This is what happens to the Super Star Destoyer Executor in RotJ

  • All fire is concentarted on the Super Star Destroyer Executor.
  • Only 2 A-wings destory the bridge deflector shields
  • And before forward weapons are activated a third A-wing crashes into the SSD bridge which explodes from all sides.
  • And then the 19.000 meter long craft sinks like a dart into the Death Star, destroying it completely.

How and why? I always thought this ship a total useless part of the movies because it really doesn't show any threat anywhere, other to be big. And while it is part of the final battle it's defeated in the most easiest way possible.

  • 5
    My car weighs a ton and is nearly 5 metres long. If the steering wheel catches fire while I'm driving, I'm gonna crash.
    – Valorum
    Apr 3, 2019 at 19:31
  • 2
    @Valorum: Sure, but the art is for the driver to achieve the following, right before burning to ashes: To turn and lock the steering wheel in such a way that the car does a 90° turn, followed by a movement straight ahead, and thereby hit the one big obstacle that should preferrably be evaded for safety reasons. (In case there are usually no death stars in the area you usually drive around in, you may want to imagine a more mundane obstacle.) Apr 3, 2019 at 20:55
  • 2
    The Emperor never disagreed that overconfidence was his weakness. Use a rubber stamp to put Incompetence on each of those bullet points, and add another one about not intensifying the forward batteries in time.
    – Mazura
    Apr 4, 2019 at 1:26
  • I imagine this'll come down to "It was unlikely, but it happened".
    – user45266
    Apr 4, 2019 at 5:23
  • @Valorum Your car does not have an additional steering wheel that allows someone else to assume control in the event that the primary steering wheel becomes nonfunctional. A better scaled comparison would be driving with a learner vehicle (where the passenger has a second steering wheel, brake pedal, etc.) with a trained instructor beside you when a piece of hail cracks your windshield in the middle of a storm. The instructor (who should be ready and alert due to the conditions) would be likely to get control before an even more catastrophic crash happened.
    – jpmc26
    Apr 4, 2019 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


The film's official novelisation indicates that a mixture of torpedo fire (and the kamikaze A-Wing) set off a chain reaction of explosions, starting at the bridge but spreading to the mid-section of the ship.

The bridge was hit, with kaleidoscopic results. A rapid chain reaction got set off, from power station to power station along the middle third of the huge Destroyer, producing a dazzling rainbow of explosions that buckled the ship at right angles, and started it spinning like a pinwheel toward the Death Star.

The junior novelisation also mentions that the intensive fire knocked out the secondary control systems and that the ship was pulled into the Death Star as a result of its own gravity.

The A-wing smashed into the Executor’s bridge and exploded, causing the entire ship to veer off course. Damage-control crews were unable to seize command using the auxiliary control centers, and the Executor was dragged into the Death Star’s gravitational field.

  • 5
    Having actually run the calculations for how long it would take to pull the SSD into the Death Star using official metrics for the masses of both objects, this seems unlikely. Also, the Executor has an enormous mass, which cannot be changed easily and would allow secondary controls (Which are very likely automated in the event of primary bridge loss) to resume control. My assessment of the situation is that it is unrealistic... even for in-universe. Apr 4, 2019 at 3:20
  • 2
    @SarahSzabo - So you're happy that there's an interstellar spaceship whose main job is to transport an actual wizard around the galaxy, but you think that the poor command+control systems are what makes the situation unrealistic?
    – Valorum
    Apr 4, 2019 at 5:59
  • 1
    @Valorum Just because the genre is SciFi, doesn't mean you can patch every single plothole with that argument. In a world where technology is so advanced, you wouldn't expect such silly design errors. Even more so, because I already accepted that the story is unrealistic, I would expect that trend to continue and have the design of the ship being unrealistically good, not unrealistically bad. I'd expect those ships to Lightspeed away on auto-pilot when they are about to be hit, or something like that.
    – JAD
    Apr 4, 2019 at 6:51
  • 1
    @JAD well, if you think about it, design errors are not too uncommon within the empire. The first death star was destroyed by shooting one torpedo in a hole. ATATs can easily be taken down using a cable. In the first movie, their ships can't even detect droids inside an escape pods, even though droids are extremely common in their universe. I would'nt trust an engineer from the empire with designing a cup, even less a ship.
    – user3399
    Apr 4, 2019 at 7:18
  • 1
    @JAD True it was sabotage, but entrusting a critical project such as the death star to someone who has every single reason in the universe to sabotage it, is, quite frankly even more stupid that if it was a simple design flaw
    – user3399
    Apr 4, 2019 at 7:45

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.