screenrant.com

Every Major Star Wars Spaceship, Ranked

Though it might not seem it as they often get overshadowed by Jedi, The Force, and lightsabers, spaceships are a huge part of the identity of the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars like any good piece of science fiction has some tremendously designed and iconic looking spaceships. The look of the average spaceship in the Star Wars universe is just as important to the franchise’s world building as more lore about the Jedi or the Force powers of the Sith.

However, not all spaceships are created equal. Just as there have been terrible Star Wars characters and inane lightsaber types, so have there been just shockingly bad spaceships. For the most part, the quality of spaceships have been like the franchise itself.

The spaceships are usually of very high quality. While there’s a lot of solid ships out there, there’s also been some real stinkers.So, we’ve decided to rank every major spaceship in Star Wars, even including the ones that are no longer canon.

The criteria for determining the ranking has to do with their look, their weaponry and, maybe most importantly, their impact on the overall Star Wars saga.

This list isn't entirely objective. There’s a lot of personal opinion throw in too. Yet it's still an effort to look at every single type of ship to determine which is the best.

So with that in mind here is Every Major Star Wars Spaceship, Ranked

advertising

20 Outrider

The erasure of the Star Wars Expanded Universe took away a lot of characters, concepts and stories that fans held dear. While understandable, the removal of Expanded Universe elements like Gray Jedi or characters like Mara Jade still stings.

Yet if there’s one thing that fans should be happy no longer exists, its Dash Rendar and its stupidly derivative spaceship, the Outrider.

Dash was created for the Nintendo 64 video game, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. The game hasn’t aged extraordinarily well but it is decent enough for the era.

Dash, though, is by far the worst thing about Shadows of the Empire. Dash is an obvious and incredibly unlikable Han Solo clone. He has none of Han’s innate likability or heart of gold. Dash is just a smug jerk with insanely large shoulder pads.

Dash being a shameless copy of Han even carries over to his ship, the Outrider. According to Dash, the Outrider is even more famous and impressive than the Millennium Falcon.

Dash is wrong, for several reasons, but the really embarrassing thing is that the Outrider literally looks like half a Millennium Falcon.

To anyone who plays Shadows of the Empire, it’s obviously that Dash is meant to be a Han stand-in. Yet the game at least tried to hide things a little bit, Dash doesn’t look exactly like Harrison Ford.

The Outrider just looks like someone took a huge chainsaw to the Falcon and called it a day.

19 Cloud Car

advertising

Lando Calrissian is one of the coolest characters in Star Wars, if not cinema in general. Cloud City is one of the most beautiful locations ever put to film in a Star Wars movie.

For these reasons alone, it is downright insane that the main mode of transportation in the home of Lando, is the goofy Cloud Car.

One of the only real redeemable things about the Cloud Car is that it’s memorable. Yet it doesn’t exactly inspire fond memories.

There’s no real way to get around it, the Cloud Car (which appropriately sounds like clown car) is ugly. It’s less a spaceship and more like two motorcycle side cars were taken and welded together. No one, not even Lando, would look like cool in a side car.

Yet the very strangest thing about the Cloud Car is that it’s not just a transport. If the Cloud Car was just a taxi, it wouldn’t make it better designed, but it would at least explain its lameness.

It’s just there to shuttle people from one part of Cloud City to the next. Yet the Cloud Car also have military capabilities. This incredibly dorky spaceships have, for whatever reasons, guns on them.

The bottom line is that there is nothing about the Cloud Car makes sense.

18 A-Wing

The biggest question surrounding the A-Wing is why it even needs to exist. The A-Wing made its first appearance in Return of the Jedi as an alternative to the (much superior) X-Wing.

It would eventually be seeded back into the series with earlier appearances in the canon, chronically. Yet the ship was designed for the big finale of the original trilogy at a point where precisely no one needed it or even cared.

The X-Wing was the main ship of the Rebellion and that’s all the original trilogy needed. The A-Wing just muddied the waters and did in an incredibly boring way.

There’s nothing exciting or even interesting about the A-Wing.

The function of the ship was to be a nimble inceptor. The A-Wing is supposed to get in, strike hard, strike fast and scurry away to safety. This doesn't change the fact that it’s just a door stop with guns pasted onto it.

The only real excuse for the A-Wing is that it was an attempt to sell more toys. During Return of the Jedi, Star Wars wasn’t quite the merchandise making machine it is today, but it was on its way.

Boba Fett became such a popular character because he had a cool looking toy. The A-Wing was another bit of merchandise based on the Rebellion and nothing more.

17 Sun Crusher

Luckily, the name of the Sun Crusher tells you a lot you need to know about this ship because the design does remarkably little.

Believe it or not, the Sun Crusher was one of the biggest threats that Leia, Luke and Han faced in the now defunct Expanded Universe. The Sun Crusher nearly destroyed the New Republic before it really got off the ground and in one of the stupidest ways.

The Sun Crusher didn’t just have a weird phallic shape-- it was also no bigger than the average starship, yet the Sun Crusher far exceeded the capabilities of the Death Star.

Much like Starkiller Base, which would eventually replace it in canon, the Sun Crusher could destroy entire solar systems. The Sun Crusher would target a sun of a system, explode in a supernova, taking out everything under a literal sun.

Making matters worse, the Sun Crusher was pretty much indestructible. Due to its armor plating nothing nothing could penetrate the Sun Crusher. It had no accessible exhaust port like the Death Star.

The strangest thing about the Sun Crusher is it never really made it into the hands of the Empire. The New Republic found and kept the Sun Crusher under their custody, wanting to destroy it but not knowing how exactly.

A rogue Jedi of Luke’s Kyp Durron eventually stole it but he didn’t do a whole lot of damage with the ship. The Sun Crusher was this illogical scary MacGuffin that never really mattered.

16 Solar Sailer

The prequels made a lot of strange story decisions. The idea that the solar sailer was, in any way, a practical spaceship is one of the weirdest.

The Solar Sailer made its debut as the ship of Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. Dooku, one of the suaver and more collected Sith in the Star Wars saga, came and went in a ship with a gigantic parachute.

The reasons for the Solar Sailer’s design is sort of scientfic.

The intention of the ship and its huge parachute-like sail is to catch solar energy throughout the galaxy. This gives the ship a nearly limitless and natural fuel.

Dooku might be a genocidal Sith Master but he evidently does care for the environment of the galaxy. Dooku is anti-fossil fuels and all clean energy.

The intention of the Solar Sailer and the fact that it seems to be based on real science, not just typical Star Wars mumbo jumbo is interesting. It just really makes no sense in the universe.

The Solar Sailer isn’t meant for battle, just for transport and it moves quickly. However, a Dark Lord of the Sith shouldn’t really be cruising around in such an easily destructible vessel. All it takes is one good shot at the ship’s massive sail and all that limitless fuel is severed.

Maybe it’s not that surprising Dooku went out like so easily in Revenge of the Sith.

15 Clawcraft

advertising

Like the Sun Crusher and the Outrider, the Clawcraft has since been erased from Star Wars canon.

Yet unlike those other two examples, the Clawcraft might crawl its way back. This is because a crucial part of the ship’s history has already surfaced in the new canon.

Thanks to Grand Admiral Thrawn’s appearances in Star Wars: Rebels and his own standalone books, Thrawn’s race of the Chiss are  once again canon.

The Clawcraft appeared in the old Expanded Universe as the main force of the Chiss empire. These ships were the Chiss' military bread and butter.

Thrawn and the Chiss are among one of the more fascinating obscure elements of Star Wars canon. The Clawcraft, despite its impressive appearance, isn’t too noteworthy. Though it might seem original and creepy, the Clawcraft are just modified TIE fighters.

The Chiss took the TIE Fighters slapped some claws onto it. This makes sense the old canon of the Star Wars universe. However, judging the Clawcraft as a fictional thing, it’s just sort of lame.

Furthermore, the actual claws themselves don’t really fit with the Chiss.

The Chiss aren’t meant to be a lot like Thrawn. They're calculating, smart, and not necessarily evil, but they are ruthless. The Clawcraft, on the other hand, feels like the product of Lovecraftian nightmare.

14 Kylo Ren's Space Shuttle

The greatest thing that can be said of Kylo Ren’s shuttle is that it is the perfect ship for Kylo Ren. In Force Awakens before we ever see Kylo, the shuttle makes its dramatic entrance.

It’s the arrival of Kylo’s shuttle that lets Poe (and the audience) know that something very bad is about to happen in Force Awakens’ opening scene.

The ship comes with just a couple heavy laser cannons but that’s not what makes it threatening. The shuttle just looks evil. With its all-black coloring, the gigantic wings on the side, and the gleaming red front that just like an eye of dark vengeance, the shuttle just looks scary.

Yet with a lot of things involving Kylo Ren, the shuttle can be viewed as just trying too darn hard.

Still the shuttle is perfect for Kylo because it says everything about his character. It's the property of someone who istrying to emulate their evil grandfather to an impossible tee.

The shuttle is exactly what you’d imagine a goth teenager thinks is the height of menace and cool.

This isn’t just wild conjecture either. Looking at Darth Vader’s shuttle in the original trilogy, it’s largely identical to Kylo’s ship. The only difference is that Kylo has put his ship in all black, which is about the most Kylo Ren thing to do ... ever.

13 Snow Speeder

Snowspeeders are some dorky-looking spacecrafts. These speeders were the main line of defense for the Rebellion in the Battle of Hoth.

Yet they really seem designed more for function that form. However, there’s a very good reason for that fact.

The Snowspeeder didn’t exist until the Rebellion created it. Snowspeeders are just regular airspeeder transports that the Rebel Alliance modified into starfighting ships.

The snowspeeders represent the heart of the Rebellion better than pretty much any other ship in the franchise. (Crait’s ski speeders of The Last Jedi come close but they’re not technically spaceships.) The snowspeeder are emblematic of the Rebellion’s never say die attitude and the scrappiest to do whatever necessary.

This is best shown by the Snowspeeder’s most famous feat, taking down an AT-AT with just a rope and harpoon. These tiny ships literally tripping up the massive AT-AT, resulting in a fiery explosion is just one small moment that makes Empire Strikes Back so great.

Ultimately though, the derpiness of the Snowspeeder can’t be denied. It is part of the ship’s charm.

However, the mere fact that this serious space vehicle has an actual harpoon and rope is almost too silly, even if a franchise with laser swords and space wizards.

12 Executor

The Executor has a great name and a totally intimating owner, and it still manages, in the grand scheme of things, to be entirely forgettable.

This is the battleship of Darth Vader that is seen throughout Empire Strikes Back and is even used as the command ship during Return of the Jedi’s climatic final battle on Endor.

With that résumé, the battleship comes with ridiculous firepower. It can hold over a 1,000 small ships, it has 5,000 turboblasters, several ion cannons and concussion missiles. These weapons are located all over its nearly 20,000 meter frame.

The Executor is huge and more than deserves its classification of a Super Star Destroyer.

However, the might of the Executor can’t make for its utterly boring look. The Executor is nowhere near as memorable or notable as nearly ever other Empire ship.

It just looks like a Star Destroyer that has anorexia. This is Darth Vader’s battleship, it should be immediately recognizable and iconic.

Yet it would be incredibly easy to excuse any Star Wars fan who didn’t even know that Vader had his own battleship. The man lives in a castle on a planet where he almost passed away and this ship is the most creative idea he had.

The Executor is still a serious threat, but whatever points it gains in firepower, it loses in look and just overall impact. The mood of any Star Wars scene shifts when Vader is present, but the same should’ve been true for his ship.

11 TIE Fighter

advertising

This may seem like a criminally low place for the TIE Fighter. It is, after all, one of the most recognizable ships in the entire Star Wars saga. Even people who don’t know Star Wars can probably pick out a TIE Fighter.

In addition, the way TIE fighers swoop and literally scream throughout space produces one of the most famous Star Wars sounds. This is no small feat as Star Wars is full of famous and deeply satisfying sounds.

True, the TIE fighters are the backbone of the Empire. They’re equipped with considerable firepower and even more considerable speed.

It’s apparently difficult to control a TIE Fighter but if the right pilot is behind it, like Darth Vader, it can swish and swoop and take out an entire armada of ships.

However, the learning curve on the TIE Fighter is just a bit too steep. Poe Dameron, a space fighting savant, was completely helpless behind the wheel of a TIE Fighter in Force Awakens.

It’s not just Poe, either. Star Wars is full of way more TIE Fighters crashing and burning than any that are gracefully moving through the air.

The ship isn’t at all designed for safety-- after all, the cockpit is almost entirely exposed with a huge window.

Perhaps most damning of all, the TIE Fighter doesn’t even look all that impressive. Even “specialized” TIE Fighters like those for Kylo Ren or Darth Vader just bend their wings a little.

The Empire should be able to do much better.

10 Jedi Starfighter

For better or worse, the Star Wars prequels are full of very cool looking but somewhat impractical ships. The Jedi Starfighter, luckily, falls more on the impressive side of the spectrum.

A much uglier forerunner was used in Phantom Menace. However, the Jedi Starfighters, as most fans recognize them, made their cinematic debut during Attack of the Clones.

They're a huge part of that movie's dogfights. The Jedi Starfighter is meant to be used on Jedi secret missions. It’s not equipped with many weapons. Instead the Starfighter is meant mostly as transport.

The spaceship is an interceptor, meant to disrupt the actions of others rather than really be the main military force.

The only real downside of the Jedi Starfighter, and it’s major one, is that it is a bit too ostentatious for an order that is meant to be about harmony and peace.

The Jedi Starfighter just screams for attention and for an enemy to try to shoot it down, especially if the models that belong to important characters like Obi-Wan or Anakin.

If a Jedi is going to explode in a spaceship, a Jedi Starfighter is a solid choice, thought-- at least they’re going out in style.

9 Naboo Starfighter

The Naboo Starfighter is a part of one of the worst lines in Phantom Menace and the Star Wars saga in general. It is while in the cockpit of this ship that tiny baby Anakin Skywalker nonsensically screams, “Now this is podracing!”

It, like many Anakin lines, is supposed to be endearing and cute. Instead, it makes your skin want to crawl away from your body, just so it can stop listening to the terrible one-liners.

Yet it’s not the Starfighter’s fault that it had to play host to an aggravating wunderkind who can’t act. It is down to Anakin’s Force prowess that he manages to destroy an entire control ship, but he does get a nice assist from the Starfighter’s weaponry.

The Starfighter’s aerodynamic set-up makes it easy to maneuver, but it also comes equipped with heavy fire power. The ship has two serious cannons oneither side as well a proton torpedo launcher.

For those who aren’t aware, a proton torpedo is what Luke uses to destroy the Death Star in A New Hope.

It’s really the look of the Naboo Starfighter that helps it stand out among the rest. The ship’s design stands above the shoulders of pretty much everything else in the Star Wars saga.

The starfighter is flashy, bright, and fun. It's everything the prequels wanted to be but it actually succeeds in achieving them.

8 Naboo Royal Transport

It’s fair to say whatever you want about the prequels and Naboo. The one thing that probably can’t be denied is that the people of Naboo knew how to design a ship.

The Royal Transport, which is one of the main vehicles in a Phantom Menace, stands alone in the Star Wars universe. While most Star Wars ships a little rough and battle worn, the Naboo Royal Transport is more like the rest of science fiction. It’s sleek, streamlined, and covered in entirely in chrome.

However, the transport does not have any militaristic capabilities, which does seem a bit short sighted.

It’s classified as a yacht even though the ship was used to help Queen of Naboo flee when her planet was invaded during Phantom Menace. Jedi were on board the transport, but they can’t do much to fight in space.

Yet that’s really more a failing of Phantom Menace the ship itself, which is undeniably impressive looking.

Even though the transport is a very sci-fi-esque, it’s actually based on a real-life airplane. The transport looks nearly identical to Lockheed SR-71, a blackbird reconnaissance jet.

The transport might not be the most originally designed spaceship ever.

Yet for all that, there is something compelling about the spaceship. It communicates a lot about Naboo and its people before the planet is ever shown.

7 Ghost

advertising

The Ghost is the main ship of the criminally underrated animated series, Star Wars: Rebels. Rebels is the prequel series that the original trilogy deserved as it fills in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope perfectly

Rebels, as the name implies, explores the formation of the rebellion, specifically through the eyes of the crew of the Ghost who, like most Star Wars characters, accidentally back up into being a heroes of the galaxy’s salvation.

Even though the Ghost contained most of the Star Wars Rebels cast on board, it is a very tiny space freighter.

The name of the ship is incredibly accurate, as the Ghost was meant to get in, get out and try to escape notice from the Empire. This is something the ship did extraordinarily well, even if its crew, the Scepters, made more of a splash than they should’ve done on several occasions.

The Ghost also got into several firefights as apart of the Rebellion, not only in Rebels but the movie franchise itself. The ship was present at the Battle of Endor and in the skirmish above Scariff during the finale of Rogue One.

The Ghost isn’t really the most impressive or battle-ready ship in all of Star Wars. However, there’s a lot of sentimental value and personality to the ship, especially for the fans of Rebels.

6 Death Star

The Death Star might not seem like a spaceship. The movies never really show the Death Star speeding through space. It just sort of appears and destroys a planet. Yet the Death Star is, in fact, a spaceship. The Death Star is as mobile as it is deadly.

That being said, this might seem like a very low rank for the Death Star. The Empire’s big gun has become one of the most famous parts of Star Wars. The series itself used the Death Star three times.

First in the original movie, then with the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi and, let's all be honest, Force Awakens' Starkiller Base is just a bigger, much less interesting Death Star.

However, that's the problem-- the Death Star is used too frequently.

The Death Star is intimating, far more than it has a right to be as it's just is a gigantic golf ball of destruction, but some of that fear and majesty has been stripped away by the prevalence of this “fully operational battle station.”

If Death Star was limited to one, maybe two, appearances including Rogue One, it would be higher on the list. However, since the franchise has recreated the Death Star ad nauseum, the special nature of the Death Star has worn off in a way.

5 Ebon Hawk

The Ebon Hawk is, sadly, no longer a part of canon-- at least that appears to be the case for the foreseeable future.

The Ebon Hawk was first introduced in beloved video game spin-off, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

The ship belonged to The Exchange, an organized crime group in the far-flung history of the Star Wars universe.

Yet eventually it came into the possession of Darth Revan-- someone who depending on the player’s choices was trying to reclaim their mantle as the leader of the Sith or attempting to find redemption as a Jedi.

After the adventures of Revan, The Ebon Hawk passed into the possession of the second player character of the Knights of the Old Republic series with the Jedi Exile in KOTOR II. This thus made the Ebon Hawk an integral part of one of the mostly highly regarded Expanded Universe stories.

Still, the Ebon Hawk does owe a lot to some other much more famous Star Wars ships. Though the Hawk chronologically predates Han Solo by several thousand years, the Hawk is obviously based on Han’s own famous ship.

The Ebon Hawk is a smuggler ship, shaped like an oblong disc, re-purposed to ship a ragtag group of heroes across the galaxy. The inspiration is rather unsubtle.

Yet for all of that, the Ebon Hawk is a very special piece of Star Wars lore.

4 X-Wing

The only reason why the X-Wing isn’t higher on this list is because it’s just not unique enough.

Despite the various iconic pilots who have flown an X-Wing, the ship belongs more to an army than a single person. (Although Poe Dameron’s black and orange X-Wing is about as good looking as any intimate spaceship can be.)

The X-Wing is a feat of engineering and design not just in the Star Wars universe, but also outside of it.

The X-Wing manages to look both familiar and fresh. The design of the X-Wing, especially when its wings aren’t deployed, is very reminiscent of the WWII airplanes that inspired much of Star Wars’ own dogfights.

The X-Wing is this perfect, seemingly contradictory, mix of the retro and the futuristic.

Outside of the design, these ships pack some serious punch.

Besides the obvious, one of them did destroy the Death Star after all, the ships have some impressive weapons for its tiny frame. Depending on the model of the X-Wing, the weapons differ.

However they usually have a cannon that has a high rate of fire, with a slower and much more explosive secondary weapon.

The greatest thing about the X-Wing's capabilities is its small adaptable design. With the right pilot, like a Luke Skywalker or a Poe Dameron, the X-Wing can pull some psychic defying moves and use its weapons to lay waste to anything in its path.

3 Slave I

advertising

It’s true that Boba Fett is a bit of a joke. The character looks incredibly cool, but if you add up everything, the bounty hunter has done *in the stories that are canon) it doesn’t amount to much.

Boba Fett is a bit of a doofus-- a doofus that looks awesome. However, the same can not be said of his ship Slave I. Just like Boba Fett, nothing had been seen before (or since) in Star Wars that looked as interesting as Slave I in Empire.

The minimalist design of Slave I makes it perfect not only for Boba, but for any bounty hunter. It can be used to hide in the dark corners of space, which Fett did while hunting Han in Empire Strikes Back. Slave I is something to be missed and feared.

It also comes with a lot of weaponry in its miniscule package. Slave I have four different types of cannons, concealed projectile launchers, proton torpedo tubes, concussion missile launchers, tractor beam projector.

All of this on a ship that can only hold three to four people, including the pilot. Slave I is an incredibly mobile arsenal.

It’s made even more impressive by the prequels, which revealed that the ship had survived the Clone Wars. Slave I had even been in a few major battles of that conflict before being passed into the ownership of Boba Fett fully.

2 Star Destroyer

Considering some of the ships that have immediately preceded it, the Star Destroyer does seem like a rather unconventional pick to nearly top this list.

There doesn’t seem anything too special about the Star Destroyer out of context. It’s just a big triangle. It also started Star Wars’ unhealthy obsession with gigantic superweapons that the heroes either need to destroy.

However, in context of the larger saga, this massive ship is incredibly important.

If you watch the Star Wars saga in the correct way, starting with A New Hope, the Star Destroyer is the second spaceship you’ll ever see. The first ship of Star Wars is Leia’s puny “diplomatic” vessel that’s fleeing with the Death Star plans.

However, it’s immediately being followed by the Star Destroyer, which takes up nearly the entire screen with its massive size. The camera is positioned below Leia’s ship and the Destroyer, so that it seems like the latter goes on forever and ever.

Immediately this glimpse of the Star Destroyer sets up so much that it necessary for Star Wars. It gives a sense of scale and scope of the story-- not only just in modern day, but especially in 1977 when Star Wars was released. Furthermore, it just sets up the stakes of the Rebellion against the massive Empire.

In sheer iconography and history, its hard to beat the Star Destroyer.

1 Millennium Falcon

There really should’ve been no doubt about which spaceship was going to top this list. The Millennium Falcon being considered the best spaceship in all of Star Wars is a boring pick. It’s also the only right one.

There’s obviously the history of the Falcon to consider. It’s been featured six of the ten Star Wars movies (so far). That number goes up to seven if you count its cameo Easter Egg in Revenge of the Sith.

No ship in Star Wars has been more life saving missions on its record than the Falcon. The ship is basically an extra character in whatever Star Wars movie it has appeared. Any big action set piece with the Falcon just adds to an already impressive visual resume.

The Falcon has become so present that its look and design are the definition of iconic. Everyone knows the Falcon. Yet putting aside that for the moment, the Millennium Falcon does just ooze this extra level of personality.

There’s a tendency to make spaceships, in Star Wars but other franchises too, be extra sleek and clean. However, the Falcon isn’t.

It’s a dirty, worn down, and often in need of repairs. So much of Star Wars is about the underdogs become heroes and the Falcon is just another example.

Star Trek can keep the Enterprise, Battlestar can have the Galactica, but the Millennium Falcon is the best ship in the galaxy.

---

Do you agree with this list? What are some of your favorite Star Wars spaceships? Sound off in the comments!

More in Lists