Here’s the thing about Reddit: Leaks and rumors are hit and miss. While the social media platform has been a hotbed for Star Wars rumors, by and large a good number of them fail to pan out. Take the latest, supposed “leak”: according to Reddit user u/ikediger, the photo below is a “leak” of a new Star Destroyer for Star Wars: Episode IX. But that’s not the whole story now, is it?
Sure, the new Star Wars vehicle looks impressive… but it’s possible, if not likely, that the so-called “leaked” Star Destroyer has nothing to do with The Rise of Skywalker at all. Why? Because the ship in question happens to be part of the board/role playing game Star Wars Armada. It’s one of the new expansion packs set to debut in the fourth quarter of 2019.
New Episode IX Star Destroyer, or…
Dubbing this an Onager-class destroyer, the official Fantasy Flight Games description for the vehicle states as follows:
The Onager-class Star Destroyer is a specialized platform for some of the Empire’s most dangerous weaponry. The arrival of its ominous silhouette in orbit heralds a bombardment by massive particle cannons, or, more rarely, a devastating pulse from superheavy composite beam turbolasers. Its deployment in more sensitive Imperial operations can be neither confirmed nor denied.
… just a game piece for Star Wars Armada?
Key to this description is the fact that this ship is a “specialized platform for some of the Empire’s most dangerous weaponry.” Yes, the Emperor is rumored to return, and may even have a new Imperial/Sith fleet and army with him. And yes, I would love to see this Star Destroyer appear in Star Wars: Episode IX, but…. Let’s be honest here. Other websites, like the International Business Times, are quick to say that the Reddit image “reveals” the new ship. A bit more careful research would tell the IBT, however, that the “reveal” is actually from Fantasy Flight Game’s official website. Star Wars Armada features any number of ship designs that never made it into the movies. Case in point? The Gladiator I–class Star Destroyer pictured below, to the left of the destroyer we’ve come to know so well:
The Gladiator I has never made it into Star Wars canon, yet it too appears as a game piece in Armada. Should we expect this Star Destroyer to appear in The Rise of Skywalker as well?
If the Onager-class Star Destroyer is, in fact, Emperor Palpatine’s ship, I’ll be pleasantly surprised… but I’m not getting my hopes up.