Throughout Star Wars history, the Empire has risen and fallen numerous times, often operating in secrecy before amassing enough power to strike back (pun intended). However, no Empire fleet was as massive and powerful as the Final Order fleet, aka the Sith Eternal fleet. So, how was the Sith Eternal fleet built, and what was it in the first place?
The Sith Eternal fleet, also known as the Final Order, was a colossal fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, first appearing in ‘Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.’ The fleet was constructed by a mysterious cult known as the Sith Eternal on Exegol, led by none other than the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine.
The story of how Palpatine came back to life and how the Sith Eternal cult methodically brought him back and built the Sith Eternal fleet lasted about 30 years. And, while we didn’t get all the pieces of information in the movie, we learned a lot more through Star Wars books – namely, ‘The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary.’ If you want to hear more, keep reading this article.
What is the Sith Eternal?
Before we continue, I just wanted to briefly delineate between the Sith Eternal and the Sith Eternal fleet. The Sith Eternal is a mysterious, traditionalist cult that worships the way of the Sith in an occult, ritualistic, religious fashion. The Sith Eternal fleet is the massive army of Star Destroyers the cult has built over the years on the desolate planet of Exegol.
Of course, we should first talk about the cult itself to better understand how they built such a colossal fleet without raising a few eyebrows or having vast resources.
The Sith Eternal was a cult that resided in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy on the dark planet of Exegol. They were traditionalists who worshipped Darth Sidious, followed the Sith doctrines, and performed rituals designed to harness the secrets of the Force, focusing on Force-bonds, dyads in the Force, and other powers associated with the Dark Side.
The Sith Eternal worked tirelessly to bring Palpatine back, and they eventually did. Under Darth Sidious’ guidance, they experimented with cloning technology, creating artificial genetic constructs, etc. Those experiments led to the creation of Snoke – who was actually Palpatine – and his cloned son, who eventually spawned a natural-born daughter – Rey.
While the cult was trying to find a suitable vessel for Darth Sidious’ soul, they also worked on creating a fleet of Star Destroyers so massive that the entire galaxy would tremble under its power. They also sired children to embody the cult’s values and be raised as soldiers, technicians, officers, and highly valuable members of their military.
Their end goal was to groom Kylo Ren into becoming the new ruler of the Sith Empire, but those plans were thwarted when he decided to go back to the light side of the force as Ben Solo.
How did Darth Sidious build the Sith Eternal fleet?
The Sith Eternal fleet was built under the guidance of Darth Sidious on Exegol – but without proper resources, how did the Sith Eternal fleet ever grow so massive?
While the movies didn’t have enough time and space to provide all the answers, a book called ‘The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary,’ written by Pablo Hidalgo, provides details that explain all those little intricate details the movie just couldn’t dive into.
We learn that the Sith Eternal worked for about three decades on reviving Palpatine and building his army, as they believed the galaxy was theirs to rule by cosmic right. Due to Exegol’s resources being sparse, as it is a dark desert planet, many fans speculated that the Sith Eternal fleet was built from the ruins and wreckages of old Star Destroyers.
That wasn’t the case, though. The book suggests that the Sith Eternal fleet was constructed and crafted as brand new, and the Xyston-class Star Destroyers were all equipped with planet-shattering lasers. The fleet was constructed and manufactured by engineers and shipwrights who were cult members, whereas most of the labor was done by slaves.
That still doesn’t explain how they got the parts and resources, right? Well, as it turns out, some members of the Sith Eternal were actually high-ranking members of the boards on the shipyards of Sienar-Jaemus and Kuat-Entralla. That’s how they smuggled the parts and resources to Exegol in secret and constructed the galaxy’s largest fleet ever.
How big was the Sith Eternal fleet?
The sheer size and strength in numbers of the Sith Eternal fleet (or the Final Order, if you will) was something the galaxy had never seen before. They had 1080 Xyston-class Star Destroyers, as well as countless TIE/dg starfighters and AAL-2100/9.5 atmospheric assault landers.
Xyston-class Star Destroyers were larger and more powerful than the Imperial I-class Star Destroyers of the past. Instead of a big main hangar space of the I-class, Xyston-class Star Destroyers housed a large axial super laser there instead, capable of destroying planets, as they showcased by shattering Kijimi into oblivion and broadcasting it across the galaxy.
They also had numerous Sith legions comprised of five thousand Sith Troopers and their variants, known as Sith Jetpack Troopers. Never before has such a force been seen in the galaxy, but their numbers were ultimately their downfall, too.
Did the Sith Eternal fleet eventually perish?
With such extremely high numbers, the Sith Eternal fleet was simply too big to leave Exegol at once. Instead, they needed a navigational beacon to operate the initial launch of the fleet, which inadvertently took some time, again due to the sheer numbers of the fleet.
Before the Final Order could be launched, a small Resistance fleet attacked them on Exegol, led by General Finn and General Poe Dameron. Their numbers were simply too small and nearly destroyed within minutes, but reinforcements came in the form of a ‘Citizen’ fleet.
An army of thousands of civilian vessels appeared on Exegol, ready to help fight off the Final Order. They started attacking the one weak point of the newly-built Star Destroyers – their planet-killer cannons. After the Sith Eternal fleet’s flagship – Steadfast – was destroyed, it prevented other Star Destroyers from escaping.
Eventually, the biggest fleet in the galaxy’s history was reduced to ashes before ever actually leaving the planet where it had been constructed. After the galaxy learned of the Final Order fleet being destroyed, revolts against the Order started across the galaxy, and the Resistance finally marked their ultimate victory.
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