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The Sublight engine on a YT-1300 light freighter

Sublight engines, also known as sublight drives,[1] or sublight thrusters[2] were engines that let starships break through an atmosphere and fly through realspace at speeds below the speed of light.[3] In order to attain speeds beyond the light threshold, a ship required a hyperdrive.[4] 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.[5]

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