60

In The Last Jedi the Resistance ships are in a situation where their fuel reserves get gradually depleted.

Has this ever happened in Star Wars before? Has anyone else ever run out of fuel? I'm thinking primarily of ships which are in normal operational condition rather than those which have been shot or damaged.

My preference would be for answers from Disney canon but failing that I'll accept answers from Legends.

  • 8
    What fuel do those ships use anyway? – einpoklum Jan 25 '18 at 13:52
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    @einpoklum Plot fuel – Steven Rands Jan 25 '18 at 14:11
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    @einpoklum Liquid Schwartz? – J... Jan 25 '18 at 23:44
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    @StevenRands: Come on now, no need to be fuelish. – einpoklum Jan 25 '18 at 23:57
  • does actually needing to fuel, as opposed to running out count? – Aibobot Jan 26 '18 at 0:59
53

In the second season of Star Wars Rebels, fuel supply was a common theme. There are 2 specific episodes in which ships were either out of fuel or running so extremely low that it hindered operation of the ship

S02E15 - "The Call"

The Ghost is essentially running on fumes to the point that they barely have enough fuel reserves to run the heating systems or use the weapons. When they find a Imperial fuel refinery, Hera indicates that they don't even have enough fuel to take off if they land, so the crew has to do some sub-orbital skydiving to secure the landing area and steal the fuel before Hera can make an attempt at landing.

S02E19 - "The Forgotten Droid"

Chopper gets separated from the rest of crew when they stage a raid on an Imperial fuel depot. The main story is Chopper's, but the B-story is the Rebel capital ships are unable to jump to hyperspace to flee from the Empire until the Ghost returns with the stolen fuel.

  • 18
    I swear they made Rebels to set up precedents for The Last Jedi. Every time people complain about something completely new or seemingly never-done-before from Episode 8, the response is always pointing at one or another episode from Rebels as justification. Very intriguing. – Ghoti and Chips Jan 25 '18 at 22:20
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    @GhotiandChips Except the surviving in space thing. That has precedence in Clone Wars – Logarr Jan 26 '18 at 17:18
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    @Logarr That just has precedent in reality. Though it's never been attempted, it seems likely that humans could survive brief exposure to space. – Justin Lardinois Jan 27 '18 at 9:25
  • @JustinLardinois Indeed. You'll die of suffocation before anything else, and in a space suit or something you'd die of overheating before anything else. The whole "body starts icing over in seconds" you see in Last Jedi and GotG2 is Hollywood Science. In reality you can only lose heat in space through radiative transfer, which is wildly less efficient than the convective transfer we're used to on Earth. The biggest threat to Leia in that sequence was the concussive wave of the blast. – zibadawa timmy Jan 27 '18 at 22:02
  • @zibadawatimmy It was actually GotG 1 where Star Lord freezes in space. – WakeDemons3 Feb 9 '18 at 21:49
69

In Episode I, Queen Amidala's Naboo cruiser has too little power to reach Coruscant and has to make an unscheduled stop on Tatooine for supplies.

RIC OLIE: There's not enough power to get us to Coruscant - the hyperdrive is leaking.

QUI-GON: We'll have to land somewhere to refuel and repair the ship.

Later the whole hyperdrive is replaced, yet oddly there is no further mention of fuel.

The only other time that refuelling of a spacecraft is mentioned in the films (that I can think of) is during Episode III, when Obi Wan travels to Utapau to determine the Seperatist presence there. On arrival, he requests some fuel for his starfighter.

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    RIC OLIE : There's not enough power to get us to Coruscant...the hyperdrive is leaking. QUI-GON : We'll have to land somewhere to refuel and repair the ship. They specifically mention fuel. source – phantom42 Jan 25 '18 at 13:14
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    @TheDarkLord I'm not sure I'd limit it to just "healthy" ships. The reason this is a good question in general is that fuel (which is an important logistic in the real world) seems to be an incredibly unimportant logistic in Star Wars (prior to TLJ). Limiting this to just healthy ships is going to make a short list even shorter – Machavity Jan 25 '18 at 13:24
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    Probably fuel was inexpensive, unlike spare parts – TimSparrow Jan 25 '18 at 13:46
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    In RotS, Obi-Wan and Anakin are literally swimming in fuel aboard the federation cruiser, but it's unclear which ship(s) the fuel is for. – phantom42 Jan 25 '18 at 14:15
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    They mention both "Power" and "refuel" in TPM... I'm not surprised that they used hybrids on Naboo, though. (: – xDaizu Jan 25 '18 at 15:55
2

In Legends, there are at least two incidents in the X-Wing series where low fuel was a threat, although they didn't run out of fuel in either case.

In the first incident, Gavin Darklighter blind jumped (in his X-wing) to escape a Star Destroyer; he didn't have enough fuel to return directly to base and had to resupply at the remote colony of Halanit.

In the second, the entirety of Wraith Squadron (twelve X-wings and a shuttle) are trapped in an uninhabited system when their navigation computers are wiped. Commander Antilles has to face a choice: he can either abandon the X-wings and use the shuttle's fuel supply to explore neighboring systems until they get back to civilization, or use it to run the shuttle's tractor beam to get their disabled ships under cover and make repairs. There isn't enough fuel to do both, or to go exploring with the X-wings.

Similarly, fuel supplies are a critical plot point in The Old Republic's Onslaught expansion. The Empire has stockpiled a large number of fuel tenders that allow their fleet to make a deep strike into Republic territory. The Republic fleets rushing to engage them need to make refueling stops, which sets up two of the main story missions as players are trying to protect or sabotage these stops.

  • I read a couple of X-Wing novels but can't remember these incidents. Can you provide information in which novels they occurred? – Volker Landgraf Dec 2 '19 at 16:13
  • @VolkerLandgraf The first is in Chapter 19 of book 4, The Bacta War; the second is in Chapter 10 of the following book, Wraith Squadron. – Cadence Dec 2 '19 at 16:26
  • thx, found it :-) – Volker Landgraf Dec 2 '19 at 16:57

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