The Executor-class Star Dreadnaught (commonly known as a Super Star Destroyer) were large command ships that appeared in the Star Wars franchise. The first of four Super-Class Star Destroyers in service before the Battle of Hoth, the Executor was Darth Vader's flagship while he hunted down the main Rebel Alliance base. At 8,000 meters long, it was the largest traditional starship constructed by the Imperial Navy.
Super Star Destroyers were Imperial Navy command ships and were assigned only to the most important and prestigious missions. Being assigned to these vessels were regarded by Navy officers as a the fast track to promotions
In a military sense, the Super Star Destroyer was somewhat impractical, since a small ship could fulfill its mission duties. Rather, the Super Star Destroyer represented the Emperor's unlimited power and resources. The Imperial Star Destroyer frightened worlds into submission; the Super Star Destroyer terrorized them beyond the capability for resistance. At over five times the length of a standard Star Destroyer, it could conquer without firing a shot, and so win the battle before engaging the enemy.
Bristling with over a thousand weapons, including turbolasers, concussion-missile tubes, tractor-beam projectors and ion cannons, the Super Star Destroyers wielded awesome firepower. They held two full wings of TIE Fighters, for a hundred and forty four ships, as well as two hundred other combat and support ships. For ground assaults, Super Star Destroyers maintained a full corps of Stormtroopers, 38,000 ground troopers, three prefabricated Imperial garrison bases, and enough walkers to decimate any Rebel base.
The Executor was built at the starship yards of Fondor after being designed by Lira Wessex, designer of the Imperial Star Destroyer. Upon its completion, the ship was presented to Lord Vader as a headquarters ship for his quest to find the Rebel Alliance's command base. It was originally commanded by Admiral Ozzel, but after his unfortunate death, Admiral Piett was given command of the vessel by Lord Vader.
The Executor was destroyed at the Battle of Endor. After its shield generators were destroyed, Rebel fighter pilot Arvel Crynyd smashed his A-Wing fighter into the Executor's bridge. With the ship crippled and damage-control crews unable to seize command using the auxiliary control centers, the Death Star's gravity pulled the Executor into the immense battle station. The Executor exploded on impact with the Death Star, also causing significant damage to the incomplete battle station. Many of the Empire's best young officers were killed in that incident, making the New Republic's eventual victory over the Empire far easier.
While only four Super Star Destroyers were in service by the Battle of Hoth, it is known that several more were under construction. It is unknown how many of these ships were completed before the Battle of Endor, but several are thought to be in the hands of rogue Imperial warlords.
Notable Star Destroyers
The Executor was only one of several ships of this class built. Other ships include:
- Lusankya - Built as Palpatine's escape ship, used as a private prison for Ysanne Isard, and later became Isard's flagship during the Bacta Wars. It was captured and became Wedge Antilles' flagship until it was destroyed during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
- Annihilator - A ship serving in the Kuat system under the command of Admiral Gaarn. It was destroyed by the Zann Consortium in a battle shortly after the Battle of Endor.
- Reaper - The flagship of Grand Moff Ardus Kaine, the leader of the Pentastar Alignment (an Imperial splinter faction formed in the years following the Battle of Endor). It was destroyed at the Battle of Celanon.
- Brawl/Iron Fist - Warlord Zsinj's flagship. It was destroyed by Han Solo and the Hapan Royal Navy at Dathomir.
It should be noted that with the advent of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, all of these Super Star Destroyers aside from the Executor itself are now considered non-canon and as part of the "Legends" continuity.