Spoilers on The Mandalorian - S02E02 - Chapter 10 ahead.

In S02E02 of The Mandalorian, the Razor Crest takes a heavy beating by first crash landing into an ice cave and then breaking through the ice into another cave which lays below. It's hull is breached, the propulsion is not working properly anymore and it's more a wreck than a ship. See pics for damage:

Razor Crest at the end of the episode, view of the side

Razor Crest at the end of the episode, view from the back

Nonetheless, the ship is not only able to take off but also leave the atmosphere. There is clearly an atmosphere as the passengers of the Razor Crest were able to leave the ship without life support. Looking at mankind's experiences with space travel, a small dent in the heat plating lead to the explosion of a NASA Space Shuttle.

So, how was the Razor Crest able to leave the atmosphere without being blown to bits and with only one drive working? Has it been established in Star Wars lore (canon or legends) that ships are extremely sturdy and can take such a beating and simply shrug it off? Is there some other In-Universe explanation for this to be possible?

I am aware that within the story, this probably goes by the "rule of cool", showing that Mando is able to keep everything working while also showing he is not invincible and give some kind of a comic relief of his ship limping through space. I am also aware the physics is not that much of a concern in Star Wars as in other franchises. Still makes me wonder how it was able to continue to travel.

  • 3
    Ships leaving the atmosphere don't heat up as much
    – Valorum
    Nov 7, 2020 at 15:09
  • 3
    Watch that portion of the episode again. He told frog lady she better go use 'the privy' before they left because it was going to be a long trip and they would be stuck in the forward cockpit, stating: "we'll have to get cozy in the cockpit, it's the only place I can pressurize". Once he had repaired the windows, he could close the door and they would be fine.
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 7, 2020 at 17:36
  • @NKCampbell Yes, I am aware of this. It does, however, not explain how the ship was able to reach exit velocity, resist the air resistance coming with that and not simply be blown to pieces due to the strain it takes on the ship.
    – Shade
    Nov 7, 2020 at 19:36
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    I've looked over on space.SE for something to put numbers to this, but the best I can come up with is to echo Valorum's point: leaving the atmosphere, you have much lower max-q (dynamic pressure) than entering. And the bulk of that is in the short part of the flight through atmosphere, which a Star Wars ship could take at a much more sedate pace because they have virtually limitless fuel (at least compared with the tight constraints of real rockets).
    – Cadence
    Nov 8, 2020 at 2:13
  • 1
    Looking at mankind's experiences with space travel, it’s also impossible to travel faster than light. In Star Wars generally, things can fly in ways and situations that we wouldn’t expect. Nov 8, 2020 at 10:06

2 Answers 2


Vessels in Star Wars would not necessarily be subject to high stresses on ascent, unless they were in a hurry.

There are some technical considerations, but the main one is this: one you rise above a few tens of kilometers (on a planet with an Earthlike atmosphere), the atmosphere is so thin that no matter how fast you're traveling, within reason, you won't experience any meaningful drag or pressure.

In a real-life rocket, of course, you can't spend too long getting to this altitude because you're burning through metric tons worth of fuel every second. For instance, a Saturn V first stage burns for about 140 seconds, a Space Shuttle booster for 120 seconds. To achieve a suitable altitude before the stage burns out, they need to be traveling very fast (though still nowhere near escape velocity).

Star Wars ships, in contrast, have loads of fuel. Even the smallest ones, such as starfighters, are shown maneuvering for hours without stopping. Such a ship could easily rise above the thick lower atmosphere over a matter of minutes or hours to avoid the high accelerations and dynamic pressures associated with doing it quickly.

This is not to say that the producers necessarily had these details in mind - technical details are rarely the strong point of a Star Wars production - but it's not implausible that the ship could make such a trip without disintegrating.


in episode 2 of season 2, the Mandalorian puts himself the child and the frog lady in the cockpit and closes the door meaning there was still oxygen in there

  • 1
    That's more a comment than an answer. The question was why the ship was not blown apart when leaving the atmosphere and not how they survive.
    – Shade
    Nov 10, 2020 at 15:07

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