A little star wars nitpick. Military Starships

I’ve been re-playing X-wing after getting the Collectors series(the Win 95/98 one with the enhanced graphics).

I’m enjoying it a lot more then before, but one thing came to mind that bothers me about the nature of the Rebellion and might be a bit of a plot hole

Okay, unlike many rebellions, the star wars rebels have very good equipment. Top of the line military grade stuff. I understand well enough that the Galaxy in a dangerous place and that there’s a civilian market for weapons(X-wings, Z-95’s, Corvettes). All of these are ideal anti-pirate protection, I would imagine.

However, the cap ships are going to be a bit harder to justify as part of a civilian arms market. Particulary the big Mon Calamari Crusiers. The problemswith those I can see are:

1.) They’re pretty damn big. You can’t just build those out of spare parts in a junkyard. You need full blown shipyards to manufacture those, and those aren’t easy to hide.

2.) As far as I know, only the Rebellion actually uses those. Probably because they’re very expensive and nobody else(other then the empire) can afford them.

3.) I’d be hard pressed how one buys a Calamri Crusier with civilian purposes in mind(other then converting them to cargo haulers in like Heir to the Empire, but it’d probably be cheaper just to purchase bulk freightors for that purpose).

Add of these up, and it would seem a no-brainer that the Empire could probably track the rebellion fairly easily by finding the locations these crusiers are being built, going to the Mon Calmaris and saying “We know the Rebels are buying your cap ships. We demand you check backgrounds throughly before selling them to people. We’d also like you to help us track buyers we suspect are selling to the rebellion. We’ll be leaving a garrison or two to make sure you comply” If the Mon Calmaris are part of the Alliance, it would be easy enough to Seize their shipyards and arrest those in charge of making the ships with the jusitifcation “You’re giving material aid to terrorists.”(and they’d be right).

The market for Mon Calamari Crusiers can’t be that big, particulary with the Empire as the Sole Military Superpower in the galaxy. And on Earth, it would be like Terrorists buying Aircraft Carriers. It isn’t going to be hard to track them and it sure as hell isn’t going to be hard figuring out who sold it to them.

I don’t know much of the expanded universe stuff, so maybe I’m wrong. And I know “It’s not that kind of movie” but when you have the rebels with such big ships, you’ve got to deal with such things.

I don’t believe it’s so much the Rebellion buying the Mon Cal cruisers as it is the Mon Cals lending them the ships when they threw their lot in with the Rebellion. Pooling resources and all that. Note that Admiral Ackbar, a Mon Cal, is leading the strike on the second Death Star. The Mon Calamaris did more than simply supply the Rebellion with ships - they’re actually a significant portion of the Rebellion themselves.

The cruisers themselves were civilian ships beforehand (I can’t remember their specific function off the top of my head except maybe luxury liner), and so were already built and spaceworthy when the Mon Cals joined the Rebellion. After that they simply got retrofitted for combat.

There is an extensive network of pirates, hijackers & smugglers in the SW Galaxy. And that means support facilities, including drydocks.

Many local governments may be offering clandestine support, & business cartels likewise.

And Space is big! Vast uninhabited systems to hide in. Asteroid belts offer concealment, minefield-type protection, & raw materials. Hollow one out for the metals/minerals in it, & then pressurize the cave for a factory/drydock/whatever.

The EU reason is that Mon Calamari ships were fairly state-of-the-art luxury cruise liners before the war, and the guns and such were bolted on later. I don’t think there’s anything in the movies that explains anything about them.

Actually the X-wings and Y-wings from incom would be concidered obsolete or second or third eschelon equipment, but still viable.

Sorta like F-4 phantoms and F-105 thunderchiefs fighting against eagles and toms ,and as from watching the phantom menace and clones , some of the federal planets have their own militaries to some degree.


At least in the X-wing games, it seems like they are fairly recent, at least per the battle of Yavin.

And they’re still a bit better then TIE fighters, which may be more advanced, but they are seriously lacking in features(That’s not to say one can’t make a mess in one, but they don’t do well by themselves like a rebel ship does).

I think the reasoning here is that the Rebels have far fewer pilots than the Empire, which can afford to lose TIE pilots by the bazillions. Rebel pilots are a rare commodity, and it’s worth it to the Alliance to spend extra on their vehicles, in order to increase the chances that their pilots will come home intact.

Despite their portrayal in the games, they don’t seem to be significantly more durable than TIE Fighters in the movies. Luke’s wingmen in Star Wars get blown up fairly easily.

I might be wrong, but I suspect that the “X-Wing > TIE Fighter” thing was just made up for the games to excuse having the player’s ship blow up countless Imperial fighters.

Didn’t the X-wings in Star Wars have their shields set the wrong way and then got hit from behind?

Not to mention they were making the trench run and nobody was bothering to cover them(Cover as it "stay somewhat above and behind as to be able to keep TIES from getting a clean shot at the guys making the trench run " not “Sit there and let Darth Vader fire lasers up your ass”)

Play someday the old “Star war rebellion” (if I’m not mistaken about the title), and you’ll soon notice it’s not that easy to find out where the rebellion is building its fucking Mon Calamari cruisers. :wink:

I’ve tried. The game felt more like a chore then a joy, and I never made it that far.

I made it farther in Force Commander but even that game had it’s own flaws.

Okay, the hidden drydock thing I’ll accept, but it doesn’t seem like the Star Wars galaxy is that big, realtively speaking. Hell, Tatoonie is out on the Outer Rim and yet it doesn’t to take long to get there and back in the prequels. The Jedi get to Geonosis in a day or so after Obi-wan’s message is sent to Corescant.

Hmm… you may be right. They’re told to put their deflectors to “double front,” earlier and they may never have corrected that. However, the Y-Wings (which, if the games are correct, should be able to take more hits than either an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter) are told to “stabilize [their] rear deflectors” immediately before Vader and crew hit them.

I’d have to rewatch the movies to be sure, but I’ve never gotten the impression that the Rebel fighters are shown to be significantly better than the Imperial ones.

There go the gift-shop and the shuffle-board deck. Ah, well, we must make sacrifices in wartime. The restaurant? The bar?! Nooo! Not the casino too! Is there no end to this madness and horror?

We’re talking about an empire with hundreds of billions of citizens and presumably there are plenty more outside their direct sphere of influence (outer rim). Given how many systems are in existence I don’t imagine it’s difficult to hide a moderate shipyard.


Well, I’m assuming the galaxy was not particularly pacified and that the Empire had only a tenuous grip on large parts of it. You don’t build a Death Star (twice!) that’s the size of a moon and capable of destroying planets if you don’t have a target for it. Cause even for a galaxy-sized Empire, you have to dig pretty deep into the exchequer to pay for one of those puppies.

That speaks nothing of the size of the galaxy, only of the speed of Hyperspace travel. The galaxy itself is stull huge (and in SW, thety might even travel between galaxies, I’m not sure.) Anyways, Hyperspace is (seemingly) thousands of times faster than Warp Speed from ST.

Here’s how the rebel ships break down:

  • Z-95 - seriously outdated fighter craft, ubiquitous throughout the galaxy (I’m actually surprised they didn’t stick any into Ep. III)

  • Y-Wing - slightly outdated fighter-bomber, but a pretty tough, heavily armored workhorse

  • X-Wing - supposedly brand-new just before Ep. IV, and redirected by manufacturer InCom from its original destination (the Empire) to the Rebels; after this point, they work for the Rebels

  • A-Wing - Really brand-new, top-of-the-line fighter, designed by InCom to kill most TIE fighters (and pretty good at it)

  • B-Wing -Really brand-new, verging on experimental, capital-ship-killer designed for the Rebels

  • Mon Calamari Cruisers - converted cruise ships, as mentioned

  • Nebulon B Frigates (the medical frigate at the end of ESB) - unclear, but my impression is that these serious capital ships (which are big enough to launch fighters) are stolen from the Empire, possibly by defectors, etc.

  • Corellian Corvettes (like Leia’s “Blockade Runner” at start of Ep. IV) - ubiquitous light capital ships, sold to everyone and anyone throughout the galaxy

I think that’s it (except for the Corellian freighters like the Millennium Falcon, which are shown as ubiquitous in the games, but unique in the movies).

The official scoop, from a variety of sources, is this:

X-Wings were an experimental design off the old Z-95 headhunter (although a similar vessel appears in Revenge of the Sith; this does not spoil anything about the movie). They weren’t a top-rated fighter all-around, but it was made to be a solid Space Superiority Fighter.

While the Imperial Tie is often considered less advanced, it is much faster and still carries plenty of punch. It apparently lacks serious shields, but as those seemed to only matter for about one pilot in a dozen at best, you can understand the Empire’s lack of interest. The Tie Interceptor (pointed front wings) was a new version built to counter Rebel raiding tactics. It’s far faster than anything short of the MIllenium Falcon and has a little extra firepower.

Y-Wings were an older design, built hardy if somewhat unspectacular, performance wise. They are a lot more reliable than the X-Wing, but they aren’t optimized for any one role.

Oddly, I’ve heard the Star Wars galaxy is actually supposed to be a bit bigger than ours.

The biggest difference between rebel starfighters and all but the most advanced empire stuff: rebel starfighters all have hyperdrives. TIE fighters, for the most part do not. I do not doubt that it is far cheaper to buy droves of superior fighters to carry out raids than to buy carriers for everything. Especially given the difference in logistical footprint. Given that (in my experience anyways) modest numbers of advanced attack craft (Y- and B-wings especially) can take down or disable everything smaller than a star destroyer without too much trouble.

I imagine the upgrades to the Mon Calamari cruisers were started under the description of “improved anti-piracy” or some such, perhaps even using the justification of rebel raids themselves to justify the need for ships armed for self defense. (“Why exactly do you need such heavy weaponry and shielding? The rebels have no capital ships.” “Not yet, no. Maybe they’ll get some soon though”)

Another point is the awesome industrial potential in the star wars universe. In the few brief years between II and III vast fleets of mini proto-star destroyers were developed and churned out. Assuming that the trade federation and its seperatist allies were not the only private military force in existence there must be a fair number of yards that build the heavy stuff. Plus there are planets outside the empire that will build you a whole freakin’ army if you pay them. A few key defectors with access to the right databases and a huge shipyard planet just disappears, unless the Imperial high command knows what they are looking for (sure, local officials may wonder why they no longer get the gubment business, but given the vast number of private orders don’t ask too many questions).