Imperial Theta-class shuttle

  • Appeared in:
  • Size:
    18.5 meters long; 18.5 meters tall
  • Weapon:
    2 quad laser cannons; 1 aft laser cannon
  • Affiliation:
    Galactic Empire
  • Type:
    Elite personnel transport
  • Manufacturer:
    Cygnus Spaceworks

From the Movies

The political instability surrounding the Clone Wars prompted the Republic's most important leaders to travel in well-armed conveyances, in order to thwart would be assassins and kidnappers. During his ascension to Emperor, Palpatine traveled in a distinctive tri-winged shuttle that was a harbinger of Imperial design trends to come.

The elegant ship featured an articulated wing system that deployed the wings in a splayed, lateral configuration during flight. During descent and landing, the wings folded upwards, to allow the landing skids to extend from the bottom of the craft.

Palpatine flew in this vessel during his voyage to Mustafar, to recover the ruined form of his apprentice, Darth Vader.

From the Expanded Universe

Crafted by Cygnus Spaceworks, the Theta-class T-2c is a well armed craft, sporting two forward-mounted quad laser cannons and an aft laser cannon. Its broad wing surfaces distributed powerful deflector shield energy, making the vessel remarkably tough.

Palpatine's personal shuttle underwent customization by the finest starship technicians in the galaxy. The so-called "Warthan's Wizards" installed a hyperwave reflector-based transmission and receiver rig to keep Palpatine in touch with developments across the galaxy. The vessel was also lined with sensor masks that prevented scanners from peering inside the shuttle's private cabins. Inside were a trove of sinister Sith devices and concoctions designed to bend the will of victims and strengthen Palpatine's connection to the dark side.

In the early years of the Empire, talented designers at Cygnus Spaceworks were lured to the Sienar Fleet Systems corporation, where they adapted their older designs into the Lamdba-class shuttles used by Imperial officials.

Behind the Scenes

The Emperor's shuttle was clearly designed as a harbinger to the Lambda-class shuttles seen in the original trilogy. The tri-wing design was made less angular, with a less aggressive cockpit to soften the obviousness of its role as a villain's transport. The only practical element of the shuttle constructed was its boarding ramp, which was shot against greenscreen for the scene of Emperor Palpatine emerging with Anakin Skywalker's charred body on Coruscant.

Keywords: Databank - Episode III

Filed under: Vault, Starship
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