Although it takes place in a familiar part of the Star Wars Original Trilogy, Rogue One brings some new ships to the galaxy far, far away. The rogue heroes fly aboard the reliable but uncomfortable U-Wing troop carrier, while Imperial Director Orson Krennic and his cadre ride on board a sinister Delta-class shuttle that looks like a Sith ziggurat all by itself.
There are plenty of familiar ships as well, especially on the side of the Rebellion, such as the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, GR-75 medium transport, Braha’tok-class gunship (which first appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in Return of the Jedi), and the VCX-100 light freighter – a ship you’ve undoubtedly seen before on the Rebels animated series. On the side of the Empire, we get the Star Destroyers, TIE fighters, and the TIE bomber. Of course, there’s also the matter of the most deadly battle station in the galaxy, the Death Star.
From old favorites to new eye-catching designs, here’s a guide to the new ships of Rogue One:
The U-wing Gunship
The UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft isn’t comfortable, but it gets the job done for Jyn and crew. Although it doesn’t have many of seats, the gunship is heavily armored and maneuverable, designed to drop soldiers into active war zones. The U-Wing, built by the same starfighter company that made the X-Wing, can also fold its long, flat wings forward or backward. Its wings are usually positioned in the forward-facing “U” configuration, but can be swept forward in order to make it fly more efficiently during combat. It can be operated by either one or two pilots. In the case of Rogue One, that’s usually K-2SO, Cassian Andor, or Bodhi Rook.
When it comes time to bring Rebel troops to Scarif, the Rogue One team needs a bigger ship. The Imperial shuttle they captured on Eadu does nicely, and allows them to hold more troops than a U-Wing would, although it’s still a stretch: rebel troopers are not the usual cargo for this type of shuttle. The four-winged shuttles are equipped with laser cannons and 20 repulsorlift generators on the wings for heavy cargo.
Delta-class T-3c Shuttle
Krennic and his Deathtrooper squad use a Delta-class T-3c shuttle, an older model than the iconic Lambda-class shuttle. True to character, Krennic preferred the Delta’s imposing design and no-nonsense troop bay over the newer Lambda. Its folding wings allowed it to be stored in relatively compact spaces, as well as increasing its stability. The shuttle had a transponder that transmitted Tarkin Initiative codes, allowing Krennic access to places where even secretive Imperial craft would be suspicious.
The design keeps the folded-wing Imperial silhouette seen in both the Original Trilogy Lambda shuttles and Kylo Ren’s First Order shuttle. The black coating and triangular body give Krennic’s ship an aged and heavy appearance even with its narrow wings.
The new type of TIE Fighter seen in Rogue One is the Striker, a vertical-winged craft with the silhouette of a swooping bird. It was specifically designed by a research group on Scarif to protect high-security Imperial bases in an atmosphere, making it perfect for the research vault on Scarif and not so much for the battle at Yavin 4 that followed. The TIE Striker has room for two crew members, a pilot and a gunner, and packs laser cannons and proton bombs. The TIE Strikers give X-Wings a run for their money, partially because the Strikers are more versatile than standard TIE fighters.
The Hammerhead Corvette
The Hammerhead corvette was based on a design from the game series Knights of the Old Republic, but in Rogue One, it’s put in the hands of the Rebel fleet and given a new purpose. Their “hammerheads,” the reinforced hulls on the front, are used to push a disabled Star Destroyer into another Imperial ship, driving both of them into the heavily fortified shield gate over Scarif. As well as referring to Knights of the Old Republic, the Hammerhead corvettes are also a link to Star Wars Rebels: a season two episode sees Princess Leia joining one of the first Rebel groups to steal Hammerheads from Lothal, where they had been planted by her father, Bail Organa.
The Mon Calamari admiral Raddus led the assault on Scarif in his MC75 cruiser Profundity. Armed with laser cannons, ion cannons, and proton torpedo launchers, the Profundity was the most powerful ship in the Rebel Fleet during the battle. In fact, Profundity was the ship that received the Death Star plans from the surface of the planet. Raddus hoped to escape with the plans and get them back to the Rebel base.
Profundity met its match when Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer, the Devastator, disabled the ship and was boarded by the Sith Lord in an attempt to retrieve the plans. The fate of Admiral Raddus is unknown, but it’s almost a certainty that Vader finished off the rest of the crew of the ship, including its commanding officer.
Star Destroyer Dauntless
Darth Vader’s flagship the Devastator has been seen before, as has Governor Tarkin’s Executrix. However, the Dauntless, which is the Star Destroyer seen above Jedha City, makes its first on-screen appearance in this movie. But in fact, the Dauntless has been around since the Riders of the Maelstrom roleplaying game from 1989.
Although Star Destroyers are the heavy hitters of the Empire, boasting over 100 cannons and thousands of crew members and TIE Fighters, they’re still vulnerable to kamikaze attacks and bombardment from the larger Rebel ships. The Rebels have learned how to use Star Destroyers’ size against them, too…
The Incom T-65 X-wing is an oldie but a goodie. Inspired by what were cutting-edge fighter planes in World War II, X-wings are nimble and quick. In-universe, they’re the Rebellion’s most versatile straighter, capable of firing laser cannons, dropping bombs, deploying shields, and traveling through hyperspace. Most Rebellion ships are made by Incom, while Imperial ships are commissioned from its rival Sienar Fleet Systems. The X-wings we see in Rogue One are identical to those used in A New Hope. Some of them are even from from Red Squadron, the squadron Luke Skywalker will eventually join.
There is at least one variant of the starfighter in the film. It’s the T-65C-A2 X-wing, which is a bit longer and wider than the standard model. One particular T-65C-A2 had the designation “Red One.”