The NRSD Crusader was a Republic-class Star Destroyer in the New Republic's service, and the flagship of the Second Fleet. It is known for its consistent involvement in territorial battles in the Core Worlds and other New Republic territories, having been present at each of the several battles (since its commission) for control of Coruscant, Chandrila, Sullust, Corellia, and Dac, among other systems.
Crusader was commissioned in 8 ABY as part of the Knights of the Republic construction plan, which also included such starships as Vindicator, Templar, and Challenger. It served sparingly in various small endeavours and campaigns until 11 ABY, when it was placed under the command of Admiral Doril Farnsworth and became flagship of the New Republic Second Fleet. Its home port was moved to Orbital Station Paladin in the Calamari system.
Crusader and her fleet had garnered a fair amount of prestige during the campaigns that propelled Peshk Vry'lya into office, but returned from the Fourth Battle of Coruscant to cries of incompetence from the Senate and the general public. A number of deserters served to further tarnish Second Fleet's reputation, until a successful effort at the Battle of Bothawui distracted most parties from the ship's recent embarassment.
The Crusader then fell out of the public eye for a number of months as it repaired and underwent a crew rotation. The destroyer finally managed to regain nationalist favor in 13 ABY, after the Fifth Battle of Coruscant returned the iconic city-world to the Republic's hands. A series of convoy attacks and deep-space engagements against HIMS Conqueror did little to sway the tides of war in the Republic's favor, but nevertheless kept the war effort and Second Fleet in high regard on Republic-aligned worlds.
Admiral Farnsworth's retirement from the Navy saw a change in Second Fleet politics, with its new CO, Admiral Degger Balico, choosing to command from OS Paladin, and leave the field command of the fleet to the Crusader's new Captain Tacks Renaan Hyurr. A number of weeks after this decision was announced, Admiral Balico died of a heart attack and saw the swift ascension of most Crusader officers, with Hyurr taking command of the fleet. Command of the Crusader fell to its Wing Commander and former champion swoop racer, Captain Moralis Rodriga. The pilot was transferred to the Republic Navy and promoted a rank, making Rodriga the youngest flagship commander in New Republic history and beginning a noticeable trend wherein most of the officers aboard Crusader are significantly younger than average.
With Rodriga, already a bit of a media conundrum, came his eccentricities, and the overall atmosphere aboard Crusader became almost immediately both less formal and more strict. The media ate it up, with IGN Calamari running a series of "a day in the life" shorts on its crew. For a very brief period, Crusader was a symbol of the Republic. This began to change within months of Rodriga's command.
It is possible that Rodriga's loss of his adrenaline-fueled pilot mentality contributed to the destroyer's return to normalcy, but more likely that a crew of over eleven thousand was simply unable to maintain such a level of overindulgent enthusiasm. Shortly after this draining loss of steam, the Crusader commanded several crippling Republic defeats, all of which resulted in the loss of one or more systems to the Empire. By the end of the Imperial Blitzkrieg, Crusader's morale had hit a remarkable low, its crew size was cut by a quarter, and Rodriga had entered a trademark depression.
Aside from recon and bureaucracy, Second Fleet became largely a defensive force for the several months to follow, with Rodriga attempting to send it on more than one irrationally dangerous mission before being called off by Hyurr. Once the security of its station had been established, the Crusader resumed small engagements and offensive operations in the systems which had recently fallen, with one major assault on Sullust failing entirely and resulting in the loss of Crusader's sister ship, the NRSD Templar, to capture.
Successful offense finally returned to the Crusader a number of weeks later, when Second Fleet lured the HIMS Conqueror into a trap deep in unclaimed space. Conqueror's command bridge was destroyed, an act for which Rodriga is rumored to have paid a large sum of money to one or more combatants. Conqueror itself was almost destroyed, but managed to escape to asylum around Etti IV, where the Republic Second Fleet patiently awaited for its prey to depart.
About one week after arriving at Etti IV, Imperial commandos infiltrated the Crusader while in port and proceeded to the starboard gun batteries. Under orders from the devious Imperial commander, Danik Kreldin, the commandos opened fire on the Imperial fleet, thus allowing the Imperials to counter-attack and thereby spark the Second Battle of Etti IV.
The Crusader was the target of heavy Imperial bombardment during the course of the battle, and after being hit by the Conqueror herself she was destroyed, shortly after Rodriga ordered an evacuation. Former New Republic General Beaubos "Skeezix" Calhoun was killed during the collision.
Second Battle of Mon Calamari
Battle of Kappa
Third Battle of Kessel
Ambushing the Crusader
Fourth Battle of Coruscant
Battle of Bothawui
Fifth Battle of Coruscant
Second Battle of Chandrila
Second Battle of Mon Calamari
Fourth Battle of Sullust
Second Battle of Etti IV
|Republic-class Star Destroyer|
| NRSD Chancellor | NRSD Crusader | NRSD Challenger | NRSD Vindicator | NRSD Templar