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Imperial Star Destroyers: Science Fiction's Worst Battleship

December 20, 2017

With THE LAST JEDI out I decided to revisit the Star Wars saga.  As I went through the original trilogy and the two most recent entries in the saga (the prequels are dead to me) I began to notice something.  Imperial star destroyers fucking suck. They are just damned pitiful.  They are both the most impressive looking and the most useless ships in all science fiction.  How in the fuck did an entire galaxy get brought to heel by these things?
Our first clue as to their ineffectiveness is in A NEW HOPE, when Han Solo manages to ditch two of these things much the same way Burt Reynolds did the idiot cops in Smokey and the Bandit (1977).  Where we really see their flaws though is in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.  Again we see Han Solo pilot his freighter, the weirdly named "Millennium Falcon", a name which, by the way, never made any sense. I could much more readily imagine Han naming his junker after an ex.
"Like my ship? That's Demanda...  Named her after my first true love." 

But I digress:  When Han is trying to outrun Vader's fleet he takes a direct hit on the back quarter from a star destroyer and he doesn't even slow down. 

You're seriously telling me that a direct hit from one of these things can't even stop the inter-galactic equivalent of an 18 wheeler?
On the other hand earlier in the same film we see en entire star destroyer rendered completely useless by two shots from a ground based "Ion cannon" that looks like nothing so much as a giant metal tit.  One wonders why the Rebels didn't invest in more of these?
At any rate, while Han is ditching for cover in an asteroid field Vader gives the order to follow. Later one of Vader's admirals complains about how much damage they've taken with his passive-aggressive British intonation.
That's a problem for these ships?
Well, of course it is!
What idiot thought putting a massive conning tower on the top like a wedding cake was a good idea?  I imagine X-Wing Piloting 101 consists mostly of "You see that huge important looking structure on the top? Yeah...AIM FOR THAT!" 

We're told that star destroyers are armed with turbo lasers.  Turbo lasers might be the most pitiful weapons system ever devised.  Maybe the problem is that they're all manned by storm troopers who are legendary in their collective ability to miss even the most obvious targets.  Frankly, I'm surprised the Death Star didn't miss Alderaan.  It doesn't help their case that Han Solo was able to fly past a star destroyer up close that missed SEVERAL times, only to duck behind the conning tower and LAND there without anyone other than Boba Fett noticing.  As I was watching Rogue One I found myself thinking that really the only thing these ships are good at it looking big, crashing into each other and blowing up.  Super star destroyers aren't much better.  All it took to take one completely out in RETURN OF THE JEDI was one dude in an A-wing crashing into...

You guessed it...
That fucking conning tower!

Say what you want about Star Trek, at least their ships don't have the shield generators on the outside.


Rocketed from the doomed planet Oklahoma, Daniel landed in California and discovered that under a yellow sun he was granted the powers of sarcasm, brevity, skepticism and critical thinking.
He lives in his Fortress of Solitude with his son, girlfriend, and lousy wifi connection monitoring the culture and reading Nietzsche.  When not writing, he runs The 37th Realm of Existence and Progressives Against the #Trumpocalyse.
His hobbies include Japanese porn, foreign films and the works of Alan Moore.


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