The Lambda-class T-4a shuttle (also known as the Imperial Shuttle) is an Imperial cargo and passenger shuttlecraft that appeared in the Star Wars universe.
Used by the Galactic Empire, the vessel has a stationary top wing with two folding bottom wings. In flight, the Lambda resembles an inverted Y, and the two lower wings fold up when the ship lands. The shuttle rests on two retractable landing legs located just inside the folding wings. a ramp telescopes from below the forward fuselage for loading and debarking.
Lambda-Class shuttles were originally designed by Sienar Fleet Systems. Sienar manufactures the shuttles, while Cygnus Spaceworkds is subcontracted to manufacture a more heavily armed military version of the ship.
Lambda shuttles can carry up to twenty passengers or eighty tons of cargo. Unlike most Imperial shuttles, Lambda shuttles have hyperdrives, which allow passengers cargo to be transferred between different fleets and systems. The Lambda has a heavily reinforced hull and multiple shield generators. The Sienar shuttle has three double blaster cannons (one is rear-mounted) and two double laser cannons. The Cygnus Spaceworks military version has ten laser cannons.
Lambda shuttles maintain a command crew of four, with the option of adding two additional officers who normally handle secured communications and power allocation. A single pilot can handle the ship, but performance suffers significantly.
Many Imperial government officials used these shuttles for personal transport owing to their combination of combat worthiness and the large interior cargo area which could be converted to passenger space. The shuttle's armament allowed the Lambda to travel without a military escort, making it difficult for Rebel raiding forces to determine whether shuttles were merely carrying cargo or transporting important Imperial officers.
The Emperor himself used a highly modified Lambda shuttle which was believed to be equipped with a cloaking device. It is known that the Emperor's top aides, military officers, and operatives, including Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor, had access to heavily armed Lambda shuttles. These special shuttles carried secured HoloNet transceivers, allowing instantaneous communication with Imperial City from any point in the Empire.
The Rebel Alliance used a stolen shuttle Tydirium to deliver a commando assault team to Endor's forest moon. Using appropriated Imperial command codes purchased from spies and a cover story claiming that they were delivering parts and technical crew, the Rebel team led by General Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 managed to infiltrate the Imperial base on Endor and eventually to destroy the shield protecting the unfinished second Death Star.