Even a single Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer can make any day a terrifying experience.
—Anonymous New Republic Defense Force Admiral
The Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was a warship design developed by Sokuk Dovul, modified by Veetor Krylik, and produced by Umbriel Research and Development. Utilized most prominently by the Galactic Empire and its successor, the Imperial Remnant, the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was considered the ultimate arbiter of space combat by military leaders during the time it was in production; millions of tons of reinforced durasteel, internal braces, and dozens of gun batteries that held only what Umbriel Research and Development believed it was the best and most advanced weaponry it had created. All of it was dedicated to the exclusive purpose of projecting massive amounts of debilitating firepower against any target and effectively defending against another vessel of similar or greater ability.
Despite the design's practical effectiveness as a vessel of war to the Imperial Remnant, it was considered more effective as a psychological weapon by Grand Admiral Thrawn. As the Conqueror I-class was used extensively and very successfully on numerous campaigns by the Imperial Remnant, this resulted in the design gaining an almost legendary reputation of invincibility and indomitable power among the New Republic Defense Force, despite the fact that at least several ships of the class were destroyed by the New Republic and Yuuzhan Vong at several battles.
Conqueror I-class vessels were the largest of their type at the time it was in production, and they were heavily armed with weaponry that the galaxy had never seen prior to Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaigns. They also held a predatory appearance and reputation; the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer were often referred to as Imperial Death Dealers among New Republic and Yuuzhan Vong navy personnel, as well as the End of the World by many infantry soldiers. Due to their large size and the large amount of resources necessary to construct a single vessel, however, the design was very expensive to build; merely constructing four of the ships could bankrupt the defense forces of an average world. This ensured that those who did possess one or more of these ships usually kept them in reserve for only the most important engagements, as building another was simply too costly for forces who could even afford one in the first place.
The Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was originally presented to Raith Sienar, the head of Santhe/Sienar Technologies, in 19 BBY by one of the Chief Executive Officer's most trusted starship designers, Sokuk Dovul. The example blueprints indicated a massive warship, which was lightly armed and "hollowed out" to allow for the transportation of enormous amounts of cargo, troops, and starfighters. Although he thought the design was promising, it was quickly dismissed by Sienar due to several structural weaknesses and the fact that Sienar was more interested in the development of the Lambda T-4a shuttle at that time.
After Raith Sienar's death in 3 BBY, however, Veetor Krylik discovered the blueprints for the Conqueror I-class within the central databanks of the Chief Executive Officer's personal system; the discovery was made while on a visit to Santhe/Sienar Technologies headquarters on the planet Lianna where Krylik had traveled to meet with the corporation's new president, Lady Valles Santh. Veetor was impressed with the design but recognized the potentially catastrophic "hollowed out" design and lack of strong internal braces. He felt that this could have made the warship very susceptible to kinetic impacts and hits from missiles when deprived of its shields.
To counter these flaws, Veetor reworked the design, including thicker durasteel plating and several reinforcements on the interior of the ship. These reinforcements consisted of special braces constructed from Mandalorian Iron, as well as numerous other reinforcements and a compartmentalized design similar to the successful Resolve-class Cruiser. Veetor then released these revised plans to the general populace of Umbriel Research and Development's work force, which, at the time, was unaware of where Veetor had discovered the plans. They promptly obeyed the order to begin construction on the new vessels that they believed were an original design of Veetor's.
Imperial Remnant serviceEdit
When Grand Admiral Thrawn began his campaign against the galaxy in 9 ABY, the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer served as the vanguard of his charge. As what would soon come to be called the Thrawn campaign raged onwards, the Conqueror I-class enjoyed a distinguished career in the Imperial Navy, where it was responsible for securing many victories which might otherwise have been impossible. The arrival of these ships within a given system rapidly became associated with immediate death and destruction among New Republic soldiers, and few but the New Republic and the parts of the Imperial Remnant that resisted Thrawn's Empire of the Hand were willing to stand and fight against them. Much like the Imperial I-class had during Palpatine's reign, these vessels symbolized the awesome power, capability, and seemingly limitless might of Grand Admiral Thrawn's Empire of the Hand, which was regarded as an unbeatable juggernaut at the time by its enemies.
These ships were often utilized simply as mobile instruments of destruction; rarely did a captain feel the need to drop a detachment of troops to a planet's surface, unless the world was strategically important or sought by Thrawn as an addition to the Empire of the Hand. The extreme cost of resources and other materials required to construct an entire vessel of the class were so great that only a limited number of them could be produced even at the height of Thrawn's power. However, as the Empire of the Hand occupied more and more worlds, strip mining natural resources and consuming anything deemed to be of value to Thrawn's war machine, those resources were in fairly large supply for a considerable amount of time. This allowed a sizable quantity of the ships to be built, with rumors suggesting that at least one hundred of the ships had been constructed during the years of Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic.
Within a fleet of the Imperial Navy, Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers served as the primary warships. They encompassed a heavy battleship and planetary assault role and often led the fleet at the front-line, where their firepower allowed them to buckle most enemy defenses and their anti-fighter and close quarters armament allowed them to punch through an enemy with little escort. They were, however, usually accompanied by several Resolve-class Cruisers and Infernal-class Corvettes. The class's ability to operate with little or no support meant that they were often found patrolling the deepest and most remote regions of space during Thrawn's campaign, where their heavy armament, resources, and technological equipment allowed them to eradicate any stray survivors of the New Republic forces that might have escaped Thrawn's notice or had managed to hide from the main attack force. When combined with the almost constant attacks on populated centers by considerable fleets of the ships accompanied by numerous support vessels, this ensured that there was no place for those who resisted Grand Admiral Thrawn's rule to hide or escape to, at least not for very long.
Following Thrawn's death and the subsequent New Republic victory, the Conqueror I-class remained in heavy use by the Imperial Remnant. However, post-war agreements between the various warlords of the Imperial Remnant necessitated that only a limited number of the ships could be owned by any single Imperial Remnant faction at any given time. This resulted in smaller yet still heavily armed warships such as the Resolve and Infernal classes taking over the duties of picket patrol and defense as well as primary capital ships, with the Conqueror I-class ships of the Imperial Remnant kept for reserve for use in only the most important engagements. However, it was not entirely unusual for one to encounter one of these ships among a patrol group, and often the Imperial Remnant would dispatch Conqueror I-class ships on a mission which it felt was strategically important in the fight against the New Republic.
Before Thrawn's defeat, the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was utilized solely by the Imperial Remnant. After the defeat of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the destruction of the Empire of the Hand, however, Umbriel Research and Development made the class available to the galaxy as a whole. Several of the vessels were purchased immediately by both the New Republic and Hutt Cartel, as well as several other organizations such as the Black Sun. While those who purchased one of the vessels had to pay a substantial amount of credits and be put on a long waiting list, the end product was such that most customers considered it to be worth the wait.
While the New Republic bought a full dozen of the class once it had recovered from the war, the design was generally out of service as more new and fresh designed were proposed around the time of the establishment of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. A portion of the ships remained in active use as planetary defense vessels, however, while others were merely put into storage to be taken out in the event of any major war beginning that required such firepower.
The Imperial Remnant factions that had resisted the Empire of the Hand, too, purchased several Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers following the end of Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, although they made far more use of them than the New Republic and the subsequent Galactic Alliance did. Several of the ships were modified and upgraded according to Imperial standards, while other, non-upgraded Conqueror Is could be found in considerable numbers among the Imperial Navy, where they served as Heavy Battleships.
Despite the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer's power and ability as a warship, the design was only seen in limited numbers outside of Imperial Remnant territory. Once Umbriel Research and Development released the Conqueror II-class Star Destroyer and, subsequently, more novel designs began to find their ways onto the drawing boards, the original Conqueror I-class was almost completely phased out of service.
These things are monsters, pure and simple. They are designed to hand out complete oblivion. Best to engage them when numbers are in your favor.
—A New Republic Defense Force Admiral briefing his fleet.
The Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers were the largest known vessels in the galaxy at the time of their production; easily dwarfing other ships of their type, they established the principal element of the Imperial Navy under the Empire of the Hand. The Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers measured just over a thousand meters in length and almost seven hundred meters in width, housed over a hundred starfighters and other craft, and encompassed an entire legion of troops and associated vehicles.
A fully armed Conqueror I-class vessel was capable of a wide variety of offensive actions, while the ship's array of defensive armaments ensured that it was capable of both protecting itself from attack and engaging an enemy at close quarters. As a warship designed with the purpose of annihilating all ships that opposed it and conquering worlds across the galaxy, Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers were armed with a large amount of weaponry and equipment, so much so that it was considered overkill by many of the ship's buyers. With an armament of four octuple turbolasers, more than three-hundred point-defense emplacements, seven plasma torpedo tubes, twenty-four primary rail guns, over sixty ion cannons, and various internal defensive systems, the class was deemed capable of defeating almost any conceivable threat by Umbriel Rsearch and Development. In addition to the standard armament, the class also boasted two racks of Beradium missiles, each rack containing ten missiles apiece. This allowed the vessel to bombard entire cities and installations from orbit, as well as strike against warships such as Super Star Destroyers and Star Defenders.
Despite its large size, a Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was effortlessly maneuverable by its pilots and could easily dock with other vessels and stations. While intended primarily as a battleship and carrier, the class could undertake various secondary roles, including military transport, fleet support, orbital bombardment, and planetary defense. This multi-role design allowed the Conqueror I-class adapt to virtually any combat scenario. In addition, the class was designed to operate for long periods without resupplying. The ship's water purification abilities and hydroponic resources alone were so efficient, according to Umbriel Research and Development studies, that, negating some emergency or unforeseen event, a vessel of the class could operate for a maximum of fifteen years before needing to resupply, aside from regular refueling. The Conqueror I was also capable of conducting large scale repairs without the assistance of a shipyard. Extensive fabrication facilities were maintained on board as well, allowing the class to manufacture ammunition, parts, and even entire crafts if in possession of sufficient resources.
Although large vegetable stores and canned goods were kept on board, the main source of the vessel's food supply was a compact hydroponics unit located in the middle of the ship. This unit featured a natural environment of plants and provided various fresh vegetables, as well as a continual supply of fresh air. When combined with its heavy armor, shields, defensive armament, extensive complement, and numerous backup and support functions, the Conqueror I-class was capable of continuing combat operations despite suffering massive damage or merely becoming entrenched by time. This was evidenced by the ship's continuing effectiveness in 130 ABY, decades after the first vessel of the class was laid out, and following several engagements.
As the Conqueror I-class was constructed from toughened durasteel and reinforced by honeycombed Mandalorian Iron, multiple structural supports, and specialized internal braces, shields were considered almost unnecessary by many of its buyers. However, as a means to improve the ship's durability even more, the ships were equipped with deflector screens, comparable to those mounted on any Imperial II, which, combined with its reinforced and honeycombed hull, allowed the ships to survive situations that were known to tear apart other vessels with weaker defenses. However, the class was not invincible and featured several weak spots that could succumb under concentrated and prolonged enemy fire, such as the engines. The shields were sensitive to overload as well and could take a long period of time to fully recharge, as the rest of the Star Destroyer required such large amounts of constant power to continue to run effectively.
Although the navigation, weapons, and other main functions were controlled from the Main Bridge, which afforded a large view out of the bow of the Star Destroyer and of surrounding space, the actual nerve center of the ship was its Combat Information Center, or CIC. It was in the Combat Information Center where the primary strategies of battle were conceived prior to engagement, with multiple different terminals and sources of information available to a captain from where he or she typically stood at the central situation table, overseeing the developing situation via high-resolution holographic projections and detailed data readouts. These were shown in real time action reports, sensor scans, and other estimates, each designed to assist the captain and command staff in making the most competent decision they could. Both the Bridge and the Combat Information Center also allowed quick access to escape pods, as a small bay held a dozen of them in the corridor which allowed access to the Bridge from the Combat Information Center, and vice-a-versa. This corridor also allowed protection for both command decks from most hazards, as the two entrances into the access corridor could be by twelve inch thick Mandalorian Iron blast doors. This allowed either deck to seal themselves off from the rest of the ship and assume full command of the Star Destroyer, although the Bridge would only be able to run the ship at half efficiency without the assistance of the various equipment, crew, and resources from the Combat Information Center.
Having a massive, absolutely powerful vessel is absolutely worthless if you need your entire navy to crew it.
Despite the design's large size, the crew requirements of a Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer were minimal; in fact, it was considerably less than was required to operate an Imperial I at full capacity. This was accomplished by extensive automation and sophistication of individual systems, as well as the addition of a central command computer consisting of an Umbriel Artificial Intelligence System; the command computer oversaw navigation, point-defense, and internal regulation of supplies and life-support systems, as well as other functions its designers saw as too minuscule to warrant the attention of one or more trained crew members when they could be better utilized somewhere else.
For efficient operation, a Conqueror I usually required a crew of twelve-thousand operating personnel, overseen by five-thousand officers, and supported by an additional seven-thousand support staff. The support staff included technicians, maintenance personnel, security officers, electronic experts, systems monitoring staff, botanical oversight workers, and well over fifty medical staff. In order to keep the central AI from overheating, and to maintain its sensitive internal components, an additional crew of thirty specially-trained technicians and programmers were kept aboard as well.
Although this automation allowed each Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer to be operated by a relatively small crew, which in turn reduced costs and labor, and reduced the amount of personnel lost should one of the vessels have been taken down in battle, it could have had potentially dangerous side effects in addition to the advantages. The automation made it easier to hack into the class' central computer, and, once a hacker was in, it could have proven very easy for them to wreck havoc upon the vessel, as every system was linked and down-scaled in order to increase efficiency and reduce crew requirements. Additionally, if a Conqueror I's power-plant was shut down or damaged in some manner, it could have had negative effects upon the entire crew, as emergency power for most of the primary systems was tied directly into the central AI. They felt this would have been the primary target of any boarding party or remote hacker, as the AI could be scrambled, confused, or overheated simply by uploading a large amount of information into its memory banks.
The fact that most of the design's systems were linked also made the class susceptible to ion cannon fire. Even just a few direct hits with the shields down could shut the ship down for at least twenty minutes, and the energies released by such weapons fire could have proven particularly devastating against the ship's very sensitive internal circuitry. This made heavy ion cannons very effective against Conqueror I-class Star Destroyers, at least when the vessel's shields were down.
Equipment and troop capacityEdit
Despite its defensive armament and primary role as a battleship, the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was originally intended as a dedicated carrier vessel, hauling large amounts of military material, vehicles, assault craft, and starfighters into the heat of battle. Although they experienced an upgrade to their defensive armament and increased combat durability after Veetor Krylik took over production, the design's primary role remained the launching and recovery of starfighters and heavy ground equipment, as well as troops. Often, when the Imperial Remnant conquered a planet during Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaigns, they left as many as three of the vessels in orbit after capturing the planet, to serve as bases of operation and mobile space stations until the planet could be properly garrisoned.
It was common for a Conqueror I to carry a complement of around two-hundred or more starfighters. The majority of this capacity was normally taken up by several squadrons of Thunderbolt Aerospace Superiority Fighters, the standard tactical combat fighter that was produced by Umbriel Research and Development. When under fire, the ship could unleash several hordes of these fighters at once, which would then quickly form a protective screen around their mothership. To offer support and covering fire for the Thunderbolts, the Conqueror I-class also carried as many as three squadrons of Marauder Aerospace Interceptors, intended as the hunters of enemy fighters during full-scale attacks. For long-range strikes against enemy capital ships, massed fire assaults, and precision bombing runs, a Conqueror I also carried a maximum of thirty-six Death-Wing Strike Bombers, which allowed it to assault multiple targets within a given system even without being present at the scene.
The Conqueror I-class carried a large amount of support equipment, vehicles, and even building materials, which would be used once the ship had established a foothold upon a planet to build a temporary garrison once a given world had been conquered. As the primary front-line transports and planetary assault vessels of the Imperial Navy, Conqueror I-class ships carried around three-hundred armored personnel carriers, approximately fifty Stryker CombatMechs—utilized as support units for troops and tanks during urban warfare—and just over fifty Hawk-Bat Gunships. A single legion of ten-thousand warriors comprised a typical fighting force carried by the vessels. However, this was not the only type of combat resources a ship of the class carried, and numerous other support vehicles could be dropped to a planet as well, ranging from Reconnaissance Buggies and Aerial Gliders to mobile artillery and anti-air guns. Several Aquatica Gunboats allowed the ship's troops to assault and defend various water based locations, as well as establish sea operations and approach an entrenched enemy from underwater, which afforded the Imperial soldiers the element of surprise and a quick battle.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer was based loosely on the Galactica-class Battlestar from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series. The creator of the Conqueror I, Star Wars Fanon wiki user InfernalWarrior, had been very impressed by the re-imagined Battlestar ships and thought that the Galactica-class Battlestar would make a fitting base upon which to build build his class of Star Destroyer.
Many other sources of information also influenced InfernalWarrior's work on the ship's development. The first was the Imperial I and Imperial II classes of Star Destroyers in Star Wars canon. Their capabilities, size, and reputation provided InfernalWarrior with a base upon which to experiment and consider the direction he wanted to take the design of the Conqueror I-class in. Unlike the majority of InfernalWarrior's other ship designs, which he designed as smaller and less armed, the Conqueror I-class was intended to fill a gap between a Dreadnought and small attack ship, essentially providing Umbriel Research and Development with its own type of psychologically intimidating Imperial-class Star Destroyer.
At the beginning of his production of the Conqueror I-class Star Destroyer, InfernalWarrior toyed around with several different design schemes, but ultimately abandoned them in favor of the current one. When he first started working on the concept, he understood what he wanted the Conqueror I-class to look like, but he was not quite sure about anything else at that point in time, hence several rewrites of the original draft for this article. However, InfernalWarrior felt that the end product justified the means, and was rather surprised how well he believed the concept turned out, as he was never really trying for anything he would have deemed to be great.
In finishing the concept and, ultimately, the article about it on Star Wars Fanon, InfernalWarrior felt that it was necessary to thank the individuals who produced the visual effects and designs for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Without their work, he would not have been able to integrate the majority of the images he chose into the Star Wars Fanon article, images he feels made the article better than it would have been without them.