Why is Star Wars such a popular fandom? Simply put, there’s a lot to love in a galaxy far, far away. For instance, the iconic characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader have been cool enough to help define multiple generations of fans. However, other people go for the weapons, from the iconic lightsaber to the thermal detonator and Boba Fett’s sick arsenal, this universe has some of the most awesome weapons to ever grace the silver screen -- it’s no wonder fans take one look and say, “I want one of those!” As for us? Our favorite part of Star Wars has always been the starships. In this universe, even small fighters like X-Wings can transform unknown farmboys into famous heroes, and giant battle stations like the Death Star instantly show you why the Empire is such an evil force in the galaxy.
It’s enough to make fans curious as to which ships in Star Wars are the strongest, and which are so weak that they could be taken out by an angry Womp Rat? That’s why we decided to put together this comprehensive guide -- to settle the question once and for all, and to keep things simple, we stuck to ships we see on-screen. That means no Sun Crushers from the EU, for instance, or any of Palpatine’s World Killers from the comics. We’re still left with quite a few ships, enough to make you wonder, “just how can we pick the strongest?” Don’t keep wondering, just “trust your feelings” and keep scrolling to discover the most powerful Star Wars ships in the galaxy, ranked!
20 TIE FIGHTER
Here at the bottom of our list is the backbone of the Imperial Navy: the TIE Fighter. Don’t get us wrong, as these things can be plenty scary. In the hands of ace pilots, a squadron or two of these things can destroy many foes, but they still have many glaring weaknesses.
The biggest weakness is the lack of shields. This represents the Empire’s view of these pilots as disposable -- one lucky Rebel shot is all it takes to destroy the entire fighter. Throw in the lack of a hyperdrive, and these ships are very vulnerable to enemy fleets and must be backed up by bigger capital ships to really succeed.
19 TIE INTERCEPTOR
It’s fitting that the TIE Interceptor is on the list just above the TIE Fighter because, in all honesty, this is basically an upgraded TIE Fighter. That means it still has no shields and no hyperdrive unit, however, it is packing some unique advantages over the more simple TIE design.
First, it is much faster. The Interceptor can keep up with ships like the speedy Rebel A-Wing, which is a big advantage in and of itself. Also, the design of this ship helps it fire four lasers (at once or separately) rather than the standard two. That can make a big difference in a dogfight!
18 TIE BOMBER
For basic Imperial ships, the last model on here is the TIE Bomber. Like its cousins, it has weaknesses that include the lack of shields and a hyperdrive. It is also slower than either the Fighter or the Interceptor. Despite this, it has a couple of very special advantages over those ships.
First, it is physically sturdier than the other ships. Due to the lack of shields, “sturdy” is relative, but we can’t deny it has additional staying power. Also, this ship can be loaded with multiple kinds of ordinance -- whether you’re rooting out hidden ships or bombing Calamari Cruisers, these little ships pack quite the punch!
Now, we get to the first Rebel ship on this list. It’s only fitting that the first ship is the most iconic: The X-Wing. This is basically the workhorse of the Rebel fleet, and while it’s not the strongest Rebel ship, it has big advantages over its Imperial counterparts.
The obvious advantage is that it has shields. This is why pilots like Luke or Wedge can take a hit and still survive. It also has a hyperdrive as well as proton torpedos. In this way, the X-Wing has the versatility of a TIE Bomber and the speed of a TIE Fighter, all rolled into one.
The A-Wing doesn’t get a ton of attention in the Star Wars movies. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty awesome design. It’s the Rebel equivalent of the TIE Interceptor, which means it has one big advantage over the other ships: the speed!
Mechanically, the A-Wing carries almost all the advantages of the X-Wing. That means shields, a hyperdrive, and torpedos, and while it has only two lasers rather than the X-Wing’s four, it makes up for this with absolutely blinding speed. In the right hands, these little ships are surprisingly lethal to all enemies of the Rebellion, which is one reason they are still being used years later by the Resistance.
The Y-Wing is basically the Rebel equivalent of the TIE Bomber. That means that it carries a particular weakness that enemies can try to exploit: it’s slower than most other ships. Like the Bomber, though, the sacrifice of speed is offset by its abundance of power.
Y-Wings are heavily shielded, and they have both forward-firing lasers and a versatile laser turret. On top of that, Y-Wings can fire ion bursts, giving them the ability to disable ships instead of destroy them. Throw in their ability to bomb just about anything, and this old ship design is surprisingly versatile and useful.
If the Rebels are the boyfriend with the wandering eye and the Y-Wings are the girlfriend, then B-Wings are definitely the new girl catching the Rebels’ attention. This is because these ships offer all of the advantages of a Y-Wing without any of the detriments.
Like the Y-Wing, these ships are heavily shielded and armed with proton torpedoes as well as ion cannons. If that’s not enough, though, they are faster than Y-Wings, especially when they are not in their attack configuration. While we don’t see a lot of the B-Wing on-screen, we feel pretty confident that it gave many Imperials nightmares when they saw these ships coming for an attack run!
13 FIRST ORDER TIES
Neither the First Order nor the Resistance are exactly swimming in creativity. In fact, each force relies on upgraded versions of what they used before which brings us to the First Order TIE Fighter, a ship that offers some really spiffy innovations on a classic design.
While it may look a lot like the old TIE fighter, this new ship boasts shielding. On top of that, there are a variety of new weapon options, which we hear Poe explain to a confused Finn. For all the upgrades, though, these ships still have no hyperdrive, making them reliant on the larger capital ships.
12 NEW X-WINGS
Starting in The Force Awakens, we see the Resistance rocking new X-Wings. Visually, these are very similar to the X-Wings of yesteryear (though sometimes sporting cool paint jobs, like Poe’s black ship). We see the T-70 model in The Force Awakens and the T-85 model in The Last Jedi, but here’s the open secret about each one.
Ultimately, these really are just upgraded X-Wings. That means they still have four lasers, torpedo launchers, shields, and a hyperdrive. The only reason the ship is this high on the list is because all of the technology has been upgraded over the decades, giving it a boost over both its classic cousin and most of the First Order’s smaller fighters.
11 RESISTANCE BOMBER
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we are introduced to a new kind of fighter in the form of the Resistance Bomber. This ship has some distinct disadvantages, such as being slow and difficult to maneuver. However, this is outweighed by the raw power that it carries!
As we see in the movie, a single one of these ships is capable of destroying a much larger and much more powerful capital ship. The only reason that this bomber is not higher on the list is because it is relatively weak and exposed, requiring a fighter escort to help it get into position before it attacks and destroys the target.
10 MILLENNIUM FALCON
What, you thought you’d make it through this list without seeing the Millennium Falcon? Don’t worry, this ship has a talent for showing up when it’s least expected, and in the words of Han Solo himself, this ship has “got it where it counts” in terms of power, speed and maneuverability.
The Falcon is not the strongest of the small ships, and it’s not the fastest, nor is it close to being the most powerful. However, this ship has the perfect combination of all these factors, making it versatile for just about any mission. Add that to the fact that, as Rey and Finn helped illustrate, it also happens to be very user friendly!
9 CORELLIAN CORVETTE
The next ship on our list is actually the first Star Wars ship ever seen on-screen. The ship is the Corellian Corvette, but it has more recently been branded as the Alderaanian Cruiser. Whatever you call it, though, this ship is a versatile tool in the hands of the Rebellion.
As a smaller capital ship, the Corvette spells almost certain doom for any smaller starfighters that try to attack it. Along with that power comes a surprising amount of speed, which we can see when the Tantive IV tries (and fails) to escape from Darth Vader’s pursuing Star Destroyer way back in A New Hope.
8 REBEL FRIGATE
One of the big strengths of the Rebellion is that they are very versatile. We can see that with their capital ships, such as our next entry -- the frigate. This type of ship has fulfilled different functions for the Rebellion, from being a ship of war to being a medical ship that collected and healed the wounded in the attack on the Second Death Star.
This ship packs more firepower than the Corellian Corvette and at the same time, it’s harder to shoot -- the weird, elongated design of a frigate helps make it a tricky target. So while there are stronger ships used by the good guys, we have to admire a strong ship like this that can do a little bit of everything.
7 MON CALAMARI CRUISER
In the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, the Mon Calamari Cruiser was the strongest ship the Rebels had. This was a large and powerful capital ship, and these vessels were piloted by strong leaders such as Admiral Ackbar (he of “it’s a trap!” meme fame).
Such vessels were a threat to enemies on multiple fronts. First, the strong shields, dense hulls, and powerful weapons made these some of the only ships that could stand up to Imperial Star Destroyers. And these vessels also carried squadrons of Rebel fighters in them, allowing them to attack enemies on multiple fronts at once.
6 IMPERIAL STAR DESTROYER
It’s tough to pick the most classic starship design in Star Wars but if you had to pick, though, it would be tempting to select the Imperial Star Destroyer. These ships are strong enough to take on anything in the Rebel fleet, and they even have a design that is oozing with menace.
These vessels not only boast massive shields and weapons arrays, but they have sheer size on their side. It’s notable that no one Rebel ship can take on a Star Destroyer -- the best Lando and Ackbar can hope for is to delay the enemy fleet until the Death Star shield goes down -- that gives you an idea of how powerful such ships are.
5 FIRST ORDER STAR DESTROYERS
As we said before, the First Order isn’t the most original group of people. So when it came time to resurrect and re-brand the Empire, the First Order mostly settled for upgrading all of the old designs and equipment. That’s how you end up with the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer.
This ship has better shields and weapons than the original Star Destroyer. On top of that, the bridge is less exposed and, therefore, less vulnerable. At the end of the day, this kind of ship is a good metaphor for how the First Order does things: bigger, badder, and with fewer weaknesses for their enemies to exploit.
4 FIRST ORDER DREADNOUGHT
When you’re trying to figure out how strong Star Wars ships are, there are multiple sets of clues. Sometimes, we see the ship demonstrate its power on-screen, while at other times we have to take the word of a book, novel, or even a character within the film. This is the case with the Dreadnought from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
In a comic adaptation of the movie, we are told that such ships are more powerful “than a dozen Star Destroyers.” Moreover, Poe Dameron assures us that these ships are “fleet-killers.” Based on this information, we feel comfortable saying that this ship is the most powerful of the capital ships on this list. However, there are still some stronger ships...
3 DEATH STAR
Next up is the largest ship on this list so far. In fact, it’s much more than a ship: it’s a battle station. On a good day, it might even be mistaken for a moon. So what exactly are we talking about? The first Imperial Death Star, of course!
There’s not much to say about the power of this massive ship -- it’s capable of blowing away entire planets with one blast, or smaller targets with lower-powered blasts. It’s easy to see that if it weren’t for Galen Erso and Luke Skywalker, this ship would have secured Imperial rule for the rest of history in a galaxy far, far away.
2 DEATH STAR II
For a bunch of space fascists, the Empire is oddly optimistic. How do they react to the destruction of the first Death Star? “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!", and that’s how we end up with the Death Star where both Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader met their ultimate fates.
This ship may look unfinished, but that’s just a ruse: as Palpatine says, it is “fully armed and operational.” It has the same general power level as the first Death Star, but is able to fire more often, making it perfect for taking out Rebel fleets. So while still vulnerable to snubfighters, this giant ship is more difficult to take out than its predecessor.
As we said earlier, the First Order are not very original. Most of their major uniform and ship designs are just upgraded versions of what the Empire previously used. So it made sense that they’d do a bigger, badder version of the Death Star for their ultimate weapon: Starkiller Base.
Whereas the Death Stars destroyed planets, the Starkiller blasts were able to destroy entire solar systems. Even scarier, the blasts could be fired across hyperspace, letting them target anyone in the galaxy. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it really is a ship: without engines, there would be no way to find another sun to use as a power source.