The Neutron Star-class Cruiser was designed in the waning days of the Old Republic by Rendili Stardrive. The ship, which was designed as an all-purpose light cruiser intended for use as a transport escort, combined the armament and defensive systems of a small combat vessel with the modular design and cargo space of a small freighter. The Neutron Star-class could be produced easily and cheaply, and they quickly began to proliferate throughout the galaxy. Because of their role and commonality, many spacers began referring to the vessels as Bulk Cruisers. The name stuck, and the original name of the class has been all but lost to history.
While more capable ships exist to fill all of the roles of the Bulk Cruiser, the ship is still widely used throughout the galaxy both for its affordability and its modular design, which allows the cruiser to be modified to meet the specific needs of its owner. Bulk Cruisers have been turned into light carriers, medical vessels, and pure cargo haulers. The ship is popular with many planetary governments who do not have the means to field more sophisticated vessels. Larger governments maintain their Bulk Cruisers mainly as a rear-echelon patrol vessel, guarding low-threat locations and transport convoys against pirates and other small, non-military threats.