- "Command station, this is ST 321…"
- ―An Imperial officer
ST 321 served as the personal transport of Darth Vader, the right hand and secret Sith apprentice of Emperor Palpatine, sole ruler of the Galactic Empire. In 4 ABY, ST 321 brought Vader to the second Death Star, an Imperial planet-killing battle station being constructed in orbit of the Sanctuary Moon of Endor.
Although ST 321 had a captain assigned to it, Vader occasionally chose to pilot it himself. He notably did so shortly after the Emperor's arrival at the Death Star, piloting the shuttle down from the battle station to the Imperial base that guarded its shield generator on the Sanctuary Moon. Shortly thereafter, even as a massive battle between the Empire and the enemy Alliance to Restore the Republic took place in orbit, Vader dueled his estranged son, the Alliance hero Luke Skywalker, aboard the Death Star. Ultimately, Vader chose to redeem himself and turned on the Emperor to protect his son, but he was mortally wounded in the process. With the Death Star about to explode, Skywalker then used ST 321 to escape the endangered battle station along with his deceased father.
Upon slipping out of the fast-deteriorating Death Star, Vader's shuttle was almost intercepted by Shara Bey of the Alliance's Green Squadron, who proceeded to cover it from incoming TIE/IN interceptors after identifying its pilot, Luke Skywalker, as a friendly.
Behind the scenes
ST 321 later reappeared in the 1997 re-releases of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader returned to the Executor during the film's climax, largely due to their reusing the scene of Darth Vader's arrival on the Death Star II from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
- Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (Introduced in Special Edition)
- Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! audiobook
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
- Shattered Empire 1
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Galactic Empire Conversion Kit (Card: )
- Star Wars Bust Collection 1 (Star Wars Universe: Darth Vader) (Picture only)