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Rendili StarDrive was a starship-manufacturing company based on the planet Rendili. One of the ancient Founding Shipwrights,[6] it was the primary supplier of ships to the Republic Navy for millennia until it was eclipsed in the final centuries of the Galactic Republic by Kuat Drive Yards.[1]


Early history[]

StarDrive was associated with companies such as Rendili Vehicle Corporation,[7] Rendili/Vaufthau Shipyards LTD.,[5] and Rendili-Surron.[8] Rendili Star Systems was apparently a subsidiary of Rendili StarDrive.

Dating back to the founding of the Galactic Republic, Rendili was a planet synonymous with starship construction, and StarDrive was the latest incarnation of a variety of companies based on the planet, including Rendili Hyperworks, which had designed the Hammerhead-class cruiser for the Republic Navy during the Old Sith Wars. Rendili prided itself on efficiency and reliability rather than cutting-edge innovation, reusing designs from a variety of cultures and eras and acquiring rights to technologies as they became widespread in the galaxy. The company's Hammerhead-class cruisers and Praetorian-class frigates served in Republic and planetary defense fleets for more than a millennium.[1]

The decline of the Republic[]

A Rendili StarDrive Dreadnaught-class cruiser

In the aftermath of the Ruusan Reformations, the corporation developed an extensive system of smaller yards spread throughout the Mid Rim and Outer Rim by licensing its designs to hundreds of Rim planets.[9][1] While continuing to supply capital ships to the Judicial Forces, Rendili also focused its efforts on supplying patrol craft for the Planetary Security Forces.[1]

In the Republic's final centuries, StarDrive entered into a pronounced rivalry with Kuat Drive Yards. Kuat had a long history of building sector defense warships and mercantile escorts, but lacked Rendili's prestige. KDY poured trillions of credits into producing massive new battleship designs, including the Star Destroyer, Battlecruiser, and Star Dreadnought lines, advertising them to the senators of rich Core Worlds sectors as far more effective combatants than undersized patrol craft.[1]

StarDrive saw battleships as oversized trophy craft, noting that the capital ship restrictions of the Ruusan Reformations prevented them from operating beyond their home sectors, and believed that there was no threat in the galaxy that justified such enormous warships. Around 100 BBY, StarDrive unveiled the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser, intended for Judicial task forces and to act as flagships for Planetary Security Forces.[4] The design was a success, but was mired in fiasco when the Republic's Katana fleet, composed entirely of Dreadnaught-class cruisers, was afflicted with a hive virus and disappeared after the fleet's slave circuit caused the entire fleet to jump to hyperspace to parts unknown.[1][10]

The Clone Wars[]

The tempo of space warfare had changed, and it was Kuat Drive Yards that was awarded the secret contract to build the Grand Army of the Republic's warships and vehicles. After the Grand Army was unveiled on Geonosis, Arch-Provost Bengila Urlan of Rendili ordered industrial spies and slicers to steal KDY's secrets and designs in an effort to reduce his rival's commanding lead in shipbuilding contracts. StarDrive successfully lured Walex Blissex, Kuat's finest starship designer, away from KDY, but his daughter Lira was as capable a naval architect as he, and in any case, the Republic's war effort during the Clone Wars was too dependent on KDY's secret facilities and specialized shipyards for Blissex' departure to be a crippling blow.[1]

Desperate for contracts, StarDrive agreed to a Republic offer to work with KDY in the Victor Initiative Project on the design of the Victory-class Star Destroyer.[10][4] The move was intended by the Republic to help retain Rendili's industrial capacity, but many of the company's licensee yards defected to the Separatists. In 20 BBY, a Separatist coup on Rendili installed the Independent Provisional Government, which declared for the Confederacy. Republic and Separatist warships battled for control of the Rendili Home Defense Fleet and the planet's shipyards, and though the Republic won the day, StarDrive's days as the galaxy's greatest shipbuilder were over.[10][1]

The Galactic Civil War[]

In the era of the Galactic Empire, Rendili was less favored by the government and the Imperial Navy owing to its divided loyalties during the Clone Wars, and it shifted much of its work to weapons platforms. Alarmed by the Empire's militarism, Walex Blissex defected to the Rebel Alliance.[1] However, StarDrive's older ships remained in widespread use, and they remained one of the few facilities that could construct spaceframes significantly larger than Imperial-class Star Destroyers. This included special weapons platforms and large battleships.[11] Rendili was one of the original sponsors of the Corporate Sector Authority.[5]

Although the company received few notable contracts during the course of the Galactic Civil War, it continued to research new technologies and designs, and was commissioned by the Rebel Alliance to develop what would become the Assault Frigate Mark II, based on Rendili's earlier dreadnaught designs.[12]

After the Battle of Endor, Blissex' Republic-class Star Destroyer design was billed by the New Republic as a StarDrive product. In reality, this was a political move to lure Rendili away from the Empire, as its bulbous, organic lines were proof of a Mon Calamari Shipyards design.[13]



Notes and references[]