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The Historical past of Thrawn’s Secret Invasion Weapon in Star Wars’ Expanded Universe

Picture: Killian Plunkett/Darkish Horse

A long time even earlier than the Republic was made conscious of the existence of the Kaminoan clone military, the Senate backed a number of elaborate initiatives to help and improve the effectiveness of the various, smaller defense forces aligned with the Republic and its member worlds. One such challenge, accomplished in 46BBY—14 years earlier than the occasions of The Phantom Menace—was the Katana Fleet.

A 200-ship sturdy fleet made totally of Rendili StarDrive dreadnaught heavy cruisers, the Katana Fleet was invaluable to the Republic not due to the ships themselves or its measurement, however due to the manpower required to maintain the fleet. Earlier than the Clone Struggle, the Republic Judicial Forces’ Starfleet was a fraction of the scale of Republic navies on the top of its attain and affect. The Katana Fleet, carrying enhances of experimental walkers to help in floor assaults, ought to’ve wanted roughly 16,000 officers to totally crew an armada of its measurement, however by using experimental, remote-controlled pc networks generally known as slave-rigging, the Katana dreadnaughts might be operated by a crew a fraction of the scale, roughly 2,000.

In a time the place the Republic had no standing military past the peacekeeping forces of the Judicial department, the Katana Fleet—often known as the Darkish Pressure, each for the cruisers’ darkish paint jobs however because of the truth they had been all dimly lit, as a result of every vessel requiring restricted life help and crew house—represented what might be the way forward for Republic navy actions, given rising stressors within the Outer Rim comparable to piracy and the slave commerce representing rising points for the Republic: a dominant Fleet that would defend Republic pursuits, on the fraction of the sentient effort.

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