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For other uses, see Ship (disambiguation).

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"A starship is a weapon, but it's the rust that makes it deadly."
―An old spacer's line[1]
Fighters PotJ

The SunGem (left), a Jedi Starfighter (bottom right) and a Whitecloak fighter (top right)

A starship, also known as a starcruiser, spaceship, spacecraft, or simply just craft or ship, was a vessel designed for interstellar travel, specifically between star systems. Starships were distinguished by the inclusion of a hyperdrive, a piece of equipment that made hyperspace travel possible.


Interstellar flight became possible with the invention of the dual-drive system. Starships used sublight drives to leave a planet's gravity well and the hyperdrive to travel between stars faster than light speed.

Plotting a course to a star system was a highly complex operation. Calculations to travel at light speed were left up to a navigation computer or astromech droid.

A common sublight drive was the ion engine, which had a high power-to-weight ratio, and was used in Imperial TIE fighters and Star Destroyers.

Ships employed a repulsorlift drive during takeoffs from and landings on a planet. Repulsorlift drives were also used to assist in flight within gravity wells.[source?]


Certain vessels were armed with laser cannons, turbolaser emplacements, or missile launchers. Some were equipped with deflector shields, countering the effects of laser weaponry, thus protecting the ship from attack and asteroid impacts. Larger ships also acted as carriers, transporting dozens or hundreds of fighters for combat operations.


A small, single-person fighter, such as the X-wing starfighter, could be flown by one pilot, with the help of an astromech droid. Larger vessels, like the Super Star Destroyers, were crewed by thousands of personnel, who were responsible for ongoing maintenance and operations. In times of dire need, these Super Star Destroyers were equipped with a mere skeleton crew (the bare minimum necessary for all systems to be fully operational.) until such a time as a larger crew can be attained. Larger ships also had a bridge, the command center.

Starship types[]


A J-type star skiff, a type of yacht

  • Yacht — A luxurious vessel typically owned by a politician, diplomat or rich person.
  • Starfighter — A small one- or two-man vessel typically used for dogfighting.
  • Bomber — A slower ship armed with bombs.
  • Scout vessel — A small, fast ship used to scout an area before a main force arrives.
  • Transport — A cargo or passenger carrier.
  • Shuttle — A small craft used to transport personnel, usually at least partially though space.
  • Gunship — Used for atmospheric or space combat.
  • System patrol craft — Used for in-system operations; usually lacked hyperdrives.
  • Freighter — A cargo or freight carrier.
  • Capital ship — The largest of starships, often used as a warship.
  • Space station — An artificial structure for use in orbit or deep space.


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Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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