In Episode III, you see that Venator-class Star Destroyers can land, load troops and perform other logistical operations and in Episode II, you see the same with Acclamator-class cruisers.

Does this apply to the Imperial-class Star Destroyers too? They are bigger than both the Venator and Acclamator classes - is there any appearance of a landed Imperial-class Star Destroyer?

  • 12
    Real question can you land a Super star destroyer.
    – Himarm
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 14:53
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    With a length of 14 km would the curviture of the planet the star destroyer's landing on become an issue?
    – queeg
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 15:36
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    @queeg That depends on the diameter of the planet.
    – Xantec
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:03
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    Without any canon sources to back me up, it's reasonable to suppose a SSD could gently lower itself through an earthlike planet's atmosphere using its repulsors and then nudge the ground with its ventral surface (so as not to damage the bridge superstructure). Turning off the repulsors & shields would mean the SSD might tip over and suffer some structural damage.
    – RobertF
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:11
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    @Himarm: Oh yes. Executor landed on the Death Star pretty hard in ROTJ. Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 5:38

5 Answers 5


I don't have a source at hand to confirm, but Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections showed ANH-era ISDs having no landing gear. That isn't 100% conclusive since Naboo starfighters used repulsors for landing gear.

Somewhat orthogonally, the Lusankya (SSD of Isard from X-Wing series) flew UP from the surface of Coruscant - but it was built there, so that neither supports nor disproves the theory.

Conclusion: We don't have firm proof either way from canon, but the vague indication (lack of landing gear) points to "They can't land. Or rather, they can land but only once :)"

  • 2
    When those things go down faster than they come up, that really affects the resale value, to paraphrase Zig Ziglar. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 15:36
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    It's also worth noting that the shipyards where Star Destroyers were built (Kuat Drive Yards, Fondor, and Corellia) are all orbital, so a Star Destroyer would probably spend its entire service life in space and have no need for landing gear.
    – Null
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 16:06
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    The Lusankya needed the assistance of a great many repulsor sleds in order to reach orbit. It was not capable of lifting off on its own.
    – BBlake
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:53
  • @BBlake - true. Doesn't help with landing question though (where gravity works for you and not against you) Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 19:08
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    If you've ever played KSP, you'd know that gravity always works against you. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 20:54

It seems likely

In Rogue One, the Dauntless, an Imperial-1 class Star Destroyer, hovers what appears to be a mere few thousand feet over Jedha, presumably using its repulsors.

enter image description here

While strictly speaking it hasn’t landed, it is hovering very close to the surface of the planet. Given the repulsor-based vertical takeoff abilities of Star Wars ships, and given that the Star Destroyer has sufficient repulsor capabilities to hover very close to the ground (and presumably attain orbit thereafter), it seems very likely that it would be able to physically land on a planet.

  • 1
    The movie's novelisation mentions that hovering this close to the planet put gigantic strain on the engines, and staying afloat basicly took all energy ship's reactors could produce.
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:15
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    @Petersaber - Quite true. However, they presumably had enough power to leave and attain orbit. I can’t imagine that descending another few thousand feet would change that.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:19
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    Still though from looking at teh underside without dedicated landing gears they will have QUITE some damage on their underbelly once they decide to land (voluntarily or not)
    – Thomas
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:42
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    @Adamant the problem I see is when they REALLY land they shut off their repulsors as they are on ground then. And that means the small raisings you see on the underbelly are getting all the weight of the star destroyer pushed onto them....and in all honesty if they survive that I can't see ANY star destroyer be damaged by the impact of a hammerhead corvette at all. (they meaning the superstructure raisings on the underbelly)
    – Thomas
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 23:01
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    @Adamant ability to withstand structural strain doesn't raise with mass if not designed for it. Stack a structure of 100 pencils. They'll hold. Now stack 1 ton of pencils the same way. They won't hold.
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 10:03

The Super Star Destroyer proves that, at least in Legends, much larger ships can outright land on a planetary surface. The lead ship of the Executor-class was built twice; construction began at Kuat simultaneously, both then named Executor. One of the ships was transferred to the Fondor shipyards for completion, and pressed into service as Darth Vader's flagship, retaining the codename as its official designation. The other was, upon completion, secretly moved to Coruscant and hidden as part of the surface, rechristened Lusankya. It was used as a secret prison for a while before being launched by Ysanne Isard, its commanding officer, during the Bacta War. Ultimately, it would be captured by the New Republic.

According to Star Wars Incredible Cross-Sections, the Acclamator only used landing gear to provide a more stable ground connection, with the repulsors bearing the weight of the ship. If this is reasonably considered canon, then that means there is nothing stopping an Imperial-class Star Destroyer from doing essentially the same thing.

From straight-up canonical sources, there is nothing showing that the Imperial Star Destroyer can touch down on the ground, nor is there anything showing that it can't. However, the design of the ship doesn't appear to lend itself to deploying forces while landed. Given the positioning of the hangar bay, all landing the ship would do is make getting out of the ship harder. For deployment of ground forces, the ISD would probably hover above the landing zone, which we know it can do from Rogue One, and deploy drop-ships.


Victory class were the last to be able to enter the atmosphere(I think) and even they could not 'land'.

Corellian Corvettes can land, I believe, but anything bigger uses dropships. Even Nebulon-B frigates don't land.

  • According to starwars wikia, Imperial-class SD can enter atmosphere: "Like most other Star Destroyer models, the Imperial-class was capable of entering atmospheres and supporting ground operations directly". I also remember seeing one in Kashyyyk when you play as Vader in Force Unleashed.
    – Andrew P.
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 8:10

No. For star destroyers in general, Depends on the model.

  • Acclamator (Not a true model): Yes, for purpose of landing planetary assault forces
  • Venator: Yes
  • Imperial: No, no landing gear expressed or shown in blue prints
  • Executor: Impossible, the vessels length would be incompatible with the planets natural curvature
  • Victory: Yes, capable of landing on platforms (the circumstance of which lead to the Ghorman Massacre)

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