If there is one thing that Old Republic ship designers can be accused of, it is the ongoing belief that "bigger is better," though they are in no way the only ones who have fallen prey to this trend in starship construction. Leading the way in building the galaxy's largest warships, the Old Republic shipyards are perhaps best known for the Imperator class of Star Destroyers, better known as the Imperial-I Class Star Destroyer. Easily dwarfing most other capital ships, this version of the mighty Star Destroyer is designed for intimidation as much as actual combat. Bristling with turbolaser and ion cannon batteries, there are few ships in existence that can even begin to claim the ability to succeed in direct, one-on-one combat with an Imperator-class vessel. While originally used by Old Republic forces in large-scale battles during the Clone Wars, it is now largely used in garrison and force-projection missions by the Imperial Navy. In such missions, fear of the the Imperial Navy is used to keep the local systems in line; that fear largely stems from the sight of Imperator-class Star Destroyers hanging in orbit, their characteristic dagger shape knifing through the night sky.
Far beyond mere form though, that dagger shape is a carefully studied and refined decision on the part of the ship designers. Weapon batteries are carefully fitted along the length of the vessel, enabling wide fields of fire and devastating broadside salvos in the chaos of battle. While not without its flaws, like the inability to target directly forward along the hull, this configuration excels in the three-dimensional medium that is space, and allows the Imperator to bring almost all of its weaponry to bear on a single target merely by tipping its nose "down" to allow the weapon batteries the necessary angle needed to bring them all into their optimum firing positions.
With a full compliment of fighters and ground assault troops, the Imperator-Class Star Destroyer has a crew of thousands and is fully capable of operating independent of fleet support craft for extended periods. Often left behind as a peace-keeping and garrison ship, the Imperator-Class routinely depended on its ability to strike at incoming vessels with overwhelming firepower. The scale of this firepower posed a problem however, as the vast majority of this firepower is in the form of heavy gun batteries. Several times throughout its deployment history, the Imperator has been overwhelmed by swarms of heavy fighters. Unable to track the swift moving targets effectively, the heavy guns are largely useless unless engaging a ship larger than a small freighter. Similarly, the rear portion of the ship is comparatively poorly defended, leaving the Imperator-Class vulnerable to flanking attacks where the enemy can get behind it. Standard withdrawal procedures for fleet actions require ships to to retreat in phases, covering each other to minimize exposure and loses.