Star Wars: Naboo’s N-1 Starfighters Were Totally Rad, Even Before Mando
WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” streaming now on Disney+.
At the tail-end of The Mandalorian’s second season, Moff Gideon blew up Din Djarin’s Razor Crest assault ship, leaving the bounty hunter without a ride of his own. He tagged along with Boba Fett for the rest of the season, but in Episode 5 of The Book of Boba Fett, Mando finally got a new ride. And while it was a piece of junk at the beginning of the episode, the refurbished Royal Naboo N-1 Starfighter became a slick ride by the end of it.
In fact, thanks to Mando and Peli Motto's modifications, it was already one of the fastest ships in the Outer Rim. But the N-1 Starfighters were cool way before Mando had one, and the ship has never really received the recognition it deserved. So, here’s a quick look at what made them such impressive and beautiful ships.
As a people, the Naboo were always concerned with aesthetics. Their monarch was always dressed in the finest regalia; their architecture prioritized beauty over modernism, and they even built their starfighters to look impressive. Commissioned by the Queen of Naboo during the High Republic, the N-1 Starfighters fighters were slender, sleek and refined -- their yellow and chromium paint job making them into veritable pieces of art.
Handmade by the Theed Palace Space Vessel Engineering Corps, the N-1’s stood at only 11 meters in length, but they had the need for speed. They were equipped with Twin radial J-type engines or, alternatively, 2 Nubian 221 sublight engines, which allowed for a maximum speed of 684 mph. The N-1s also equipped a Monarc C-4 hyperdrive, meaning they could jump to hyperspace with the need for a hyperspace ring. The N-1’s speed, however, didn’t come at a cost of any other systems. Unlike the notoriously fast TIE fighters, N-1 did have deflector shields and also had flight and targeting systems, along with autopilot and a hookup for an onboard astromech droid.
The N-1 Starfighters were also more than capable of winning a dogfight. In fact, they were the official escort and protection ships for Naboo’s monarch. Notably, they touted twin blaster cannons and two fire-linked proton torpedo launchers. On top of that, their trademark chromium hulls had a purpose beyond simple aesthetics. The shiny hull would temporarily dazzle enemy ships’ optical sensors, giving them an advantage in combat.
They were so impressive, in fact, that during the Invasion of Naboo in The Phantom Menace, Bravo Flight flew the fighters against the Droid Control Ship Vuutun Palaa. And without meaning to, Anakin Skywalker joined the fight in an N-1 and ended up destroying the enemy control ship by firing a pair of torpedoes into its starboard main reactor. Unfortunately, after that battle, the ship was relegated to the background, only appearing briefly in Attack of the Clones and The Rise of Skywalker. So, while Mando has brought them back to the forefront, let's not forget how cool the N-1s have always been.
To see more of Mano’s new N-1 Starfighter, watch The Book of Boba Fett, streaming now on Disney+.