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Can a Star Destroyer Destroy a Planet too?

Can a Star Destroyer Destroy a Planet too?

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Star Destroyers are the Capital Ships of the Empire in the Star Wars franchise. These iconic wedge-shaped ships are known for their unbelievable speed and strong firepower. With the ability to track down, chase, and capture enemy ships, you have to wonder, what else can a Star Destroyer Do?

Can a Star Destroyer Destroy a Planet too?  Yes, There are Multiple Ways a Star Destroyer can Destroy a Planet:

  • Systematically bombing with 3-5 destroyers in a few hours
  • Systematically with a Star Destroyer Imperial 2 or higher
  • Firing in the same spot repeatedly melting the crust

There have been several instances in the Star Wars lore that indicated a star destroyer is capable of destroying a planet. The Death Star destroyed Alderon, and while a Star Destroyer does not have the same impact, it can render an entire planet uninhabitable.

Would A Star Destroy Be Able to Destroy A Planet?

A Star Destroyer fleet will use a strategy called orbital bombardment to make things difficult to have a ground war. The first instance of a star destroyer to destroy a planet was during the clone wars. General Grievous carried out a bombing on the planet Humbarin, melting the crust of the planet within an hour.

This made Humbarian completely uninhabitable, destroying life on the planet completely. Afterward, the Empire used this strategy to destroy other planets, like Caamas and Uphrades, known as Base Delta Zero, or BDZ.

The Base Delta Zero method is a fleet of three to five star destroyers systematically firing down on a planet until they completely destroy everything, including the Atmosphere.

If only part of the planet was compromised and wiped out only the living species on the planet, this was known as Speciecide . When you eliminate a species from a planet, we can see This was used by the empire to “clean up” the planet Geonosis. By using a poisonous gas, the empire wiped out all of the life on the planet but did not make the planet unusable.

What Class Star Destroyer Could Destroy the Planet

It is a common belief that you would need an Imperial-class 2 or higher to rid a planet uninhabitable. The Base Delta Zero command would systematically destroy a planet using a minimum of three Class 2 Imperial Star Destroyers.

The larger Star Destroyers were capable of carrying out the Base Delta Zero command by themselves. The Base Delta Zero command, however, was not well received by the empire’s commanders. Some commanders even claimed that they should just obliterate the planet, instead of destroying it in this manner.

The new order star destroyer is known for a stronger laser powered by Kyber Crystals as well as a more efficient deploy system for Tie fighters.

These Star Destroyers are still capable of carrying out the deployment code BDZ. Due to the stronger lasers, they may even be more efficient in destroying an entire planet.

The Eclipse

The Eclipse was used by Emperor Palpatine after returning in the body of a clone. The ship itself was said to be unstoppable and used fear more than it was to destroy anything.  The eclipse was said to have a lot of high powered weaponry.

  • The Eclipse had
  • 550 Heavy Laser cannons
  • 500 Turbo Lasers
  • 75 Ion Cannons
  • 1 Super laser
  • 100 Tractor beams
  • Gravity Well projectors
  • Enhanced Shield System

The eclipse was said to have a planet’s worth of firepower on it, and capable of taking on a fleet all by itself.  The Eclipse was a standalone ship with a specific class of individually picked staff members. There were 150,000 handpick soldiers on the Eclipse.

The Royal Guards were also formed on the Eclipse and emperor Palpatine’s personal army. The eclipse also has some ground assault units to aid in planetary takeovers.

Although the Eclipse was not responsible for destroying any planets, it certainly had the capability to do so. It is rumored that the super laser attached to the hull of the eclipse could destroy a planet’s shield system with a single shot, and even worse, crack the crust with a second shot. Using Kybar lasers, it was like a mini death star that had the capability of traveling around.

Why are they called Star Destroyers?

There are two main schools of thought on why they are called Star Destroyers. The first and most popular is that they are called Star Destroyers because they are forming a fleet. The destroyer is a Navel term that means capital ship.

The term Destroyer simply means that the ship is used to escort larger vessels as a defense. The Destroyer is a large naval ship that has fast maneuverable and has a long endurance capability. Since the other ships in the empires fleet resemble Navy ships, such as battleship, carrier, corvettes, cruisers, etc. This makes the most sense as to where the Star Destroyer gets its name from.

The second school of thought is that the Star Destroyers can destroy stars and be designed as such. The Empire follows the theory of ruling by fear.  We can see several instances throughout the series where the empire has made claims of great power, only to fall to defeat by the rebels.

It would also make sense that due to their naming patterns of past vessels, such as the Death star, they could have named the Star Destroyer to rule by fear on the planets that were under imperial rule. This rule would place the entire planet under the guise that if they angered or rebelled, the empire would wipe out their entire planet.  After all, it can “destroy a star.”

Types of Planetary Destruction and Causes

Mundicide can come in several different forms and from different sources. When the entire planet is destroyed, it is known as Mundicide.  While there is an entire list of destroyed planets from several types of destruction, the following planets were destroyed strictly by Star Destroyers.

  • Unidentified Mustafar System Planetoid
  • Tund
  • Parcellus Minor
  • Katarr
  • Humbarine
  • Duro
  • Dankayo
  • Callos
  • Hathrox 3

All of these planets were destroyed by Star destroyers in a planetary bombardment and rendered uninhabitable.  The planets are still located in their solar system but are considered to be of no value to the empire.

In total, there have been over 100 planets and systems completely destroyed in the Star Wars universe, all in different ways, including by a Star Destroyer. Most of these planets were destroyed by various superweapons, or as collateral damage from some other solar event.

Death Star Versus the Star Destroyer

The Death Star has the ability to charge using Kybar shards to create energy and then focusing that energy into a focused beam that completely destroys a planet. It is like an overpowered lightsaber that is unstoppable.

When a planet is destroyed by the Death star, there is nothing left, and the planet fails to exist. We see an instance of this in A New Hope when Alderon was destroyed. We can also see the remains of the second death star destroy Endor in almost the same manner as a star destroyer would destroy a planet.

The remains of the second death star rained down on Endor, ruining the entire moon, leaving it lifeless and basically destroyed. This would be the equivalent to how the Star Destroyer would destroy a planet. The Star destroyer would use lasers, but the same concept.

A Star destroyer would eliminate any life forms on the planet as well as atomize most surfaces of the planet. If the Star Destroyer didn’t set the entire planet’s atmosphere on fire, there definitely would not be any forms of life left on the planet.

Types of Star Destroyers

Imperial Star destroyers are the most common star destroyers in the lore, appearing in almost every Star Wars film. The iconic empires’ Star Destroyer has the traditional wedge shape with the Lasers topping the Bridge. The belly of this massive beast can house and launch Tie fighters, as well as boarding craft and even a tractor beam to pull in various rebel ships, including the Millennium Falcon. This star destroyer is only 1,600 Meters long.

The Super Star Destroyer was featured in the Return of the Jedi, and the Empire Strikes Back. This ship was the one that the iconic fight took place between Vader and the Emperor. This imperial ship is 19,000 meters in length and holds a city in the middle of it.

The First Order Star Destroyer was only appeared in the Last Jedi and measured about 2,915M in length. This ship replaced the imperial star destroyers because they were stronger and powered by Kyber Lasers. This ship also was able to release tie fighters at a faster rate than previous ships.

The Dreadknot class of ship is the Warhammer of the fleet. The Dreaadnought is the biggest of the Star Destroyers and used for heavy artillery situations. The Dreadnought was usually the first to arrive to take over a planet.  This is the same class as the Eclipse; however, the eclipse is far better equipped than a standard Dreadknot.

Final Thoughts/Conclusion

Like many things Star Wars, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.  Yes, a Star Destroyer can destroy a planet.  But destruction can mean many things—eliminate the population, make the planet uninhabitable, or destroy the planet.  As the New Republic information officer Nara Dun said, when talking about the Eclipse–

“The hyperspace tunnel opened, and this black thing came crawling out from between the stars… We thought it was a ghost ship, until it opened fire.”

-Nara Dunn
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