Is there any reason why the standard Star Destroyers are painted white? It looks like the standard metals used for construction (i.e. the Death Star, AT-ATs, AT-STs, etc) are all grey. Painting a space warship such a contrasting color seems odd.

Bonus points for explaining why the Executor-class Super Star Destroyers are not white.

  • 1
    To inspire fear and ensure uniformity, maybe? Same as the stormtroopers.
    – Adamant
    Jan 5, 2017 at 23:40
  • 5
    Ahem; starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Destroyer_White
    – Valorum
    Jan 5, 2017 at 23:44
  • 5
    Most star destroyers in the original trilogy were not painted white but in fact were grey (?). Perhaps you could clarify this a bit?
    – enderland
    Jan 5, 2017 at 23:46
  • 1
    @enderland Do you have a source for them being grey? There's some debate there, but, since all the shots of them in direct light cast them as white, I'm sticking with white. But the original question still stands: why were they such a bright color? Even light grey, they stand out in space pretty well. But the SSDs didn't opt for that.
    – Machavity
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:41
  • 1
    As Adamant suggested, if you're trying to inspire fear and conformity in your oppressed citizenry, it helps if your ships (and troops) are highly visible, so people know they're around to punish any "rebel scum." In the absolute black of outer space, white would be the most visible colour to use. As for SSDs not being pure white, those are command ships - used for serious business and large-scale battles. Making them less visible encourages enemies to target the less important (but more visible) rank-and-file ships.
    – Steve-O
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


This is not exactly Star Wars specific, but painting any star ship white makes good sense, as white reflects light and other radiation much better.

This in turn slows down the rate at which the ship would heat up, meaning the ship's life support system has one less thing to handle.

Since Star Destroyers have an especially large surface area, the effect should be quite noticeable.

  • White will reflect laser weapons. Useful for body armour as well. Mirror finish would be better at reflection but more dangerous to friendly troops. While small, droids, drones and spy ships should be neutral in colour to hide like. Sinister and high ranking baddies can wear black as they hide from a laser fight or use Jedi tricks. Fee free to add to answer, I tried, edit was rejected.
    – KalleMP
    Jan 6, 2017 at 22:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.