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- "I maintain that the effectiveness of the Star Destroyer stems from not only its massive firepower, but from its size. When citizens look at a Star Destroyer and then compare it to the craft which might be mustered to attack it, they have a tendency to dismiss such a notion as suicidal rather than approach the problem tactically."
- — Wilhuff Tarkin
The Imperial-class Star Destroyer Mark I, also known as the Imperator-class Star Destroyer, or "ImpStar", is an iconic class of warship designed by Lira Wessex and built by Kuat Drive Yards for the Galactic Republic towards the end of the Clone Wars, but fielded extensively only after the establishment of the Galactic Empire. It was first introduced as the Imperator-class before being changed to Imperial-class by the end of the Great Jedi Purge around 1 BBY. These Star Destroyers, along with Imperial stormtroopers, have come to represent the might of the Imperial Military throughout the Galaxy.
When the Imperial-class Star Destroyer project first began, there were many budget arguments over whether it would be feasible for the Empire to construct and purchase these expensive warships. Now, one can only wonder why anyone would argue against employing Star Destroyers. They are invaluable in maintaining order and policing a galaxy. A single Star Destroyer is sufficient for subduing most planets, and with its armament, ground assault force, and six squadrons of TIEs, the Star Destroyer has been nearly unchallenged for a long while. It would take more than one MC80 to defeat a single Imperial Star Destroyer.
Lira Wessex, Imperial engineer, built her work on the shoulders of giants. Her father, Walex Blissex, had developed the venerable Victory-class Star Destroyer for the Galactic Republic, as well as numerous other starcraft designs. From these, Wessex proposed the Imperial-class design, a proposal that was debated at great lengths within the Empire's elite ranks. Wessex proved the nay-sayers wrong when the first Imperial-class Star Destroyer lumbered from the sprawling Kuat Drive Yards drydocks. The resulting ship was a marvel of technology, and testament to the Empire's might.
There are whole systems whose gross domestic product is less than the cost of a single Star Destroyer. There are entire nations that, throughout their history, do not expend as much energy as a Star Destroyer does during a hyperspace jump. Powering the 1.6 kilometer-long craft is nothing short of a miniature sun -- a solar ionization reactor bulges from the ventral spine, using its raging fires to fuel the giant warship.
The Imperial-class Star Destroyer bristles with 60 turbolaser batteries, 60 ion cannon batteries, and 10 tractor beam projectors. It carries a full stormtrooper division, 20 AT-ATs, 30 AT-STs, eight Lambda-class shuttles, 12 landing barges, and six TIE squadrons.
Since its introduction, an improved model of Star Destroyer has also seen action: the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Mark II.