Sublight engines, also known as sublight drives, or sublight thrusters were engines that let starships break through an atmosphere and fly through realspace at speeds below the speed of light. In order to attain speeds beyond the light threshold, a ship required a hyperdrive. The most common type of sublight drive was the ion engine. While starfighters used small yet powerful drives, capital ships had vast engines the size of entire buildings.
Technically, the term sublight drive could refer to a wide variety of propulsion techniques: light sails, ramjets, even solid chemical booster rockets. Most sublight drives though used a fusion reaction to break down fuel into charged particles, which were then expelled from the ship in order to create thrust. Because of the heat and mild radioactivity of this thrust, it was illegal to use in or near the atmosphere of most inhabited worlds, though some individuals were not above breaking these laws in order to make a quick getaway.
Sublight engines could accelerate a starship at many thousands of times standard gravity, allowing it to get clear of a planet's gravitational field in a matter of minutes and cross vast distances of realspace. In order to protect its occupants from being killed by the tremendous G-forces involved, starships were equipped with acceleration compensators.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Ultimate Star Wars (First identified as sublight drive)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: X-Wing Deluxe Book and Model Set
- Poe Dameron: Flight Log
- Star Wars Builders: Starfighters
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 6 (Helmets: TIE Fighter Pilot)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 9 (Weapons & Uniforms: Imperial Droids)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 22 (Databank A-Z: Gungans–Rako Hardeen)
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: A-wing Deluxe Book and 3D Wood Model
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections
- The Last Jedi: Bomber Command
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 29 (Weapons & Uniforms: Imperial Fleet)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 31 (Helmets: In Pictures)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: Tales from Vandor
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Rebel Starfighters Owners' Workshop Manual