"They are over 400 meters long, go without refueling for over a year, are very fast, and could blow this ship out of the sky before you had time to cry out."
―Isolder describing a Nova-Class Battle cruiser to Han Solo[2]

The Nova-class battle cruiser was a capital ship that formed a large portion of the Hapan fleet. The Hapes Consortium had several different warships at their disposal. The backbone of their fleet was the distinctive Battle Dragon, but Nova-class battle cruisers were regularly used to supplement the Dragons.

They were frequently deployed to the border, where they performed interception missions against the pirates and smugglers (Han Solo, for example) who sought to penetrate to the fabulously wealthy inner worlds of the Hapes Cluster. They were designed primarily as large-scale support ships, intended to respond to threats rather than undertake extended missions.


Nova-class cruiser schematics

The Nova-class battle cruisers were four hundred meters in length and were bristling with weaponry. The bridge of the ship was connected to a long neck-like body, with an "inverted-V" shape split-wing structure at the rear of the vessel. The bridge had a retractable wall-like shield that could be deployed for combat.

Near the end of the ship's body was the hangar bay and main power core. The ion/hyperdrive engines and maneuvering jet arrays on the rear wings made for a combat cruiser that was extremely swift at both sublight and light speeds, thanks to its modern design (and not a little due to technological espionage directed against Imperial corporations such as Kuat Drive Yards and SoroSuub Corporation).


The main weapons of the cruiser were generally 25 turbolasers for use against capital ships, 10 laser cannons for dealing with starfighters or light freighters, and 10 ion cannons for disabling and capturing enemy ships.

A Nova-class battle cruiser

In its docking bays, a Nova cruiser carried two squadrons of Hapan Miy'til starfighters and six Hetrinar assault bombers. Nova cruisers picked and entered their battles cautiously, as Hapan turbolaser technology lagged behind the Galactic standard. Their turbolasers took roughly three times longer to recharge than their Imperial and New Republic counterparts, which sometimes left Nova cruisers unable to return fire at inopportune times. As a result, they were generally deployed in wings of 3 or more, allowing for the swift, brutal assault that was generally preferred by the Hapans.

Later retrofits of Nova-class cruisers followed the practices of the Mon Calamari in adding redundant shield generators and larger, more reliable power generators at the cost of reducing the Miy'til fighters to a single squadron. New Republic Intelligence believed that they employed shield designs stolen from the Mon Calamari Shipyards.


Prince Isolder once offered a cruiser to Han Solo if Solo would drop his courtship of Princess Leia Organa. Solo refused, and instead kidnapped Leia, spiriting her off to Dathomir.

Cruisers were part of the fleet used by Dukat Aleson Gray at the Battle of Qoribu against the Chiss as a result of his misguided attempt to "rescue" the Skywalkers from the Killik Gorog nest.

Behind the scenes[]

Nova-class battle cruiser shown to scale with a Hapan Battle Dragon (500m) and an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer (1,600m)

While Cracken's Threat Dossier and Starships of the Galaxy list the Nova as having only a month of consumables, The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels and The Official Star Wars Fact File claim they can operate independently for a year. It is unclear if this is an error or if it represents a refit or subclass, although the latter figure is also quoted by Isolder in The Courtship of Princess Leia.



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Official Star Wars Fact File
  2. The Courtship of Princess Leia