The Porax-38 (P-38) starfighter was a tough, hyperdrive-equipped starfighter used by the Utapauns as part of the Utapau Skyforce. Some models were adapted by the Confederacy of Independent Systems into the Rogue-class starfighter line.
The Porax-38 had interstellar range and was fitted with highly effective, long-distance sensor systems that provided early warning of enemy activity. Each sensor was mounted in a forward facing cone along with the scanning systems, and both were connected to powerful jamming devices. These large P-38 fighters were also capable of independent hyperspace jumps, which enabled them to defend Utapau far into the Tarabba sector. Versatile thrusters, dual-reactor systems, and high-capacity deflector shielding made them a valuable asset to the Loyalist forces. Rather than using a single shield generator the ship had a deflector shield projector web. This web covered a large portion of the ship and had many individual heat sink cells embedded into it.
The interstellar range of these vessels also allowed them to take more punishment and they could endure longer, more arduous missions than tiny, fleet-based fighters like the Confederacy's Vulture droid fighters and droid tri-fighters and the Republic's V-wings and Eta-2s.
The Porax-38 was manufactured by Buuper Torsckil Abbey Devices and only required one pilot, who had to wear a protective breathing mask. It had enough consumables for 20 days of air, fuel, and food. Its primary armament was two High-power laser cannons. Each laser cannon is connected to a beam-amplification chamber that severely increases the laser's intensity and heat damage output. The fighter's tiny cockpit could only seat one short, stocky Utai, not the tall Pau'ans. Some Porax-38s had the cockpit modified for an IG-100 MagnaGuard.
The Utapaun navy was made up almost entirely of self made ships, and their largest Rendili Dreadnought was barely one-fifth the size of a Trade Federation battleship. The Utapauns instead relied heavily on their P-38s as their primary means of planetary defense. During the Clone Wars, several Porax-38 starfighters were captured by the Confederacy of Independent Systems and were subsequently modified to begin what became the Rogue-class starfighter line.
In the last year of the war, General Grievous's forces invaded Utapau. Tion Medon, the Master of Utapau Port Administration, ordered his outnumbered yet valuable P-38s into hiding, with the intention that the existence of the ships and their skilled pilots remain a secret until a better time to strike against the overwhelming might of the Separatists arose.
With the arrival of Republic forces under Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tion recalled his P-38s from their hidden hangars and set them to expelling the Separatist forces. The Utapau Skyforce squadron that engaged the Techno Union light interceptors during Obi-Wan's arrival was led by the Utai Air Commodore Senin Vant.
Behind the scenes
While Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections gives the maximum atmospheric speed of the P-38 as being 61,000 km/h, the later published Starship Battles Preview 6 gives it as being 1,200 km/h. In addition to this, the former source gives the consumables rating as being 20 days whereas the latter gives it as being a mere 2 days.
The P-38 shares a number of characteristics with the real-world Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a World War II fighter aircraft. Apart from having the same designation/model number, the Porax-38 also possesses a similar layout; the engines being located in twin booms mounted one the wings, with the cockpit located in a centrally-mounted nacelle. Similar to the Lightning, the Porax-38 could also be classed as a "heavy" fighter, due to its toughness and firepower.
The starfighter was a late addition to the film and though a digital model was created, it was never completed to the level originally planned.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles