There were approximately 25,000 Star Destroyers (mostly Imperial-class and Victory-class) in service of the Empire at one time. Only about 50 of them participated in the Empire's two biggest defeats (the Battle of Endor and the Battle of Jakku), so the vast majority of them were still operational when the Empire capitulated and signed the Galactic Concordance. Indeed, under the terms of the Empire's surrender the Imperial Navy was allowed to continue operating within the borders of the territory controlled by the Imperial remnant. In the ensuing cold war between the Imperial remnant and the New Republic, hard-line Imperials retreated from the Imperial territory in the Core and Inner Rim and retreated into the Unknown Regions to form the First Order.

What happened to the tens of the thousands of Imperial Star Destroyers of the old Imperial Navy during the cold war and rise of the First Order? I would imagine that many of them would remain in the Core and Inner Rim with the part of the Imperial remnant that complied with the Galactic Concordance, but the hard-liners who formed the First Order probably took quite a few of them as well. The First Order seems to mostly use Resurgent-class Star Destroyers, which are designed from but considerably larger than the Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Did the First Order construct Resurgent-class Star Destroyers out of the hulls of their Imperial-class Star Destroyers or do they still have all the Imperial-class Star Destroyers they took with them when they retreated to the Unknown Regions?

I'm looking for rough percentages of each of the possible fates of the Star Destroyers backed by canon sources: x% were destroyed, y% remained with the compliant Imperial remnant in the Core and Inner Rim, z% were taken by the First Order, etc.

  • Weren't &^*&load of them destroyed around Jakku at the end of the GCW? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 20 '17 at 17:30
  • Yeah, I thought that most of what was left was either destroyed at Jakku or left for wild space to become the First Order. – phantom42 Dec 20 '17 at 17:35
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    @DVK-on-Ahch-To Wookieepedia says only 23 Imperial-class Star Destroyers participated in the Battle of Jakku. Even if they were all destroyed that still leaves tens of thousands left. – Null Dec 20 '17 at 17:35
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    I think the problem is likely with that 25,000 number. As this question suggests, it is just far too large to make sense, in light of what is known from other media. – Buzz Dec 20 '17 at 17:41
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    @Buzz Yes, 25,000 is a huge number compared to what is depicted in the films, books, etc. But it needs to be that large in order to explain how the Empire ruled an entire galaxy with an iron fist. – Null Dec 20 '17 at 17:44

  They were probably scrapped for lack of funding.

  Large fleets require lot of resources to operate. There is one mitigating factor, economy of scale, when you have lots of certain type of ships it is cheaper to produce them and maintain them than when you have only few of them (cost per unit of course). Empire breaking up is somewhat similar to breakup of Soviet Union. Although successor states inherited Soviet military hardware, their combined financial might was not enough to maintain all of those. Even biggest successor state (Russia) didn't keep all of ships, subs, planes and tanks it inherited. Instead, Russia chose to use or mothball only best parts of weapons it had. Rest was either sold or retired and ended up scrapped. Smaller states kept even less part of hardware they inherited. In SW universe, there were even less potential buyers for Star Destroyers. Therefore, it is easy to imagine that various Imperial factions, that suddenly didn't have central government to dole out cash, simply got rid of military surplus in one way or another. Of course, biggest of them (First Order) similar to Russia in real world kept most promising designs and upgraded them. But even First Order didn't bother with obsolete and useless ships.

  • As I said in my question: I'm looking for rough percentages of each of the possible fates of the Star Destroyers: x% were destroyed, y% remained with the compliant Imperial remnant in the Core and Inner Rim, z% were taken by the First Order, etc. – Null Dec 20 '17 at 18:15
  • I can see the Imperial remnant in the Core and Inner Rim scrapping most of them, but if the First Order took any then it makes no sense for the First Order to scrap them "for lack of funding" while at the same time building brand-new and bigger Resurgent-class Star Destroyers to fight an enemy (the New Republic) that had disarmed itself. – Null Dec 20 '17 at 18:16
  • @Null Again, analogy with SU and Russia. Why did Russia scrap all of their Mig-21s and Mig-23s, and now is building more expensive brand new Su-30s and Su-35s ? Same goes for tanks, ships and subs left from SU . Rough percentage is hard to come buy because we still don't know what percentage of galaxy First Order owns at the time of Last Jedi. – rs.29 Dec 20 '17 at 18:28

In smaller battles after the Battle of Endor, many Star Destroyers were lost or surrendered to the New Republic.

According to Wookieepedia, this was due to a lack of resources:

With most of the Empire's veteran troops killed on the second Death Star or Vader's command ship Executor, military paucity and tactical clumsiness soon hampered the Empire's efforts at a concerted strike against the Republic. The Imperial Military suffered numerous losses of warships and troops, and expended more ordinance than it could produce fighting Republic forces. This ultimately led to a supply deficit forcing Imperial-class Star Destroyers to make do with an inadequate supply of TIE/LN starfighters and resulted in both the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army utilizing undertrained personnel pulled early from the numerous Imperial academies. Consequently, many planets were either captured by or seceded to the New Republic.


The majority of captured Star Destroyers were eventually retired by the New Republic as part of the Military Disarmament Act.

The few that remained were most likely stationed in the Hosnian system when it was destroyed by Starkiller Base.

According to Wookieepedia:

The Military Disarmament Act was legislation aimed at legitimizing the transition of the Alliance to Restore the Republic from a military resistance movement into a democratic New Republic by significantly reducing the size and scope of its centralized defense forces. The initial proposal called for a ninety percent reduction of the New Republic military, which then consisted of a starfleet, a ground-based combat army, and a Special Forces division. While the remaining ten percent would be retained for small-scale defense efforts, all other military investments were to be diverted to training the local armed forces of Republic member worlds. The provisions of the act would only be implemented after the official end of the Galactic Civil War between the Republic and the Galactic Empire.


Most of the remaining Star Destroyers were wiped out at the Battle of Jakku, with only a few surviving (and eventually becoming the First Order).

After a series of lost battles, the Empire brought their remainin Star Destroyers to Jakku to join a force called the "Imperial Remnant", under command of "Counselor to the Empire" Gallius Rax. These forces were almost entirely wiped out by the New Republic (and Gallius Rax was killed). The few remaining ships, following a final order from Rax, escaped to the Unknown Regions to begin forming the First Order.

  • I read that as a 90% reduction in the size of the military of the New Republic, not of the Imperial remnant. And the Star Destroyers would have been part of the Imperial Navy, not the New Republic's. – Null Dec 22 '17 at 3:11
  • Did the Imperial remnant sign some accord with the New Republic to do this? I'm not brushed up on my new canon but I remember reading on this site about some accord signed at Chandrila possibly? – Wraith Leader Dec 22 '17 at 15:41
  • you guys were totally right - I made some major revisions, hopefully correcting everything. – LevenTrek Dec 23 '17 at 4:17
  • Which Wookieepedia articles are you quoting? Please cite your sources properly. I'd like to be able to see how well sourced the Wookieepedia text is, but that's difficult to do without a link. – Null Jan 2 at 2:16
  • I don't think the first quote implies that many Star Destroyers were captured due to lack of TIE fighter resources. Certainly some would have been destroyed due to lack of TIEs and perhaps some were captured, but more likely the New Republic captured systems when the Star Destroyers were forced to retreat. – Null Jan 2 at 2:18

They were probably destroyed and crash landed on other planets. You see Rey in one on the Force Awakens. There were a lot of them on the one planet.

  • That planet where Rey was living is Jakku. Other answers provide context. – Verdan Dec 24 '17 at 3:54
  • I forgot the planet ok – Talon Elliott Dec 26 '17 at 20:54

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