- "This is New Republic cruiser Far Thunder. We and the frigate Whip Hand are under attack by approximately sixty coralskippers. Our hyperdrive engines are disabled. Coordinates follow. We request assistance from all nearby New Republic forces."
- ―Far Thunder calls for help
Whip Hand was a Lancer-class frigate that was initially operated by the Galactic Empire before it was captured. Later put to use by the New Republic during the Yuuzhan Vong War, Whip Hand participated in a battle in 28 ABY against Yuuzhan Vong forces in the Obroa-skai system before being assigned to guard the crippled cruiser Far Thunder as it made its way to the planet Kashyyyk. However, both ships were ambushed by enemy coralskippers, and, despite managing to repel the starfighters with the help of two New Republic squadrons, Whip Hand was forced to destroy the crippled Far Thunder to prevent the enemy from acquiring it.
Whip Hand was a Lancer-class frigate produced by Kuat Drive Yards and was designed to battle swarms of starfighters. Equipped with a hyperdrive and sublight engines, the 250-meter-long frigate was armed with turbolasers and possessed a bridge.
Battle at Obroa-skai
During the early part of the Galactic Civil War, which pitted the Galactic Empire against the Rebel Alliance, Whip Hand served as an Imperial vessel until it was captured. The Lancer-class frigate ended up in the hands of the New Republic, the Alliance's successor state, and a refurbished Whip Hand was operational in the New Republic Defense Fleet during the Yuuzhan Vong War, in which the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species invaded the galaxy. In 28 ABY, Whip Hand participated in an attack on a Yuuzhan Vong fleet in the Obroa-skai system. The frigate and the rest of a New Republic task force waited until the captured Yuuzhan Vong frigate Trickster signaled them before jumping in-system to make it appear as if they were tailing the Trickster and were caught unawares by the Yuuzhan Vong fleet there. The enemy forces fell for the ruse, and the resulting battle ended in the destruction of the majority of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet.
Protecting Far Thunder
- "Where do you want us?"
"We're holding our own. Your priority is to help Far Thunder."
"Copy that, Whip Hand."
- ―Twin Suns Leader Jaina Solo and Whip Hand command
Directly following the Obroa-skai battle, the New Republic's base was shifted to the planet Kashyyyk, and Whip Hand was assigned to guard the Republic-class cruiser Far Thunder as it limped to the Kashyyyk system. The cruiser had been seriously damaged in the fighting at Obroa-skai, and the majority of Far Thunder's personnel were evacuated to leave the cruiser with a skeleton crew on its journey. However, after the pair of capital ships met up with a tender that contained spare parts for Far Thunder, the three ships were attacked in deep space by around sixty coralskippers launched from a pair of Yuuzhan Vong tenders. Although designed as an anti-starfighter frigate, Whip Hand could not protect both itself and the crippled Far Thunder from the attacking coralskippers, prompting Hannser, the cruiser's captain, to issue a call for help after the Far Thunder's hyperdrive engines were destroyed.
By the time the New Republic's Twin Suns and Scimitar Squadrons arrived on scene, Whip Hand had resorted to flying abreast of Far Thunder, rolling around the cruiser to wherever the danger from the coralskippers seemed the greatest—the New Republic tender had been destroyed earlier in the fight. As the Lancer-class frigate was holding its own against the starfighters, the reinforcements were directed to aid Far Thunder. However, Twin Suns Leader Jaina Solo first had the frigate modify its position briefly to shield Twin Suns Squadron from the view of the Yuuzhan Vong ships in order to help catch the coralskippers strafing Whip Hand unawares. After Twin Suns Squadron made a pass on those starfighters, the squadron went on to engage the coralskippers that were attacking Far Thunder.
Despite the aid of the two squadrons, which succeeded in driving off the enemy coralskippers with the help of the two capital ships, Far Thunder was too badly damaged to be salvageable. Following the evacuation of the cruiser's remaining crew to Whip Hand by shuttle, the frigate maneuvered alongside Far Thunder and blasted the cruiser apart at point-blank range to prevent the Yuuzhan Vong from stealing the Republic-class ship.
Behind the scenes
Whip Hand first appeared in Destiny's Way, which was written by Walter Jon Williams and released in 2002 as a part of The New Jedi Order series. In 2008, the ship was mentioned in multiple entries in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, which served to confirm Whip Hand's role in the fighting at Obroa-skai.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way (First appearance)
Notes and references
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 243 ("Lancer-class frigate")
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 328 ("Whip Hand")
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 257 ("Far Thunder")