Star Wars: This is First Ship to Get Blown Up in Movies – The Consular Class Cruiser Breakdown
This ship has the dubious honor of being the first to die in the Star Wars movies. We break down the Consular-class Light Cruiser.
The Consular-class space cruiser, or as it is commonly called, Republic Cruiser, has an ignominious place in galactic history. It features heavily in the Galactic Republic, and as a result, present during the Invasion of Naboo. A Consular-class Light Cruiser was the first ship to be destroyed in the Clone Wars, and many regard the destruction of the vessel as the omen that heralds the fall of the Republic and the dawn of the Empire.
Consular-Class Light Cruiser Design
Aside from its less-than-stellar role in the ongoing Galactic tumult that led to the Clone Wars and eventual Galactic Civil War, the Consular-class Light Cruiser is a well-designed ship. It was one of the workhorse models of the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and you can see their trademark hull design present even in these early vessels.
Like the CR90 Corvette, the Republic Cruiser is very central-hull-focused. Its sleek, linear frame allowed the CEC to experiment with engine mounting and design. The Consular-class ships use a cluster of Dyne 577 radial atomizer engines, allowing for speeds of up to 900 kph in-atmosphere. Because the CEC streamlined the ship’s design, engineers could add functionality for increased comfort to the Cruiser.
Notable luxuries include a modular mounting system that allows for easy reconfigures. Republic commanders equipped Consular-class cruisers with docking rings, diplomatic “salon pods”, and even complex sensors.
Consular-Class Light Cruiser – History
The Republic loved the Consular-class Light Cruiser. Republic diplomats loved its sleek design. Pilots loved how easily they could maneuver these cruisers. Consular-class vessels carried a certain weight to them. By the latter decades of the Republic, they could be found on even the furthest flung worlds.
Anyone needing a ship for official Republic business would use a Republic Cruiser. The official weight of it indicated diplomatic immunity. As such, the Galactic Senate and Jedi Order frequently made use of them on missions. Even the Supreme Chancellor had a fleet of Consular-class Cruisers at his disposal.
And in fact, Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum dispatched the Radiant VII to Naboo, when the Trade Federation blockaded it. The Radiant VII carried the Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the modified Lucrehulk-class cargo freighter, the Saak’ak.
Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi expected a peaceful negotiation. Instead, the Trade Federation ambushed them. Nute Gunray attempted to assassinate the Jedi Knights, while the onboard turrets destroyed the Radiant.
This act of unexpected brutality kicked off the Clone Wars. Fortunately, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi escaped. They warned the Galactic Senate of the Trade Federation’s treachery, but by the time they reached Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine, posing as Darth Sidious, had already begun his plan for Galactic Domination.
It just goes to show. The fate of the galaxy often turns on the smallest event. Just as the Force can influence the outcome of a roll of the die, so too can a ship’s destruction change the galaxy.
May the Force be with you.