The one used by Darth Maul did
Batman wrote:Cloaking devices are so rare that on the disappearance of the MF from sensors in ESB...the Imperials concluded that it couldn't have cloaked because no ship that small has a cloaking device. Which at least to me indicates that cloaking devices are far from unheard of in the Wars universe, they're just bulky (and presumably expensive). Pretty much everyone analyzing the Sluis Van fiasco or the siege of Coruscant during the Thrawn Trilogy (or the issue of the apparently shield-piercing turbolasers, haven't got the exact quotes handy) concluded cloaks of some kind were involved. Cloaking technology may not be as widespread (for whatever reasons) as it is in Trek, but it's neither unknown nor unexpected.
You're wrong in your assessment. Cloaks in SW are rare enough that they actually would be unexpected (if not unknown, which I never said or implied), because a) they need some unobtanium bullshit in their construction that is super rare (check the wiki
. There's no evidence the other
cloaks we've seen in Wars do.
, b) their limitations make them less effective due to their double-blind nature,
The cloak Thrawn
and later Palleon used was double blind. The one Anakin used in the Clone Wars cartoon was not
and c) despite this, Thrawn nevertheless used SW cloaks to great tactical effect in Heir to the Empire and The Last Command.
So? Cloaks were used to great tactical effect any number of times in Trek despite everybody and their tribble knowing the Romulans and Klingons had them. That's what cloaks are for
ST cloaks have neither limitation, which just means point c becomes a great deal more important.
Neither do all
Wars cloaks. The Maul cloak has the unobtainium weakness, and the Thrawn cloak the double blind (which is pathetically easy to work around, incidentally). Anakin's cloke from The Clone Wars had neither that I can recall.
In addition, TLC also said you need some kind of super rare sensor thing to defeat the cloaks which Thrawn had employed for the siege of Coruscant, and this was a major plot point.
Indeed. Which means they knew cloaks were involved in the first place
. If you don't expect
cloaks you neither develop gadgets designed to defeat them nor concoct plans to get hold of some.
Maybe I'm using 'expect' inaccurately here. I'm not trying to say the Imps will assume cloaked ships to be part of any specific
tactical situation, but strategically
they're very well aware of their existance.
One kind of cloak used during the Clone Wars can
Your other point about Captain Needa's assessment is countered by Maul's tiny little ship having a cloak as well, and it was a similar size to the Falcon. Meaning even SW cloaks can fit on small attack craft.
. A kind that, as you yourself pointed out, relied on a very rare material resource. Apparently, by the time of ESB, there's cloaks that are common enough to be considered an halfway plausible explanation for a ship vanishing off sensors but not suitable for a ship as small as the Falcon.