Could we build a Star Wars type Star Destroyer?

Never mind the obvious lack of technologies to make it work or the ability to ferry all the stuff up into space. Do we have enough metal on Earth to build one of those big triangular ships the size of cities that are shown in Star Wars?

We have plenty of metal. Most of the core Of the Earth is iron.

Besides, a Star Destroyer is not all that big. It is big but at about a mile long its not staggeringly huge. Roughly five Nimitz class aircraft carriers are that long. While the Star Destroyer probably still out masses those five aircraft carriers consider how many boats there are in the world. More than enough metal to make a Star Destroyer.

ETA: The Executor Class (aka Super Star Destroyer) is 11-12 miles long. Now we are talking city sized!

Easily. You do realise that the Earth is 32% iron? Even a Super Star Destroyer would be insignificant mass-wise.

C’mon guys. I mean metal we can extract and refine with current technology. The iron core is as good as not there for mining purposes.

Are Star Destroyers really that small? They look a lot larger in the movies. Or maybe I just have the name wrong and I am asking for the wrong thing. I mean the really huge triangular ships that crash into each other and have swarms of X-Wings and TIE fighters all over.

Granted we cannot get at the core of the earth but there is lots and lots and lots of iron at the surface. Consider all the cities in the world and the metal in them, all the cars, all the ships, all the planes, all the bicycles, all the toasters and so on. Metal is very common and easily gotten to.

As for the Star Destroyer size I am finding different number but they are not stupendously huge. That is left for the Executor Class (Super Star Destroyer or Darth’s Command Ship) and the Death Star.

I find:

900m (1/2 mile)

One mile

640 meters (0.4 miles) (on -2 zoom)

1600 meters (1 mile)

Not sure what is canon.

Actually on -10x on that page they list the ISD as 1.6km long (a mile). I must’ve counted wrong.

One (possibly the only?) time we get a good indication of the size of an SD is when the Millennium Falcon is hiding by attaching itself to the back of the bridge. The Falcon is about the same size as the crosspiece of the bridge, and the Falcon is probably about 30m across. From the looks of it, the bridge height is somewhere between 1/20th - 1/40th the length of the ship, so an SD is somewhere between 600-1200 m in length. Check this video, about 2:20 in.

Now Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, the Executor, is a lot bigger. When a regular SD crashes into one, it looks to be about 1/20th the length, or 1/8000th the volume.

That page is for a smaller type of Star Destroyer not seen in the movies. The ones seen in the movies are Imperial Class, 1mile/1600 meters long.

I think the model makers got their perspective wrong on that shot. All official sources hold the Imperial-class (or Imperator-class, depending on who’s doing the telling) as 1 mile (1.6 km, or 1,600 m) long.

Even with current levels of technology we have the capability to mine the asteroid belt. Metal would not be a limiting factor in building the ISD Pellaeon.

We definitely have plenty of metal to make things that big. But, keep in mind that the star destroyers are not necessary all or even mostly metal. Ceramics, carbon fiber and plastics certainly play significant roles. For example, the walls look like they’re made of something like styrofoam on the Corellian cruiser (the ship captured by an ISD in the first scene of the first movie).

Maybe the trick to halting global warming is to make your space ships out of billions of tons of carbon. :slight_smile:

Also, by the time space flight is that easy, I imagine we’ll be getting a lot of our metal from the asteroids and Mercury.

I guess it’s going to get down to what do you consider canon. I thought the movies themselves trumped everything else. And my back of the envelope calculation isn’t rigorous anyway - I’d be willing to buy the Falcon being 40m, and the bridge height to ship length ratio being larger, so 1600 m is still in line with the scene.

Quite aside from that, there is plenty of metallic ore in space that could be “easily” smelted and formed. (I use the term “easily” in the context of otherwise being able to move large masses around, sustain construction crews in orbit, et cetera.)

However, rather than make the structure out of steel plate and forms, I would instead suggest making the hull out of shaped water ice matrix composite with silica fiber; water is accessible in space, requires minimal processing, is easily formed and repaired into complex shapes, and with a minimum of insulation is quite resilient. Form your hull, cover it in a thin layer of reflective foil, and add an inflatable superstructure, and you, too, can take on the Rebel Alliance. (Darth Vader helmet and lightsaber is extra.)


Did you actually just suggest making a Star Destroyer out of Pykrete?

Nerdity overload, man.

They dont seem to be much larger than the space station portrayed in 2001. Its still a fantastic thing, but the materials are there.

I’d also have my stormtroopers wearing clear face shields so I can identify infiltrators, and hire Andy McNab to train them in marksmanship so that they blow holes in intruders rather than random bits of my vessel.


Sure. There are our cities, for instance.

Somehow a massive ice cube wrapped in tin foil doesnt sound quite as ominous.

If Ship B is 5 times longer than Ship A, then assuming Ship B is roughly the same shape as Ship A, Ship B will have a volume (and hence presumably mass) of 5[sup]3[/sup] or 125 times that of Ship A. This also means that a “Super Star Destroyer” should actually be well upwards of 1,000 times bigger than a regular Star Destroyer in terms of mass.

Granted, Star Destroyers are not the same shape as aircraft carriers, but they clearly aren’t the shape of 5 aircraft carriers glued together end-to-end, which would be very long and spindly looking. If anything, the wedge-shaped Star Destroyers look to me like they might be more than 125 times more massive than an aircraft carrier of approximately one-fifth the length. (Other assumptions made here are that the Star Destroyer is made of more or less the same sort of material as the aircraft carrier, and not superdense matter or Pykrete or anything like that, and that they have roughly equivalent ratios of hull or bulkheads to compartments and so on).

Why restrict yourself to Earth? If you have spaceflight, then you can mine the asteroid belt.

16 Psyche is believed to contain 1.7×1019 kg of nickel-iron, which could supply the 2004 world production requirement for several million years. According to Wikipedia.