Part ship, part work of art, all deadly. We break down the modified Imperial I-class Star Destroyer captained by Thrawn: the Chimaera.
The ISD Chimaera is one of the most beautiful and infamous ships in the Imperial Navy. It was a modified Imperial I-class Star Destroyer captained by none other than the up-and-coming Imperial officer who would become Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Under Thrawn’s command, the Chimaera played a role in some of the most pivotal events in the galaxy. But it began its tour of duty as nothing more than a standard Imperial I.
Like most Imperial I-class Star Destroyers, the Chimaera was manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards. It measured the standard 1,600 meters by 900 meters. And it carried the standard bank of three KDY Destroyer-I ion engines, and four Cygnus Spaceworks Gemon-4 ion engines.
Its Solar ionization reactor plant powered the various Taim & Bak XX-9 heavy turbolaser batteries and ion cannons. In many ways, it was a standard line model. Except for Thrawn’s modifications.
Eight turbolasers surrounded the command towers. And unlike the usual double-barreled turbolaser turrets, the Chimaera (and later all Star Destroyers under Thrawn’s seventh fleet) featured eight-barreled turrets. Thrawn’s flagship was also fitted with two hangar bays, located on either end of the ventral docking bay. With a large door to cover the aft bay, the ship could be secure but could launch its complement of fighters in all directions.
And as it carried a complement of TIE/d Defender Multi-Role starfighters, it could swing even the most pitched battle.
But perhaps most infamous of all is Thrawn’s own personal touch. On the underside of the Chimaera is a large engraving of the ship’s namesake creature.
Thrawn first encountered the three-headed creature’s depiction as part of the Chiss expeditionary fleet. And as he rose through the ranks, so too did his personal emblem.
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The Chimaera was placed under Thrawn’s command shortly after the Chiss officer was promoted to Commodore. The new Commodore and his ship were sent to pacify early rebel uprisings.
Perhaps the most notable battles the Chimaera faced early on were its clashes with a rebel group led by “Nightswan.” Thrawn and Nightswan fought each other for years, but Thrawn managed to keep the upper hand. Famously, Thrawn fired on an Imperial space station to hamper escaping prisoners, while simultaneously destroying their rescue frigate.
These early victories earned Thrawn a reputation for cunning beyond the typical Imperial commander. And with Thrawn’s reputation growing, so too was the Chimaera’s notoriety. Rebels came to see the stylized chimaera as a sign of the Empire’s might.
As Thrawn reached the rank of Admiral, he was given control of the Ninety-Sixth Task Force. And they were quickly called to duty to quell a rebellion at Batonn and Scrim Island. Thrawn used the Chimaera’s ion cannons to trigger a tsunami and managed to defeat Nightswan at last.
Thrawn and the Chimaera found victory after victory, even against the most stubborn rebel cells. However, the Chimaera was ultimately lost when a herd of purrgil, drawn by the transmissions of Ezra Bridger, attached themselves to the ship and vanished into hyperspace, taking Thrawn and Bridger with them.
They have yet to return.
May the Force be with you