For other uses, see Rho-class.

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The Rho-class transport shuttle, also known as the Republic medical shuttle, was a class of shuttle used by the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars and later the early Imperial Navy in the war's aftermath. Used primarily for transportation purposes by the Galactic Republic, the Rho-class served as both cargo and medical shuttles.


The Rho-class transport shuttle[1] was visually extremely similar to the Nu-class attack/transport shuttle,[6] with key differences being a dorsal wing, an elongated hull, and the ability to attach and carry cargo pods for passengers or supplies or mobile barracks to the underside of the ventral hull. The shuttle class was equipped with a hyperdrive, engine units,[2] six laser cannons, and magnetic clamps. Flown by two pilots,[3] the starships could carry multiple passengers. Its primary roles were as a medical[2] or general-purpose transport,[1] and it was also known as a Republic medical shuttle.[7]

Among the standard red and yellow markings of both the Rho-class[4] and Nu-class shuttles,[6] those used by the Republic Medic Corps featured orange and blue markings.[2] Some Rho-class shuttles, such as one used after the Siege of Mandalore, had light grey and red markings in a pattern similar to the livery of a Venator-class Star Destroyer.[8] Imperial Rho-class shuttles were painted a uniform grey.[5]


Clone Wars[]

A Rho-class transport shuttle used by D-Squad during the Carida incident.

The Rho-class transport shuttle was deployed by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. One shuttle was stationed on Abafar, where it was used by Separatist Alliance forces to transport rhydonium from a Separatist mining installation to a stolen Republic Venator-class Star Destroyer. There, the shuttle was retaken by the Republic special forces unit D-Squad, under the command of Colonel Meebur Gascon.[4] Once aboard the Venator, the squad discovered that the ship was under Separatist control while in hyperspace. As the squad evaded Separatist droid forces, the Venator eventually reached its destination, the Republic space station Valor in the Carida system. The station was hosting a strategy conference with the high echelons of the Republic Military. There, D-Squad managed to escape from the Venator on the Rho-class shuttle they previously used, and survived the blast when the Venator detonated prematurely.[9]

The Rho-class transport shuttle was again deployed during the Battle of Ringo Vinda. There, one was used in its medical capacity to transport clone trooper Tup, who had suffered a medical episode and killed Jedi General Tiplar in the middle of battle. Despite being escorted by four ARC-170 starfighters and a small contingent of clone troopers, Separatist forces were able to ambush the shuttle and kidnap the sedated Tup. Later, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, Clone Captain Rex, and ARC trooper Fives investigated the wreckage and launched a mission to recapture their comrade.[2]

Some time later, another medical shuttle was deployed in the aftermath of the Battle of Ord Mantell, an engagement between the Separatist Alliance and the Shadow Collective.[10] Another Rho-class shuttle was deployed in the aftermath of the Siege of Mandalore between the Republic and the Shadow Collective. There, the shuttle transported the Collective's leader, renegade Sith Lord Maul, to the Venator[8] Tribunal[11] under armed guard.[8]

Imperial Era[]

Following the reorganization of the Republic into the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars, the Imperial Military continued to use the Rho-class transport shuttle. Now with Imperial livery, a group of shuttles were used on the Imperial planet Ryloth to transport local Twi'lek workers to an Imperial doonium refinery. Free Ryloth Movement member Hera Syndulla and the young clone Omega of the rogue special forces unit Clone Force 99 stole a Rho-class shuttle from a landing pad and used it to destroy the control systems for the facility's turbolaser defences. As a result, the five autocannons were disabled and open to attack by Clone Force 99's Omicron-class attack shuttle, the Marauder.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

The Rho-class shuttle first appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars season five episode "Missing in Action,"[4] which premiered on January 5, 2013, in the United States.[12] It was first identified as the Rho-class transport shuttle in its StarWars.com Databank entry, which was published on July 19, 2021.[1]



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