The X-Wing Theory


Seventh Part of the Seal
I was trolling around youtube at work... yeah I literally had nothing better to do. Anyway I saw this video of an X-wing single handedly obliterate a Star Destroyer and an argument about whether or not single fighter could have pulled that off.

Well... at the risk of this possibly becoming a Space Battles thread, I would just like to say, an X Wing is equipped with dual Proton torpedo launchers and four laser cannons. In ROTJ we see two A-wings blast the shield generator and a third knock out the bridge. Finally, we also never really see turbo lasers actually destroy an fighter in the movies... I don't think. X-Wings are small enough to evade turbos. So in summation, is it possible? Yes, unlikely, but yes. Thoughts?


Vice Admiral
You could do this yourself in X-wing, If you are able to take the shield generators down, you could just slowly start taking down the engines so it can't move away and providing you manage to destroy it's full fighter compliment, and evade all defense weaponry.

Sure it could be done, but you would have just about enough chance to succeed as you would taking out an entire military base with your bare hands.


Rear Admiral
I have read a few star wars books (and read OF a few others) - in general, these feets, (of a single fighter destroying a full size star destroyer) do not usually happen in the books - more often, the fighters would take out the shield generators, and would still need to repeatedly pound the capital ship with torpedoes and gun fire for quite some time, before the ship becomes a helpless hulk.
that said, the descriptions in the books do give the feeling that once a ship looses it's shields, it's only a question of "when" will the ship be destroyed rather then "if" it will be destroyed.
it's only a matter of time - but it can take quite a some of it.

an example can be seen in the book "X WING - wraith squadron" - were in the final battle, the ISD Implacable take a tremendous pounding from new republic fighters, and is only destroyed after a fighter managed to slip into it's power center through a hole in the hull and to systematically disable it's power sources - at this point, the ISD's captain activates the ship's self-destruct to prevet it from falling into republic hands.

and @ mace: the hyper-drive is not connected to the main engines and is usually an internal component (and thus cannot be destroyed from outside the ship) - so technically, it can still escape...


Rear Admiral
In the games, killing an ISD or even ESD is trivial, they have negligible point defense capability so when you get close enough to the hull, that ship is going down whether or not you take the time to kill the shield generators first. In particular, they have no weapons in the side trenches, so you can sit there as long as you like. Also, particularly in the early games, the ISD's have very few turrets and they are easily removed.

In the films, its more complex. For starters, those globes are more probably sensor domes than shield generators - no other ship in the series has a shield generator outside of its shield, so why would the Executor have such an obvious weakness? Yet, in the games, those globes are consistently unshielded and the ship loses all shielding when they die.

More likely, the Executors shields were unable to withstand the firepower from the rebel fleet - this happened just after Ackbar orders all fire concentrated on the Executor - and either a torpedo slipped through the shields or a generator overloaded. In any case, the dorsal shielding went down and part of the ship was vulnerable. Even then, its a warship and built to take a pounding. However, the A-wing took out the bridge and the ship was pulled into the DeathStar II's gravity well and crashed before control could be regained. In one of the later books, its said that the Executor died due to luck rather than anything else.

So, no, in general a single fighter cannot kill a capital ship alone. In some special circumstances, such as unshielded exhaust ports, it can be done, but its the exception rather than the rule.


212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I have personally accomplished the following:

* Destroyed The Death Star Single-Handedly, Without The Use Of Wingmen
* Killed Darth Vader In One On One Combat, Across Several Different Arenas
* Played Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (a feat unto its self, seperate from beating it in under an hour)
* Posted In This Thread Without An Ounce Of Sarcasm

Which one is the greater accomplishment? I'll leave that up for history to decide.


Rear Admiral
Rebel Assault II is awesome.

If I can speak for history, I think your last feat is by far the greatest :)


Rear Admiral
I guess the single X-Wing taking out a SD situation comes from XWA. The problem of the game is that the AI of capital ships is not capable of leading its fire in any way. It gets worse with larger ships as only the section closest to you fires (its as I understand a game engine limit that has something to do with maximum objects that can be present at any time - unfortunatly blaster bolts are 3D objects in XWA therefore are added up to the number). That means as long as you dont directly face the section fireing but aim for a far part of the ship the AI will never ever hit you (especially if you fly in a straight line). IMHO that was gamebreaking as it got even worse if you were in one of the turretet craft.

On a in Univese note. Id say its impossible for a single X-Wing to destroy an ISD. Simply because it lacks the firepower to do so. The SSD in ROTJ was under a strong fleet bombardment at the time the A-Wings took out (whatever it was) and brought down the shield for a moment. And for the X-Wing books. I dont recognise the actual book but from what I recall it took a combined torpedo salvo of at least 12 X-Wings to partially bring down the shields of an ISD for a moment so they could hit a vital part of the ship. There are other instances like in the Thrawn trilogy where it is quite clear that a single starfighter was lucky to survive near an ISD.


Vice Admiral
Jack Burton:

Like I told my last wife, I says, "Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it's all in the reflexes."

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Guy #1: That's not a shield generator.
Guy #2: That's not an A-Wing.

50 posts later...
the films, its more complex. For starters, those globes are more probably sensor domes than shield generators - no other ship in the series has a shield generator outside of its shield, so why would the Executor have such an obvious weakness? Yet, in the games, those globes are consistently unshielded and the ship loses all shielding when they die.
Wow, you called it in one...


Vice Admiral
Wow, you called it in one...
I did a quick search after I posted that and loved what you said in the other thread about almost every official source declaring them shield generators, and only a few off-beat sources making any reference to anything else and was highly amused.

Why do people seem so unwilling to accept it? I just don't get it.

In response to what he said though - his argument was that they wouldn't be 'outside the shield' and IIRC most of the time when fighters are launching at capital ships they are inside the shields - there are alot of references to this in the Rogue Squadron books and comics.

Vyris Tykin

In the books they refer to it as Trench Run Disease (TRD). Imperial I-class Star Destroyers are vulnerable to it as are many other capital class ships. However, this takes into account a full squadron of X-Wing or similar class fighters. In Babylon 5, a similar technique is called "skin dancing" by the Minbari.

The remedy to this was the Imperial development of the Lancer-class frigate. That thing bristles with point-defense quad laser cannons in numbers that make me scared just thinking about it. Luckily for us snub fighter pilots, they never made that many of them.

So, yeah, I've taken apart an Imp-star in the games, but only after I've weathered their fighter defenses. Typically it comes down to flying so close they can't hit me, but in that case I'm strafing with lasers instead of my torps. Explosions that close to me WILL screw me up.

It IS possible, but with a very very high degree of risk. We can adjust difficulty settings and the ISD is controlled by a predictable AI courtesy of the limitations of the software of the late 90's. It takes a lot of time even under our favorable circumstances and any Imp worth his constituent atoms will call for help. If, like in the books, there are human gunners on the ISD, then a single X-Wing pilot needs the Force AND a great deal of Wedge Antilles/Chris Blair/Maniac Marshall skills.

So, to sum up briefly... it IS possible, but HIGHLY unlikely given the books (which are valued higher in the forms of SW canon than the games).


Super Carrot!
Imperial I-class Star Destroyers
Is there actually supposed to be several classes of imperial star destroyers or is it just some weird attempt to explain something looking slightly different in whatever scene from The Empire Strikes Back?
There are two main classes of Imperial Star Destroyer, the Imperial 1 and the Imperial 2. The Impstar Duece (as it is called in the Xwing novels) is a upgraded version with more powerful weaponry, but a sacrifice of some shield strength.

The term Star Destroyer itself is merely a class of warship, and several ships have been dubbed with the title. The "Super", "Victory", "Imperial", "Defender", "Venerator", are all Star Destroyers. Think of the term like you would destroyer or battleship. Typically it is used to describe a large and powerful ship that is often wedge shaped so it can focus more of its firepower forward.

My players in my Star War SAGA game never give Impstars the respect they deserve. They are incredibly powerful warships. They do have weaknesses, but they are not to be trifled with.

We have just seen them in situations where the "heroes always with" trope is used in film.


I'd have to think that in the actual fictional universe most of the capital ship hulls would be thicker than what fighter lasers could handle, although there might be certain areas with thinner hulls