Whenever anyone talks about the best ships of Star Wars the answer is immediately the Incom T-65XJ X-Wing or the old reliable YT-1300 transport that is the Millenium Falcon. You might even make a strong case for one of those awesome Mon Calamari Cruisers, or Darth Vader’s ridiculously massive super Star Destroyer. Those ships are great and they are on this list. But there’s more.
Whether you love or hate the prequels, loathe or laud the Skywalker trilogy, there’s no denying they carried on the Star Wars tradition of thrilling the audience with cool ships. So this list incorporates everything, all the best ships from every iteration of Star Wars.
Here they are, the best ships of the Star Wars movies.
Best Ships Of The Star Wars Prequels
Eta-2 Actis Class Light Interceptor
The Star Wars ship with the most ridiculous name may also be the best fighter in the prequel universe. The Eta-2 is also known as the Jedi Interceptor, and it’s the ship Jedi flew into battle late in the Clone Wars. You see a lot of them in Revenge of the Sith. It’s probably not an accident that this 5.47 meters long ship looks like a hybrid between a TIE-Fighter and a more traditional fighter. Obviously this design will eventually morph into the Empire’s hordes of deadly little TIEs.
Consular Class Space Cruiser
This Star Wars ship is actually the very first thing you see in The Phantom Menace. A Consular Space Cruiser called the Radiant VII is the ship that brings Qui Gonn and Obi Wan to the Trade Federation. That’s an accurate depiction of this particular class of ship’s overall role in the Star Wars universe. The Old Republic used them primarily to transport Jedi and diplomats missions. They’re straight-forward transportation which, by the way, also looks pretty awesome.
J-Type Diplomatic Barge
This Star Wars ship has a name which suggests it might be well suited as some sort of garbage scow, but the J-Type’s exterior is an art deco masterpiece. Designed like the futuristic, space-faring successor of a World War II bomber, the J-Type is nothing short of badass. If not for that weird, overly shiny exterior the Naboo insist on putting all over their ships, this is the one ship that might be good enough to compete with original trilogy designs in the awesome department.
Aggressive ReConnaissance (ARC-170) Starfighter
Built like a bigger, beefier version of the Incom X-Wing you know and love, the ARC-170 was big enough and heavy to carry out independent operations. It first appeared in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and was used heavily during the Clone Wars.
J-Type 327 Nubian Royal Starship
The J-Type 237 was the personal starship of the ruler of Naboo. You saw it extensively in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. What you might not know is that this Star Wars ship has absolutely no weapons. That might not seem like a smart way to protect your ruler, but the ship was intended for peaceful diplomatic missions and the Queen’s protection was meant to come from an accompanying force of starfighters and the ship’s speed, which was great enough to outrun even most interceptors.
Republic Attack Cruiser
The Republic Attack Cruiser is, obviously, the predecessor of the Imperial Star Destroyer you know from the original trilogy as the deadly tool of the Empire. Later versions of this ship would indeed be called Venator Class Star Destroyers and they were originally used in the Clone Wars depicted in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
Believe it or not the Republic Attack Cruisers are actually even bigger than the Star Destroyers you know from A New Hope. Republic Attack Cruisers measure 1,137 meters in length while a Victory Class Star Destroyer measures only 900 meters long.
The Sith Infiltrator is a stealth ship, and thus designed not to be seen. It rarely ever is, until Darth Maul lands one on Tatooine in pursuit of Anakin Skywalker and his midichlorians. If you do see one, you’ll see one of the best ship designs in any of the prequels. The Sith Infiltrator perfect a compromise between the maneuverable style of a fighter and the bulkier, long range heft of a transport. This Star Wars ship is deadly.
Naboo N-1 Fighter
If not for the wimpy yellow paint job, the N-1 Fighter would be a design worthy of fighting alongside the X-Wings of the Rebel Alliance. Used in The Phantom Menace to defeat the Trade Federation, these Star Wars ships are the primary military weapon of the Naboo. The big engines mounted on the side scream World War II fighter pilot, all the ship’s really missing are some flames or better yet, a pin-up girl painted on the side of it.
Delta-7 Aethersprite-Class Light Interceptor
Also known as the Jedi Starfighter, the Delta-7 is the most common mode of battle transport for Jedi Knights in the age of the Old Republic. Obi Wan flies one on his missions in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and so do a lot of the other Jedi. Some Jedi even give them customized paint jobs suited to their planet of origin and personality. The ship uses an attachable booster ring, when it wants to travel through hyperspace.
Recusant-Class Light Destroyer
This Star Wars ship was also known as the Commerce Guild Destroyer and the Separatist Destroyer, the Recusant class was used heavily during the Clone Wars. Most notably Recusant class ships sometimes served as General Grievous‘s command ship during battles.
Best Ships From The Original Star Wars Trilogy
Incom T-65 X-Wing
One of the most iconic Star Wars ships of all time, bested in sheer famousness by perhaps only the Millenium Falcon herself, the Incom T-65 X-Wing’s silhouette is a thing of legends. This is the ship that killed the Death Star (twice) and it was the backbone of the Rebellion throughout the entirety of its war with Palpatine’s Empire.
Unlike other fighters of the era it manages to combine speed, maneuverability, toughness, and sheer firepower into one space frame, without sacrificing anything. Maybe the TIE figher is more maneuverable but it doesn’t have shields or torpedoes. Maybe the A-Wing is faster but it can’t deliver this kind of firepower. Maybe the Y-Wing has more weapons but it’s so much slower. The X-Wing combines the best of every fighter craft of its era into one, single-occupant weapons platform.
Incom made other X-Wings but the T-65 was their greatest triumph.
Corellian YT-1300 Light Freighter
You know this Star Wars ship because it’s the model Lando Calrissian named the Millennium Falcon before losing it to Han Solo in a game of Sabacc. Han went on to help kill the first Death Star with the Falcon and then Lando borrowed it to help kill the second one. The Falcon herself is a thing of legend.
But serious ship owners were already in love with the YT-1300. At a glance a YT-1300 looks like a hunk of junk, but its rough exterior is just a smokescreen for the tough, fast ship beneath.
Manufactured by the Corellian Engineering Corp in the waning years of the Galactic Republic, it quickly became a favorite of smugglers and those wishing to outrun Imperial entanglements after the Republic’s collapse.
Part of the YT-1300’s popularity was its extreme customizability. The ship was easily modified and upgraded, and those upgrades often took the form of better weapons, shields, and faster engines. The Millenium Falcon herself was the product of expensive upgrades, first by Calrissian and then later by Solo and his first mate Chewbacca.
Mon Calamari Star Cruisers
These are most famous as the place where Admiral Ackbar sat and shouted “It’s a trap!”, but the Mon Cal Cruiser was the backbone of the New Republic fleet and the only thing they had capable of going toe to toe with a real Imperial Star Destroyer.
In Star Wars lore these ships were originally designed by the Mon Calamari (Ackbar’s people) as transports. When the Rebellion happened, they quickly converted them into Capital Ships.
The size of a Mon Calamari cruiser varies on its design purpose, but they never measure less than 1400 meters in length. Each Cruiser carries hundreds of fighters and small craft for projecting its influence against hostiles. A Mon Cal is crewed by a minimum complement of 1230 with room for 1200 more troopers and support staff.
Super Star Destroyer
Maybe it was Wedge Antilles and Lando Calrissian’s attack on its core that killed the second death star… or maybe it was DarthVader’s Super Star Destroyer the Executor plunging straight into the Death Star’s structure that did it in. The super star destroyer’s role in helping the Rebellion defeat the Empire was accidental. Before the creation of the Death Star the Super Star Destroyer, not the Death Star, was the ultimate military power in the Galaxy.
While the Rebels had Mon Cal Cruisers to go toe to toe with Imperial Star Destroyers, they had nothing to match up against one of these behemoths.
It’s estimated the Empire had as many as thirteen of these in service at the time of the Emperor’s fall. Each had the size and firepower of multiple regular Star Destroyers at its command. And it looks cool, too.
Imperial Star Destroyer
The symbol of the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Star Destroyer struck fear into the heart of its citizens for years before the Empire’s eventual defeat at the hands of the Rebels. It also was the second Star Wars ship ever seen on screen, in the opening moments of what would later end up being called A New Hope.
Imperial Star Destroyers come in several different classes with different capabilities and are a direct descendent of the Republic Attack Cruiser used during the Clone Wars by the Old Republic.
Each Imperial Star Destroyer measures 1600 meters long and is capable of a cruising speed (without the hyper drive) of 975 miles per hour. Not only can they blast to bits just about anything they encounter, they can outrun them too. Good luck getting away, unless you’ve got a good hyperdrive.
Perhaps even more iconic as a Star Wars ship than the wedge of the Imperial Star Destroyer is the outline of a TIE Fighter. Fast, maneuverable and best when used in a swarm these ships were the backbone of the Emperor’s crackdown on the Galaxy’s systems.
They come in multiple variations for different circumstances, including most famously the TIE Advanced (flown by Darth Vader) TIE Striker (used by the First Order) and the TIE Bomber. But the most common versions of the TIE rely on two energy weapon cannons and speed to project their power. Unlike their Rebel X-Wing counterparts, TIE fighters have neither shields nor hyperdrives. But they are so fast and so maneuverable, that shields are almost totally unnecessary. To kill a TIE fighter first you have to catch it.
BTL Y-Wing Starfighter
One of the iconic fighter designs that helped kill the first Death Star, these tough, slower Star Wars fighters are most often seen being used as bombers.
Like X-Wings the Y-Wing is heavily shielded and has its own hyperdrive. Unlike the X-Wing some versions are two-seaters and they also usually carry a large quantity of concussion missiles or other ordinance used on heavy bombing runs. Put enough Y-Wings together and you’ve got enough firepower to take down a Star Destroyer.
But what the Y-Wing gains in shieling and firepower it loses in maneuverability. They lack the versatility of an X-Wing and are often easy prey for the Empire’s better TIE pilots.
Also designated as the A-SF-01 Assault Starfighter the B-Wing was originally served the Rebel Alliance as a heavily armored assualt fighter. Rumor has it that the B-Wing was designed on Mon Calamari, home planet of the great Rebel Alliance Admiral Ackbar. Or probably it was designed by some guy with glasses in charge of designing Star Wars ships for George Lucas. Either way, well done!
Even more heavily armed and shielded than the Y-Wing, the B-Wing was the most powerful fighter in any fleet’s fighter arsenal. Like the Y-Wing, all that added shielding made it slow, at least when compared to its X-Wing and TIE Fighter counterparts.
Also known as a Blockade Runner and a Corellian Corvette, the CR90 first came into use in the last days of the Galactic Senate, shortly before the Emperor’s takeover. Corellian Corvettes would figure prominently in both the navies of the New Republic and later the Resistance.
As designed by the Corellian Engineering Corporation, each CR90 measures 150 meters in length and mounts two dual turbolaser turrets and four turbolaser cannons. The ship is capable of supporting 165 passengers and crew, but normally carries a crew complement of around fifty.
The most famous CR90 is unquestionably the Tantive IV. As seen in the first Star Wars movie, this was the ship Princess Leia used in her attempt to escape Darth Vader during the Emperor’s purge of the Galactic Senate. The Tantive IV was soon captured and boarded by Vader, but the Death Star plans she carried escaped with two droids and made their way into the hands of the Rebel Alliance.
GR-75 Medium Transport
Also sometimes referred to as a Gallofree transport, the GR-75 is a lightly armored vessel designed with a clamshell-like hull to protect the cargo pods it carries inside. It’s almost more of a Star Wars container than a Star Wars ship, but as either a container or a ship it looks incredible.
GR-75s were used extensively by the Rebel Alliance and their distinctive shape can be seen in the midst of almost ever Rebel fleet action. Later versions were even modified to use heavier weapons, but it’s their distinctive look, more than their performance, which makes this amazing design stand out.
Lambda Class Imperial Shuttle
Also known as an Imperial Lambda and the T-4a shuttle, the Lamda was a multi-purpose transport with a distinctive articulating tri-foil design. This Star Wars ship most notably was Luke Skywalker’s way off the second Death Star as it exploded.
The shuttles were used frequently to transport high-ranking Imperial dignitaries, including Darth Vader and the Emperor. A stolen Lambda class shuttle was used by Rebel Alliance Generals Luke Skywalker and Han Solo to infiltrate Endor’s forest moon during the battle of the second Death Star.
EF76 Nebulon-B Escort Frigate
A true frigate manufactured by the Kuat Drive Yards for the Imperial Navy, this Star Wars ship was originally intended for use by the Empire. Instead the Nebulon-B instead ended up in heavy service with the Rebel Alliance throughout the Galactic Civil War.
Each Nebulon-B measures 300 feet in length and carries a crew of up to 850 with room for 700 passengers. In addition to mounting dual tractor beams the Nebulon-B Frigate is armed with 12 laser cannons, 12 Turbolasers, and various torpedo and missile launchers. Most Nebulon-B’s also carry a single squadron of starfighters and several assorted shuttles.
The ship’s highly versatile design allowed the Rebels to use it for multiple purposes. Uses varied as wildly as frontline defender and sometimes hospital ships. Often outgunned Nebulon-B’s ended up going toe to toe against Star Destroyers. Alone they stood no chance, but in groups they had the ability to give Imperials a defeat.
Firespray-31 Attack Craft
Also known as the Firespray-class Interceptor, the Firespray this iconic Star Wars ship started life as a low-level patrol ship manufactured by Kuat Systems Engineering. It first gained fame when the infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett made his home aboard one. His ship, which he named Slave I, would later go on to become even more infamous under the piloting of his even more famous bounty hunter son, Boba Fett.
The Firespray measures a little over 21 meters and has room aboard for as many as three crew and two passengers to live. It’s not much better than a fighter or a Lamda class shuttle on paper, until you look at the Firespray’s heavy weaponry.
Each Firespray mounts a twin rotating blaster cannon, multiple laser cannons, concealed projectile launchers, proton torpedo launchers, seismic charges, an ion cannon, and concussion missile launchers. It’s that ability to pack so many different attack options on one, relatively small space frame, that made Firespray the ideal choice for the Galaxy’s most deadly killer.
Best Ships Of The Skywalker Trilogy
T-70 X-Wing Fighter
If the T-65 is the fighter that won the Galactic Civil War then the T-70 is the fighter that beat back the First Order. Designed as a direct successor to the T-65 most famously flown by Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron, the T-70 filled exactly the same niche as its predecessor, except with updated electronics, shields and weapons.
The slightly modified S-foil design of the T-70 result in four split half-engines and also resulted in a wider field of fire for the craft.
In any form or any era, the X-Wing is a beautiful fighter design, and one of the most iconic symbols of Star Wars ships.
Upsilon Class Command Shuttle
Imagine what would happen if you spent a few billion dollars trying to make the Lamda class shuttle ten times more badass, and you’d have the Upsilon. Its the best ship for intimidatingly traveling the Star Wars universe in comfort and style.
Used extensively by the First Order, the Upsilon was the command shuttle of Kylo Ren during his time striking fear into the heart of everyone around him. Each ship is capable of carrying up to ten passengers, though it’s unlikely that Kylo did a lot of passenger carrying. Luckily, it can also carry ten prisoners.
The Upsilon measures 37 meters when its wings are extended. It’s heavily shielded and lightly armed, which makes sense for a shuttle. The Upsilon’s advantage is survivability, not firepower.
Mega-Class Star Dreadnaught
This is the largest ship ever constructed, by anyone, anywhere in the galaxy. The first one ever was named Supremacy, and it was designed by the First Order to serve as Supreme Leader Snoke’s flagship.
From wingtip to wingtip the Mega-Class measures over 60 kilometers. It’s crewed by over two million people amongst which you’d find Stormtroopers, officers, engineers, and Praetorian guards.
No Star Wars ship packs more fire power or more shielding. It was only a fluke one in a million shot which managed to kill it at all. If not for that completely bizarre coincidence, I have no doubt that the Supremacy would still be out there now, destroying civilizations and tearing down empires single-handedly.
Also known as the Hammerhead Corvette, the Sphyrna saw wide use not only during the Galactic Civil war but also the later Resistance. Though its shape (and its most famous use) might make you think it was designed to ram other ships, the Sphyrna is actually not designed to propel itself into hulls of other ships, at least not and survive. Still, it’s a Star Wars ship that looks like it wants to run into something, which means at some point it was bound to happen in one of the movies.