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The biggest Star Wars spaceship casts a shadow the size of Manhattan

The biggest Star Wars spaceship casts a shadow the size of Manhattan

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The Super Star Destroyer Executor was, after the Death Star, Star Wars' second-biggest beast. While we see the former crash into the latter in Return of the Jedi, it's tough to tell exactly how big the ship — taken by Darth Vader as his personal flagship — was in real terms. Fortunately, Redditor movielover278 is on hand to help out, transposing the vast vessel from the space around the forest moon of Endor down to the surface of Earth. New York City, to be exact.

The picture provided shows the Executor stretching most of the length of Manhattan. But while the ship is big enough to squash much of the city, it boasts a surprisingly small population for an area so large. Manhattan itself has around 1.6 million people, down from 2.3 million in 1910, while the Executor only runs with 50,000 souls. A more accurate comparison might be a modern-day aircraft carrier, but even there, the Executor seems understaffed. Darth Vader's flagship is about 57 times the size of a US Nimitz-class carrier, but only needs around ten times the number of crew members.


Star Wars field guides are fuzzy on exactly what you'll find on the ship. Executor-class Super Star Destroyers can also carry some 38,000 ground troops, bumping up the human complement somewhat, but there's still lots of space for activities. According to A Guide To The Star Wars Universe the Executor has a cavernous ready room just off from its main bridge, where crew can rest and refuel before their shifts begin. The craft's enormous engines, too, must take up a large amount of room, and like every Star Wars ship or structure, the designers will have built in halls with yawning drops and no safety rails, just in case a few local Jedi and Sith drop in for a climactic battle.


It may be huge, but that doesn't mean the Super Star Destroyer is sturdy. At 19 kilometers, the Executor stretches from Tribeca to Harlem, bristles with more than 4,000 turbolaser cannons, can field thousands of TIE fighters, and acts as the head of the Imperial fleet. It can essentially level planets on its own, but it's taken down during the Battle of Endor by average pilot Arvel Crynyd, flying a single A-Wing through a convenient window. Granted, Ackbar's fleet had overwhelmed the Super Star Destroyer's shields with concentrated fire, and granted, Crynyd aimed his stricken fighter at the bridge superstructure, but still — why didn't the huge craft's auxiliary bridge take over before it careened into the face of the Death Star?

There's also the human cost. Revisionists have argued that it was fine for the Rebels to destroy the second Death Star: it was semi-complete in its shipyard and not running with a full crew. But the Executor was fully operational and at battle stations. It's as if 50,000 souls, in an area roughly the size of Manhattan, cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Anyway, next time you're in New York, remember — you're not going from the East Village to the Upper West Side, you're going from the forward ion cannon bays to the bridge. Sadly you might have to take the subway rather than the turbolift. Just try to avoid getting force choked on your way.