In Star Wars: Rogue One, the rebel fleet arrives at Scarif, sends some fighters through the gate before it can be closed, and commence battle with the Imperial Fleet there.

I never saw either the Imperial nor Rebel capital ships opening fire with their large guns - instead it was a battle fought with only fighters, and one stage a larger pusher.

Why not?

  • 1
    Who knows. Evens the playfield and makes it more dramatic.
    – user75851
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:09
  • 2
    Weren't they firing?
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:31
  • 3
    I don't think I've ever seen 'big guns' in action, only the turret-esque installations. It's possible they were firing, and it looked like fire from fighters.
    – Imperator
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:45
  • 5
    Or perhaps the command chain hadn't decided what to do yet, and so no orders had been issued. Given the way discipline works in the Empire, I certainly wouldn't want to fire on another ship without command orders to back it up.
    – MAP
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 4:39
  • 2
    That kind of ruined it for me. I get it, dramatic license and all, but if I come out of hyperspace looking for something super special and need it lickety split I'm coming out with guns blazing and missiles firing, especially if I need to knock down planetary shields and disable much more powerful Star Destroyers. No, that scene just hurt, and honestly was one of the many things that left me feeling pretty blah about this movie.
    – Chris K
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 20:35

2 Answers 2


I think "they are so small they're evading our turbo lasers" applies here. The Rebel star fighters and Imperial TIE fighters mostly dodge the turbolasers of the capital ships and fight amongst themselves. Even so, the capital were WERE firing, although the camera focused mostly on the star fighters. If you pay close attention, you can see the capital ships firing. I tried to freeze frame the best shots but you might be better off searching for the battle scene on YouTube. The most obvious were the Star Destroyers.

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A rebel corvette firing.

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Admiral Raddus' ship exchanging fire with the shield installation.

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I know this might not be a valid reason, but there would be the issue of friendly fire - A TIE fighter being hit by one of the capital ships. Just to reiterate, both the Star Destroyers and the Rebel star cruisers would have had hundreds of turbolasers, meaning that they would have a good chance of not only hitting enemy spacefighters, but also friendly spacefighters, therefore it might have been more effective to not fire their defensive armaments so they don't hit their own spacecraft.

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