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The Swordfish and Other Starships of Cowboy Bebop

The starships of Cowboy Bebop are practically characters in their own right. Let's meet a few of them.

by hurricanespence
Dec 3, 2015 9:51 PM | 1,700 views

Cowboy Bebop - Cast

Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 science fiction anime series that first aired in 1998. The series revolves around a group of bounty hunters and misfits traveling through space. As you might expect, the series involves a fair number of starships. Let’s take a look at several of the prominent ships in the series.

The Bebop

Cowboy Bebop - The Bebop
The Bebop in space

We have to begin, of course, with the Bebop. The Bebop is the primary starship in the show, and it serves as both transportation and lodging for most of the characters. Despite its use in the show, the Bebop is actually a converted interplanetary fishing trawler. Jet Black purchased the ship second hand. While he has made some minor modifications to the engines and communications, the ship retains most of its original features. The Bebop may not be in the best shape, but its lived-in look makes it feel like a real place with real character. It helps that the characters decorate the ship with their own personal touches to make it feel like home.

Cowboy Bebop - Bonsai
Jet even has a room to tend Bonsai trees on the Bebop

The Swordfish II

Cowboy Bebop - The Swordfish II

Spike Speigel’s personal ship, the Swordfish II, is a one-man spacecraft that was originally designed for racing. This model has been equipped with weapons and prepared for dogfighting. The Swordfish II now sports machine guns, a plasma cannon, and can even arm missiles when needed. As you’d expect, the Swordfish II is very fast and maneuverable both in atmosphere and in space. Because of its upgraded engines, the Swordfish II is able to take off with very little launch space and change direction quickly in flight. The Swordfish II’s wings also fold to help it fit in the hanger of the Bebop. The Swordfish II’s also has a cockpit pod that can separate from the ship for limited space flight.

The Red Tail

Cowboy Bebop - The Red Tail

Like the Swordfish II, the Red Tail is a single pilot fighter used primarily for dogfighting. The Red Tail is the personal starship of Faye Valentine. The Red Tail is well armed with two miniguns, missiles, and robotic pincers. It also has an auto pilot mode that is activated by a button on Faye’s bracelets. While it may not be quite as maneuverable as the Swordfish II, it packs quite a punch. The Red Tail is also capable of vertical take-off and landing.

The Hammer Head

Cowboy Bebop - The Hammerhead

Lastly, we have the Hammer Head. The Hammer Head is a small towing ship owned by Jet Black. Unlike the other two small craft, it has no armaments. Instead, it is outfitted with a tow chain that can be fired like a harpoon. The Hammer Head is capable of landing on both land and water, and its wings are folded so that it takes up minimal space.

So there’s a quick look at several of the starships from Cowboy Bebop. The ships are often characters in their own right, and they very strongly reflect their owners.

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Related Database Entries

Anime: Cowboy Bebop
Manga: Cowboy Bebop
Characters: Spike SpiegelFaye ValentineJet Black