BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Star Wars: The Star Destroyer Badass Enough to Carry Darth Vader – The Devastator Breakdown

3 Minute Read
Jul 10 2022

When the Devastator shows up, it brings trouble, and a certain someone. Heavy breathing may ensue, but we break down the Devastator.

There are flagships and then there are flagships. And the Devastator definitely fell into the latter category. In all the Galactic Empire, no Imperial I-class Star Destroyer may be as feared or as fearsome.

It was the terror of the Battle of Scarif, instrumental in the capture of the Tantive IV, and oversaw the destruction of Hoth.

It was also the flagship of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.

The Devastator’s Design

The Devastator began its service as a standard Imperial I-class Star Destroyer. As a result, its physical dimensions were much the same as any other. Its hull measured 1,600 meters in length. The Devastator had the same engine profile, giving it a top speed of 975 kph in atmosphere. And its Class 2 Hyperdrive gave it a speed of 60 MGLT.

But that’s where the similarities end. As the personal flagship and command vessel of Lord Vader, the Devastator was frequently upgraded. It carried top-of-the-line weapons and systems. Meaning the Devastator could compete even with newer models of Star Destroyers.

Near the end of its tour of duty, the Devastator boasted an impressive arsenal:

  • 60 Taim & Bak XX-9 heavy turbolaser batteries
  • 60 Borstel NK-7 ion cannons
  • 6 dual heavy turbolaser turrets
  • 2 dual heavy ion canno nturrets
  • 2 quad heavy turbolasers
  • 3 triple medium turbolasers
  • 2 medium turbolasers
  • 10 Phylon Q7 tractor beam projectors.

This last item was especially important during the capture of the Tantive-IV. The hangars within the Devastator’s ventral docking bay were split into two sections. The aft side was covered, keeping the bays from view. And all in all, the ship could carry an increased complement of fighters, shuttles, troop transports, and combat walkers.

Imperial Engineering also retrofitted the ship with a communications tower. As a result, the Devastator could serve as an operations hub.

The Devastator Through the Galactic Civil War

The Devastator was notable as the last Imperial I-class Star Destroyer manufactured out of Kuat Drive Yards. Months later, the facility would begin work on the Imperial II-class variety. However, the Devastator remained one of their proudest accomplishments.

It was put to work immediately in service of Lord Tion. But not long after, it became Vader’s personal vessel. Under Vader’s command, the Devastator’s first mission was an operation to capture the Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi while simultaneously attacking a resistance network known as the Path.

By the time of the Battle of Scarif, Vader had gone through a number of captains — the Sith Lord had something of a fearsome reputation with those who failed him.

However, the Devastator remained a trustworthy vessel. And during the Battle of Scarif, the Devastator cut through the Alliance Fleet, ramming through a GR-75 medium transport and disabling several Rebel ships in pursuit of the stolen Death Star plans.


While the Tantive-IV managed to escape, it did not escape for long. And though the plans ultimately escaped the Empire’s grasp, that was not the end of the Devastator.

After Vader was given the Executor, a new class of Super Star Destroyer, the Devastator was given to Admiral Jhared Montferrat. Under Montferrat’s command, the Devastator served as part of the legendary Death Squadron. Montferrat led the ship to decisive victories at Hoth and even brought the vessel to Endor, where it was ultimately destroyed by a pair of B-wing pilots.

So it was with the Empire. Your star could wax powerfully one minute, then you’d be brought down in an instant.

May the Force be with you

Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • Everything We Know About 'Star Wars: Andor' So Far