The Reaper was an Executor-class Star Dreadnought in service to the Galactic Empire and a number of its successor states. Once the flagship of Scourge Squadron under Grand Moff Ardus Kaine, the Reaper became the centerpiece of Kaine's effort to continue Imperial rule after the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor. Kaine saw the formation of a new alliance, the Pentastar Alignment, aboard the Reaper, and the ship became a major part of the Alignment's naval power.
Kaine, however, died in Operation Shadow Hand serving the reborn Palpatine, and the Alignment and Reaper were taken in by Admiral Gilad Pellaeon of the Imperial Remnant. Pellaeon made the Reaper his own personal command and, with it, conducted a campaign against the New Republic, culminating in a major victory against General Wedge Antilles, the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Lusankya, and Rogue Squadron at the Battle of Orinda. Within a year, however, Pellaeon and the Reaper were bogged down in a bombardment of the New Republic planet Adumar when the New Republic invaded the heart of Imperial space. Pellaeon moved against them, and though he was able to hold the New Republic forces back, the Reaper was destroyed at the Battle of Celanon.
The Reaper was the second Executor-class Star Dreadnought manufactured for the Galactic Empire, and the first warship of that class built at Kuat Drive Yards. A colossal ship, it saw repeated use as a central part of Imperial fleets, as a flagship and command vessel. The securing of the Reaper was a major coup for Imperial successor states, and the firepower it provided gave any who commanded it muscle to back up their political power.
During the reign of Emperor Palpatine, the Reaper was the flagship of Scourge Squadron, an elite task force of Star Destroyers assigned to locate and eliminate Rebel activities in the Outer Rim Territories. After the death of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin in the Battle of Yavin, his replacement, Ardus Kaine, was given personal command of Scourge Squadron to take the fight to the Rebels and repair the damage caused by the Empire's defeat at Yavin. Kaine was aboard the Reaper when news came that the Emperor had been killed in the Battle of Endor. In the wake of this defeat, Kaine met with four other representatives of major Imperial interests—Governor Ib Dekeet and Commerce Master Commissioner Gregor Raquoran from the Imperial government, and two corporate representatives, Wyrn Otro of Galentro Heavy Works and Elta Besk, head of Dynamic Automata—aboard the Reaper, in what Kaine dubbed the Pentastar Talks. For days the group negotiated and bargained with each other aboard the vessel, eventually forging an alliance in the signing of the Pentastar Alignment Treaty, the founding document of the new Pentastar Alignment. The Reaper became part of the Alignment's fleet; with it, the Alignment had the muscle it needed to keep any challengers at bay.
When Palpatine was reborn into a clone body and once more took control of the Empire, Kaine joined the fight during Operation Shadow Hand, during which he lost his life. After Palpatine's final death, the Reaper remained with the Alignment until it was annexed into the reconstituted Imperial Remnant by then-Admiral Gilad Pellaeon. Pellaeon, having lost his flagship Chimaera during Operation Shadow Hand, took personal command of the Reaper and made it his new flagship. Pellaeon was confident that the Reaper, combined with the dreadnoughts Dominion and Megador, would be effective in defending the empire from the New Republic; after Pellaeon pitched this idea to the Moffs of the Imperial Rim factions, they agreed and made the captain of the Reaper their Supreme Commander. New Republic historian Voren Na'al considered the vessel to be Pellaeon's most impressive acquisition.
Pellaeon used the Reaper throughout his campaigns of 12.5 ABY to great effectiveness, taking the planet Orinda and six neighboring systems after arriving in the Borosk system to pick up a complement of fighters from the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing. The New Republic launched a counter-assault, headed by General Wedge Antilles and the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya. After the Reaper participated in battles in the Urce and Corthenia star systems, the massive Super Star Destroyers stalked each other around Orinda, with the Reaper and Lusankya engaging at Darkon and Traval-Pacor, both battles resulting in New Republic victories. The campaign culminated in the Battle of Orinda, during which the Reaper, with the aid of the Dominion, secured a major victory for the Empire by destroying the carrier Endurance, along with its entire complement of starfighters—as its commander had decided to hold them back to protect them from Imperial fire. The New Republic and Lusankya fled Orinda, with the starfighter group Rogue Squadron covering their retreat.
Within the following year, the planet Adumar joined the New Republic. From the Reaper, Pellaeon led a bombardment of the world, which turned into a protracted campaign. While he was preoccupied, two full New Republic fleets captured the Antemeridian sector and much of its surrounding space from the Imperial Moff Tol Getelles, and were thus poised to strike at the heart of the Empire. In alarm, the Moffs ordered Pellaeon across the Hydian Way to halt the New Republic advance. Pellaeon was forced to move the Reaper from Adumar, and though he inflicted severe losses on New Republic forces in the ensuing campaign, the Admiral continued to be pushed back. At Celanon, he went up against the New Republic once more in the Reaper. Though the fight ultimately saved the Empire from destruction, the New Republic emerged victorious at Celanon, and the Reaper was destroyed.
Commanders and crew
Ardus Kaine, commander of the Reaper at the time of Endor, felt his assignment to the Super Star Destroyer and Scourge Squadron was a betrayal by the Emperor, as he believed that he was being pushed away to fight Rebels rather than being used as an aide. After Palpatine's death, Kaine saw himself becoming a new Emperor; to this end, he used the Reaper as the site of important political negotiations and as a key piece of his military. With Kaine's death, Gilad Pellaeon took over stewardship of the Reaper, using it as the centerpiece of his own attempt to revitalize the Empire. He was ultimately no more successful, seeing both victories and losses before the eventual destruction of the vessel under his command.
Behind the scenes
The Reaper was created in a brief handful of mentions in the 1994 Star Wars Adventure Journal article "The Pentastar Alignment", by Anthony P. Russo. Two years later, in Before the Storm, an unidentified Super Star Destroyer is mentioned as playing an important part in the Battle of Orinda. The Essential Chronology of 2000 merged these two references together, making the Reaper the unnamed ship and expanding on its story beyond the Pentastar Alignment. The Reaper was first pictured in 2009's The Essential Atlas.
- "The Pentastar Alignment"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 3 (First mentioned)
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas (First pictured)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- "The Art of Warfare"—Star Wars Insider 133 (Picture only)