Easily mistaken by fresher pilots as a member of the YT freighter series, the Rho-class shuttle is an older design that precedes the Lambda-class shuttle by several decades. The design discrepancies between the two are enough to throw most ship designers off, most of whom speculate that the technologies and schematics which transferred to the Lambda design were primarily related to internal systems rather than external appearance. Its strong resemblance to the YT series of freighters is a source of mystery and various theories, some of which involve various ideas of corporate theft, company betrayal or business espionage.
The Rho-class shuttle was primarily produced in the days of the Old Republic, designed to be a fast, light cargo and personnel transport. Its design was not intended to regard aesthetics, contrary to many popular lines of freighters at the time, but utility. For its time, it was quite fast and efficient and while it maintains a modest pace in today's market, it is generally outperformed by newer shuttles and freighters. However, it still finds a market amongst nostalgic traders and smugglers, as its fair speed and cargo capacity still render it capable of performing many roles.