In many reviews of The Rise of Skywalker, I have heard it said that the new Star Destroyers have a vulnerability that will make them very easy to destroy once their shields are down and that this fact is explicitly stated to be part of the The Resistance's plan.

Having seen the film, I know that the vulnerability is shown to exist, but when is this said as opposed to shown? Did I miss a line?

  • 4
    I think the assumption was just that unshielded ships were vulnerable, rather than a specific weakness of the new Star Destroyers. All I remember being explicitly stated was that they couldn't use their shields while in Exegol's atmosphere and that they couldn't leave atmosphere without the navigation signal. So the Resistance planned to disrupt the signal to keep them vulnerable to the hopefully-arriving larger attack force.
    – Withad
    Jan 29, 2020 at 15:30
  • @Withad That matches my memory, but it makes the battle seem even more absurd. In particular, the scene where the Y-wing single-handedly destroys a Star Destroyer stands out.
    – J. Mini
    Jan 29, 2020 at 15:34
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    It's a bit silly but I guess it's at least consistent with other Star Destroyer silliness. Once the Executor's shields were down in Return of the Jedi, a single fighter crashing into the bridge was enough to take out the whole ship.
    – Withad
    Jan 29, 2020 at 15:40
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    Also most of the ships apparently lacked crews; there was a discussion aboard General Pryde's ship that that the First Order would need to resume "harvesting" children across the galaxy to staff the fleet. Jan 29, 2020 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


The issue isn't that they're easy to destroy, it's that once they're in outer space and moving, their shields will unfold and they'll be all but impossible to destroy. Hence why the Resistance need to go and gather some more ships and allies to help them with their attack.

The plan was outlined during the 'briefing' scene at 1:36:20. I've bolded the line about their explicit vulnerability to a shot to the guns.

Poe: Once those Star Destoyers are on Exegol, we can hit 'em.

Rebel: Hit them how?

Rebel woman: They can't activate their shields until they leave atmosphere

Poe: Which isn't easy on Exegol. Ships that size, they need help taking off.


Poe: Once the tower is down, the fleet'll be stuck in atmo for just minutes with no shields and no way out.

Rose: We think hitting the cannons might ignite the main reactors.

Lando: That's our chance!

  • Did you transcribe that yourself? I can't find a copy of the script online and I don't think it's out on DVD yet. Do you happen to have a copy of that clip handy?
    – J. Mini
    Jan 29, 2020 at 17:15
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    @J.Mini - I just have an excellent memory and certainly didn't download a dodgy cam copy from piratebay. Because that would be wrong.
    – Valorum
    Jan 29, 2020 at 17:33
  • 1
    @Valorum Why do I suddenly having a coughing fit?
    – Skooba
    Jan 29, 2020 at 18:25
  • @Skooba - Try a lozenge.
    – Valorum
    Jan 29, 2020 at 18:29
  • You missed the main part (that the cannons are fed from main reactor) from novelizaton Apr 1, 2020 at 16:51

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