The Largest Ships in Science Fiction

The Largest Ships in Science Fiction

Image for postImage for postImage for postThe original USS Enterprise, the Galactica, and a Star Destroyer from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Wars respectively.

Pick your favorite science fiction television show or movie. Good, now go ahead and pick your favorite star ship or vessel from that TV show or movie. If you are a Star Trek fan, you may have picked the USS Enterprise (hopefully either the original or the 1701-D). If you love Star Wars, maybe you chose the triangular-shaped Imperial Star Destroyer. Or perhaps you?re a fan of the Cylon vs. human conflict in Battlestar Galactica, in which case you may have picked the Galactica herself. Okay, now take all of their lengths and add them together, end to end. All three of these massive science fiction icons only collectively could span 35% of the shortest space vessel on my countdown.

After many hours of research and studies (that maybe could have been spent doing homework) I have conglomerated the single most accurate countdown of massive science fiction spacecraft to date. I encountered two problems in the formation of this list: How to classify ?big?, and what really qualifies as a ?spacecraft?? As far as size goes, this countdown will be based solely upon the longest straight line that can be drawn end to end of the vessel; the length. Now it comes down to what the definition of a spacecraft is. For the purpose of this countdown, I have come up with three necessary qualifications that must be met for a ship to be considered for the list. They are as follows:

  • The spacecraft must be from a ?credible? TV show or movie, which has blueprints or schematics publicly available. This means that I will not be including novels, video games, or animated comics/shows (otherwise Warhammer 40k would take home all of the ribbons).
  • The vessel must be mobile and able to transport itself from one destination to another. This basically means that there are no space stations, ring-worlds, or Dyson spheres allowed in the competition.
  • The ship must not simply be a modified asteroid, planet, or moon. Sorry Phobos.

So, now that a spaceship has been defined, the question remains? which science-fiction spacecraft is the mother-ship of them all? The answer may (or may not) surprise you.

10) Varro Generational Ship

Image for postImage for post

Length: 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles)

Appearance: Star Trek Voyager (1999)

This very long stick of a ship was encountered by the crew of the Voyager in the 2370?s. They helped them repair their warp drives to continue their voyage home through the Delta Quadrant of the galaxy. The vessel is actually composed of multiple individual pods for the purpose of transporting a large number of people for a long time through the bleakness of space.

9) Voth City Ship

Image for postImage for post

Length: 9.8 kilometers (6.1 miles)

Appearance: Star Trek Voyager (1997)

Yes, another contender from Star Trek Voyager. But this ship is not only long; its massive! Encountered by the crew of the Voyager when the city ship used a powerful tractor beam to take the entire ship aboard, this immense shell of a craft could fit the volume of 3,500 Voyagers within her gaping hull. Not much was learned about the Voth in the series, other than that their technology was advanced and that their ships were huge.

8) Lexx

Image for postImage for post

Length: 10.0 kilometers (6.2 miles)

First Appearance: Lexx (1997)

Lexx is a 10,000 meter long bio-ship that, despite its amazing technology and size, somehow still manages to look like a gigantic? amenity? Joking aside, Lexx is a massive vessel. Haven?t heard of Lexx? Neither had I until i started doing research on the largest ships in sci-fi. This may be because Lexx only appeared in Great Britain and Canada, and never gained as much popularity as other sci-fi shows of its time. None the less, Lexx is a very lengthy ship with a very? interesting? shape.

7) Super Star Destroyer

Image for postImage for post

Length: 19.0 kilometers (11.8 miles)

First Appearance: Star Wars V (1980)

?It?s a trap!? Admiral Ackbar could not have exclaimed it better when he encountered the emperor?s Executor-class Super Star Destroyer. Clocking in at 19,000 meters, this ship dwarfs a typical Star Destroyer or rebel star ship, and with turbo-lasers and laser cannons mounted all across the hull, it is unmatched in strength as well. The term ?Super Star Destroyer? is actually used loosely throughout the Star Wars saga, and refers to a large selection of vessels, all of different classes, which are all around 19 km in length. The Executor class, however, is the longest and most powerful of them all.

6) Alien City Destroyer

Image for postImage for post

Length: 24.0 kilometers (14.9 miles)

Appearance: Independence Day (1996)

Whats 24 kilometers across and looks like a Frisbee? When Independence Day came out in 1996, it shattered the size scale for science fiction with its massive alien vessels. 36 of these massive saucers descended from space and hovered over Earth?s largest cities to destroy them (hence their names). The aliens were attempting to rid of all life on Earth to harvest its resources to sustain their ships. However, it would seem that through all of their advances in technology and science, these aliens couldn?t crack the code to computer programming. All it took was one good 20th century virus and the whole fleet of City Destroyers were brought down. Earth wins. The end.

5) Vorlon Planet Killer

Image for postImage for post

Length: 45.0 kilometers (28.0 miles)

First Appearance: Babylon 5 (1996)

This is the next best thing that destroys planets and isn?t a small moon! Tipping the scales at 45 kilometers in length, the Vorlon Planet Killer is truly an enormous vessel. Through all of humanity?s efforts in ridding of the Vorlon threat, only one of these gigantic vessels was ever destroyed. The others escaped into hyperspace. driving your car at 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) it would still take you 27 minutes to get from one end of the ship to the other! Now imagine that you work at the stern, and communications go out and you needed to tell the captain something?

4) Whale Probe

Image for postImage for post

Length: 74.0 kilometers (46.0 miles)

Appearance: Star Trek the Voyage Home (1986)

What happens when by the 23rd century all whales have gone extinct and a massive, metallic cylinder is emitting a dangerous energy field threatening the inhabitants of Earth demanding to speak to the deceased species? Time travel, transparent aluminum, and nuclear wessels, that?s what! The whale probe can be seen in Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home, dwarfing a Federation star base in the foreground as it threatens to eliminate Earth?s population unless it can speak to a Humpback whale. Naturally, Kirk and his crew travel through time to retrieve two whales from the past (because apparently that?s easier than just genetically cloning one from DNA) in order to drive the probe away. Why whales?! That?s Star Trek for you?

3) V?Ger

Image for postImage for post

Length: 98.0 kilometers (60.9 miles)

Appearance: Star Trek the Motion Picture (1979)

This simply huge spacecraft is renowned as the single largest ship in Star Trek. At nearly 100 kilometers in length (surrounded by an artificial nebula 2 AU in diameter), the Enterprise crew would not have stood a chance had they not found what it was the massive ship was looking for. So, what was it looking for? Its creator, of course. So then, what is V?Ger? Its in the name, but I?ll leave that to you if you want to find out. Mystery aside, this ship marked a very important milestone in digital graphics for movies in the late 70?s and early 80’s.

2) Death Star

Image for postImage for post

Length: 140 kilometers (87.0 miles)

First Appearance: Star Wars IV (1977)

That?s no moon indeed. And though Obi Wan later refers to the immense vessel as a ?space station?, it is indeed mobile and has the ability to travel from planet to planet; even if it is only to destroy them? The Death Star was initially constructed by the empire when the Jedi were first wiped out to solidify their tyranny throughout the galaxy. However, it was destroyed by pesky Luke Skywalker and his ability to use the Force. Why there is a tube that leads strait to the main power generator and when shot down destroys the entire station, one will never know. But one thing that is for certain is that the Death star truly is a monster of a spacecraft, station or otherwise. The vessel was then reconstructed (almost), only to be again destroyed by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This immense structure is number 2 on the largest sci-fi starships and there were TWO of them?! Go figure. At any rate, at 140 kilometers across, this mobile space station is (was?) a giant.

1) Alien Mother Ship

Image for postImage for post

Length: 800 kilometers (497.1 miles)

Appearance: Independence Day (1996)

What could possibly be larger than a small moon?! How about a medium sized moon? That is basically the size of the Mother Ship of the alien species that attacks Earth in the film Independence Day. This colossal vessel is nearly the diameter of Ceres, the largest asteroid in the solar system which, by the way, has enough gravity to pull itself into a sphere. If the Mother Ship were real and were composed of, say, steel, it would yield a similar gravity and mass to the asteroid. If hollowed out, this immense space faring vessel could fit 30 Death Stars within its gaping hull. Holy crap! They don?t call it the Mother Ship for nothing.


So there you have it, the largest star ships in science fiction. Hope you enjoyed!

Originally published at on October 10, 2015.


No Responses

Write a response