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A starship of Mon Calamari design was a class of cruiser that was active during the Imperial Era. It was part of the Mon Cala Mercantile Fleet and later the naval forces of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Geist, flagship of General Hera Syndulla, was one such cruiser, as was Commander Lajaie's cruiser. The cruisers were particularly involved in the mutiny on Mon Cala against the Galactic Empire, and subsequently in the Assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks.

Description[edit | edit source]

"The cruisers are refitted Mon Calamari ships. But from the hyperdrive to the comms, you'll find Shu-Torun systems. Each is fully outfitted with starfighter squadrons."
―Princess Leia Organa, to Queen Trios[src]

A cruiser launching its starfighter complement

The cruiser class was designed by the Mon Calamari of the planet Mon Cala as part of their merchant fleet. The cruiser was equipped with four large sublight engines and a smaller engine unit in the center. Its hull was characterized by two blunt wings on its port and starboard sides, and had its bridge situated in one of two towers on its dorsal surface.[2] Additionally, it could be optionally outfitted with a longer tower on its ventral side at midship.[5]

Characteristically, of other Mon Calamari vessels, the cruiser's hull was bulbous and had differing modules that lined the surface of the ship. While a Mon Calamari ship, many of its equipment, such as its hyperdrive and communications systems, were Shu-Torun systems.[4] The cruiser also had a deflector shield generator and escape pods,[2] and had at least two hangar bays[5] that held starfighter squadrons.[4] The hangar doors could be sealed shut by Shu-Torun systems, but could be reopened when a rebel transponder is flown nearby as it would trigger its proximity sensors or when codes were sent.[3]

Role[edit | edit source]

The bridge of a cruiser from the class.

The Mon Calamari cruiser could serve as the flagship of a battle group,[4] and also served as a trading vessel.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Mutiny on Mon Cala[edit | edit source]

The Mon Calamari cruiser was active during the reign of the Galactic Empire. During the Empire's occupation of Mon Cala, Imperial forces commandeered the monarchy's Mon Cala Mercantile Fleet, and renamed it the Mon Cala Imperial Trade Fleet. By the time of the Galactic Civil War between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, several cruisers served in the trade fleet along with other Mon Calamari ships.[6]

One of the cruisers during the mutiny on Mon Cala

After a rebel team led by Princess Leia Organa attempted to persuade Grand Admiral Urtya to mutiny against the Empire failed, the team managed to record King of Mon Cala Lee-Char's final words before he was killed by Imperial stormtroopers. Although Urtya managed to seize the recording, he decided to send the recording to all starships of the trading fleet, causing their Mon Calamari crews to mutiny.[6] Several ships were above Mon Cala, including two of the class of Mon Calamari cruiser, when they revolted and were met with an Imperial blockade commanded by Admiral Meori.[7]

Rebel Alliance forces led by Admiral Gial Ackbar arrived to reinforce the mutineering vessels, and after the MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruiser Aurora Flare managed to break the blockade by sacrificing itself and destroying the Imperial flagship, the Mon Cala and Rebel Alliance starships jumped to hyperspace and retreated. Months later, at least eight of these Mon Calamari cruisers were at the Rebel Alliance Mako-Ta Space Docks, where they and many other Mon Calamari starships had been refitted with Shu-Torun systems and had integrated with the Alliance Fleet.[7] At least two of these Mon Calamari cruisers served as flagships,[4] the Geist[3] serving as the flagship of Gamma Group, and Commander Lajaie's cruiser as the flagship of Beta Group.[4]

Assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks[edit | edit source]

Pinned down[edit | edit source]

Lajaie's cruiser evacuates

The Shu-Torun systems, provided by Queen Trios, were rigged for sabotage however, as Trios was secretly an agent for the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. At the celebration for the launch of the Alliance Fleet, several of the cruisers were docked at the Mako-Ta Space Docks, with others flying in the vicinity of the station. When General Jan Dodonna,[4] commander of Sector Command,[8] was ready, Princess Organa asked several battle groups of the Alliance Fleet to call in when ready. Commander Lajaie from Beta Group acknowledged from the bridge of his cruiser, while General Syndulla acknowledged from the bridge of her respective cruiser. When the groups were ready, General Dodonna ordered the ships to hyperspace, but were unresponsive.[4]

At this time, Vader's Imperial Death Squadron arrived and after a momentary pause to let fear grow, attacked the Alliance Fleet, which was caught defenseless, exposed, and without the ability to launch starfighters. Vader's flagship, the Executor, first attacked the flagship of General Vanden Willard, destroying it. Afterwards, The Imperial fleet attacked various Mon Calamari vessels, and one cruiser of the class was near another model of Mon Calamari ship.[4] By the time the Millennium Falcon arrived at Mako-Ta, Commander Lajaie's cruiser was then attacked by the Executor as the rebels attempted to break through the system failure. Not having enough time, Commander Lajaie ordered all crew to evacuate the cruiser with the escape pods and for those who survive to inform other rebel personnel that some operating systems could be bypassed and further details that they learned about the failures.[2]

While sustaining a barrage, Lajaie's cruiser began exploding as its escape pods launched. Under orders from Vader, Imperial forces targeted the escape pods, and many were destroyed by TIE fighters. The cruiser eventually exploded into a large fireball and the Millennium Falcon flew through the fire and wreckage as it was chased by Vader in his TIE Advanced x1. The maneuver allowed the Millennium Falcon to have more distance, and launched C-3PO in an Model CEC Class-1 escape pod into the rebel flagship Republic to inform the crew about details they learned to circumvent Shu-Torun systems.[2]

Escape from Death Squadron[edit | edit source]

"General Syndulla here. My cruiser's up and ready."
―General Hera Syndulla, reporting that the Geist regained its systems[src]

After the Republic's starfighters launched, Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron ignited a display trail to gain the attention of the other rebel Mon Calamari cruisers and flew near the bay doors of the Geist, another cruiser of the class. When the ship's bay doors opened, Admiral Ackbar ordered for all fighters to launch if the bay doors responded to the transponders, and the Geist additionally launched its fighters. After Princess Organa and rebel forces investigated and located the transponder codes to deactivate Shu-Torun system blocks on the Executor, the rebels used the Shu-Torun cruiser to board the Imperial flagship. By this time, the battle escalated and more cruisers of the class were under attack and exploding.[5]

A cruiser from the class at Mako-Ta Space Docks.

Eventually, rebel forces realized that the hangar doors on their vessels would open if it detected a rebel transponder. After Luke Skywalker and the newly created Rogue Squadron managed to launch from the MC80A Home One Type Heavy Star Cruiser Republic,[2] and flew near a hangar door of the Geist, allowing the Geist to deploy its starfighter complement.[5] Escaping the Executor, Organa boarded the Republic and using the codes, managed to bypass Shu-Torun systems, allowing the Republic to escape and regroup.[9]

After returning, the Republic attacked the Executor and several Rebel Alliance shuttles landed on the surviving cruisers, including several of the class, and distributed the override codes. The Geist was able to reboot its systems, and attacked Imperial forces, while other vessels of the class remained under attack. After all cruisers were online and Alliance personnel were evacuated from Mako-Ta, General Dodonna ordered the surviving cruisers into hyperspace while the Republic guarded them. In the aftermath, the Alliance Fleet dispersed while Emperor Palpatine was satisfied with Vader's destruction of Alliance forces.[3]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The 2014 fan design in question.

The Mon Calamari cruiser first appeared, albeit unidentified, in Star Wars 48, a 2018 comic written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Salvador Larroca.[6] The design for the starship appears to be entirely identical to a fan-made design from 2014, by an artist with the username "Jonathan" on 3Dwarehouse.sketchup.com. The fan-made 3D model of the vessel contains features that are visually identical to those on the comic art, and additionally distinguishes a port and starboard hangar in front of the vessel's wings. The work is titled as "Croiseur Mon Calamari MC80."[10]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

Alliance to Restore the Republic starship classes
Space stations
FireStar II-class · Harbor-class · Mk IX
Battleships & battlecruisers
Lucrehulk-class · Maelstrom-class · MC80 (MC80A Home One Type · MC80 Liberty Type)
Cruisers
Dreadnought-class · Marsheem-class · MC75 (MC75 Armored · MC75 Ordnance) · Neutron Star-class · Quasar Fire-class · Unidentified cruiser · Unidentified cruiser 1 · Unidentified cruiser 2 · Unidentified cruiser 3 · Unidentified starship
Frigates
Assault Frigate Mark II · DP20 · EF76 Nebulon-B · MC30C · Munificent-class Comms · Pelta-class (Pelta-class Assault · Pelta-class Command)
Light cruisers
L-2783 · MC40A
Corvettes
Alderaanian diplomatic cruiser (CR70 · CR90) · Braha'tok-class · Free Virgillia-class · Sphyrna-class (Hammerhead Scout · Hammerhead Torpedo)
Transports
Ainik-class · Caisson-class · CSS-1 Corellian Star Shuttle · GR-75 medium transport (GR-75 Combat Retrofit) · Jadthu-class · Unidentified Rebel Alliance vessel
Light craft
HAET-221 · HWK-290 · Kom'rk-class · Lambda-class T-4a · LAAT/i · Sheathipede-class · Taylander · Unidentified Rebel Alliance shuttle · UT-60D U-wing · VCX series (VCX-100) · Wayfarer-class · X4 Gunship · Y-45 · YT-series (YT-1300 · YT-1760 · YT-2400) · YV-series (YV-666 · YV-929)
Starfighters & bombers
A/SF-01 B-wing · ARC-170 · Alpha-class Xg-1 · BTL Y-wing (BTL-A4 Y-wing · BTL-S3 Y-wing) · Delta-7 Aethersprite-class · Fang-class · H-60 Tempest · IE-440 Nighthawk · Kihraxz · N-1 · A-wing (R-22 Spearhead · RZ-1 A-wing · RZ-1T) · Scurrg H-6 · T-47 · X-wing (Patrol X-wing · T-65B X-wing (Exterior Variant /1 · Exterior Variant /2) · T-65C-A2 X-wing) · VCX-series auxiliary · Z-95 Headhunter · Z-95-AF4 Headhunter
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