade clone's imprinted memories caused him to share some of the same characteristics as his genetic donor, particularly Marek's feelings for Imperial-turned-Rebel Captain Juno Eclipse. As a result of his imperfections, the clone deserted his creator and commandeered an advanced TIE fighter to escape into the galaxy.[2]

In his search for Captain Eclipse, the clone decided to travel to Cato Neimoidia and rescue his progenitor's Jedi mentor, General Rahm Kota, who had been captured and forced to fight in the Tarko-se arena after failing to assassinate Baron Tarko. As soon as the clone arrived in Tarko's city, Imperial troops attempted to kill him when they realized that he was an intruder. The clone proceeded to destroy much of the Imperial garrison, easily overpowering waves of stormtroopers and auxiliary units throughout Tarko-se. In desperation, Tarko unleashed his personal Nemesis-class gunship against the clone. The vessel's Hellcaster cannon caused the clone to go into a Force-enhanced sprint across a bridge until he escaped into the city's casino complex.[2]

When the clone utilized a hover train to travel over to the city's western arch, the gunship resumed its attack on the clone, firing repeated shots and concussion missiles at the clone and the train. Despite the Nemesis' exceptional armaments, its weapons were utterly useless against the sheer power of the clone and his incredible connection to the Force. The clone was able to use the gunship's own weapons against it by repelling its missiles with his lightsabers and telekinetic abilities. The gunship sustained incredible amounts of damage from its own missiles, causing it to explode as the clone reached his destination.[2]

As the clone battled his way to the arena's entrance, the second Nemesis-class gunship was dispatched in a last ditch attempt to stop his progress. After slaughtering the last of the Imperials that stood in his way, the gunship tried to suppress the clone with its missiles and Hellcaster cannon. The clone used the missiles to destroy the cannon and inflict severe damage to the gunship. Through the Force, he seized the Nemesis and caused it to crash against the arena bridge's support infrastructure until finally destroying the gunship completely. Shortly afterward, the clone succeeded in his objective to rescue General Kota, though his efforts also resulted in the complete destruction of the arena and the death of Baron Tarko.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

The design of the Nemesis-class Gunship was developed because the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II's design staff, "needed a bigger, more powerful version of the Imperial troop transport—one with a lot more guns, missiles, and engines." Concept artist Chun Gee did the final render and design, as well a cross-section of the craft. The design team considered the additional detail from the cross-section an, "invaluable piece of reference for artists who were implementing damage effects because Starkiller absolutely punishes the gunship during gameplay."[3]


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II in-game databank
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  3. The Digital Art Book included in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Collector's Edition Starkiller Mimobot
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