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The Galactic Empire's ultimate terror weapon, the Death Stars were battle stations over one hundred kilometers in diameter and mounting a directed superlaser weapon capable of completely destroying an Earth-sized planet with a single shot. Planetary shields that could have held off entire Imperial fleets were ineffective against such a weapon. The first Death Star held 27,048 officers, 774,576 crew including troopers, pilots and crewers, 400,000 support workers and over 25,000 stormtroopers. It also carried assault shuttles, Skipray Blastboats, strike cruisers, drop ships, land vehicles, and support ships as well as 7,200 TIE Fighters. For surface protection it sported 200 turbolaser batteries, 2,500 ion cannons and at least 700 tractor beam projectors, plus, of course, the superlaser.


Two such Death Stars were featured in the original movie trilogy, the first in A New Hope, and the second in Return of the Jedi. The designs for the Death Star are visible in Attack of the Clones; early construction of a Death Star is seen in Revenge of the Sith.


There is some disagreement about the size of both Death Stars. According to some Expanded Universe sources and starwars.com, the first death star was 120 kilometers in diameter. This however, conflicts with the Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections fact book, which states that the first Death Star was 160 kilometers in diameter. There is similar disagreement about the size of the second Death Star seen in Return of the Jedi. Starwars.com states that the second death star is 160km in diameter. This is in contrast to the 900 km diameter figure stated in the Inside the Worlds of the Original Trilogy fact book. Detailed scaling of the stations in the movies also suggest the 160 km, and 900 km figures, respectively. DK nonfiction is considered canon by Lucasfilm Limited. Also, the starwars.com Databank lacks frequent or comprehensive updating, and the DK books were published after the Databank entries were created, which explains the discrepancy.


The initial design of the first Death Star was done by the Geonosians. They gave the designs of their "Great Weapon" to Count Dooku to prevent the designs from falling into Jedi hands. Dooku took the designs back to Coruscant and gave them to Darth Sidious and the "Great weapon" was captured by the Empire after the Empire was formed. Raith Sienar also had plans for a Death Star-like battle station. However, he later let Grand Moff Tarkin take credit for the design since he no longer had interest in the project.


In A New Hope, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker mistake the station for a small moon while following a lone TIE fighter. After escaping from the Death Star, the plans to the station, stolen by Rebel spies (according to the LucasArts video games, a secret signal interceptions asteroid, as well as Kyle Katarn), are transported by Princess Leia (with help from Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO) to Rebel leaders. Luke Skywalker pilots an X-Wing starfighter through a trench-like indentation on the surface of the Death Star, evading a pursuing Darth Vader long enough to launch a pair of proton torpedo down a thermal exhaust port that reaches right down into the "reactor core", causing a chain reaction to destroy the battle station.


In Return of the Jedi, Bothan spies steal the plans to the second Death Star, unaware that their theft was orchestrated by Emperor Palpatine. General Crix Madine and Admiral Ackbar devise a plan for its destruction. Han Solo leads a team to the forest moon of Endor to destroy its shield generator, while group of fighters and the Millennium Falcon piloted by Lando Calrissian fly into the centre of the ship through a narrow maze of pipes and destroy the reactor directly, rushing out in just enough time to escape the ensuing explosion.


One drawback of the original design was the power systems. The first Death Star's reactor required one full day to generate enough energy for a full power shot. However, even low power shots were capable of massive destruction on a planetary scale. The second Death Star had redesigned systems and was capable of firing once every few minutes. It also had improved targeting computers, allowing it to fire the weapon at capital ships.


The second Death Star corrected several flaws of the original design. The two-meter exhaust vent that doomed the first station was replaced with millions of millimeter wide tubes, each designed to seal if excess energy was detected. The second station also boasted far more turbolaser batteries with redesigned targeting systems, allowing them to target starfighters more easily. The greatest concentration of turbolasers was located near the Emperor's throne tower.


Expanded Universe

In the early production of the original movie, the hollow dish was designed to be on the equator, but then it was decided to be on the 'northern' hemisphere. However this old design can still be seen in the grid plan animations seen in the movie. This is because the animation was created before the designer decided to change it. This is a blooper, since the original plan in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones shows the 'later' form.


At the same time of the first Death Star's construction, Sienar was designing a battlestation (without a superlaser) of similar size and prestige as the Geonosian/Imperial superweapon. The best elements of both were apparently merged together with final detail work taking place in the secret Maw Cluster on Kessel. This laboratory completed a scaled-down prototype that was later destroyed by the New Republic.


One of the primary designers of the Death Star was an engineer named Bevel Lemelisk. Lemelisk worked with the Geonosians to convert Sienar's Expeditionary Battle Planetoid into a superlaser-armed battlestation, and later designed more Imperial superweapons in the Maw Installation before overseeing the Death Star's construction at the planet Despayre.


Durga the Hutt also built a small version with only the central laser core and a small living quarters, which was destroyed in the asteroid field around Hoth. This was known as the Darksaber but shoddy construction techniques meant that this attempt was an abject failure even before its destruction.


Many of the Star Wars games are concerned with the Death Star's destruction, or the theft, protection, and transmission of its plans by the Rebel Alliance, and also the Battle of Yavin.


Death Star


The Death Star was the code name of an unspeakably powerful and horrific weapon developed by the Empire. The immense space station carried a weapon capable of destroying entire planets. The Death Star was to be an instrument of terror, meant to cow treasonous worlds with the threat of annihilation. While the massive station is evidence of the evil that was the Galactic Empire, it was also proof of the New Order's greatest weakness -- the belief that technology and terror were superior to the will of oppressed beings fighting for freedom.

The Death Star was a battle station the size of a small moon. It had a formidable array of turbolasers and tractor beam projectors, giving it the firepower of greater than half the Imperial starfleet. Within its cavernous interior were legions of Imperial troops and fightercraft, as well as all manner of detention blocks and interrogation cells. The Death Star was spherical, and dark gray in color. Located on the Death Star's northern hemisphere was a concave disk housing the station's main laser weapon.


The brainchild of Grand Moff Tarkin, the Death Star was developed in secret. Rebel Alliance spies were nonetheless able to learn of the weapon's existence, and stole vital technical schematics from guarded Imperial vaults. These desperate spies transmitted this data to Rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, who stored the plans in R2-D2's memory systems.


In a brutal display of the Death Star's power, Grand Moff Tarkin targeted its prime weapon at the peaceful world of Alderaan. Leia Organa, an Imperial captive at the time, was forced to watch as the searing laser blast split apart her beloved world, turning the planet and its populace into orbital ash and debris.


Using the stolen technical data, Alliance tacticians were able to pinpoint a crucial flaw in the Death Star's design. A small ray-shielded thermal exhaust port led directly from the surface of the station into the heart of its colossal reactor. If the port could be breached by proton torpedoes, then the resulting chain reaction would destroy the station.


The Rebel Alliance boldly launched its available starfighter forces against the station. The Imperials were so confident in the Death Star's might that they never considered the Rebel fighters a viable threat. After all, the station was designed to withstand a full frontal assault from large capital ships. At first, the Empire didn't even launch TIE fighters to counter the attack.


With the aid of Han Solo, the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the power of the Force, Luke Skywalker was able to successfully hit the small target, and triggered the Death Star's demise.




Death Star 2



Within three years of the Death Star's demise, the Galactic Empire again proved its evil nature with the construction of a second Death Star in a remote region of space. Fortunately for the galaxy, the Empire never completed this monstrosity. Word of its construction was spread through the Rebel ranks by Bothan spies. The Alliance was able to pinpoint the exact location of Death Star's construction, and mount a pre-emptive strike to destroy the station.

The leaked information was all a ruse. The scheming Emperor Palpatine engineered the Rebellion's discovery of the Death Star in the hopes of trapping the growing Rebel fleet. The second Death Star would not be as vulnerable as the Rebels believed.


To ensure that the Death Star would destroy the lured Alliance fleet, Palpatine entrusted the supervision of its final phase of construction to his Sith apprentice, Lord Darth Vader. Vader motivated the Death Star's commander, Moff Jerjerrod, to see that the battle station was operational when the Emperor arrived for his inspection tour.


The second Death Star was not a complete sphere. Though much of the battle station's recognizable shape was visible, there were huge sections of exposed superstructure and visible skeleton. To protect the half-completed and immobile station during its construction, the Empire projected an immense deflector shield from the nearby forest moon of Endor. The shield was strong enough to protect any breach from both capital and starfighter-class ships.


The Alliance sent a commando team to land on the moon and deactivate the shield generator while the Rebel fleet emerged from hyperspace to destroy the station. Unlike the previous Death Star, whose reactor core was accessible only from a two-meter wide exhaust port, the second Death Star's heart had to be destroyed by actually flying into the superstructure and detonating the collosal power plant.


The commando team was waylaid by Imperials and the Rebel fleet arrived to find the deflector shield intact. Worse yet, the superlaser was operational, and began destroying Rebel Mon Calamari cruisers with each blast. General Lando Calrissian came up with a daring and foolhardy tactic to engage the Imperial fleet at point-blank range, thus limiting the Death Star's available targets.


Aided by the native Ewoks of Endor, the Rebels were able to infiltrate and destroy the shield generator complex. With the shield down, General Calrissian led the Alliance starfighters into the inner recesses of the Death Star. There, he and Wedge Antilles loosed a volley of ordnance that began an immense fireball that tore apart the station.


Emperor Palpatine's body was consumed in the explosion. The Imperial fleet never recovered from the fiasco. What was to be the Rebel Alliance's demise instead turned into the death of the Empire. As firey fragments of the battle station burned away in Endor's atmosphere, the celebratory cheers of freedom rang throughout the forests, and indeed, the entire galaxy.


The second Death Star's size ballooned to 160 kilometers in diameter, larger than the original, and featured a superlaser of greater power. Not only could this prime weapon deliver a more devastating blast, but it could fire more often and with greater accuracy.


The second Death Star, if completed, would have featured over 30,000 turbolaser batteries, 7,500 laser cannons, 5,000 ion cannons and 768 tractor beams.

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I forgot to post the question:


If the Rebels Destroy the first Death Star, As we can see there is the Trench Run technique, will the second, more powerfull, deathstar be a possible next stage or will we only be able to construct the original version of the behemoth??

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  • 1 month later...
Well the DS2 was constructed after Leminsk modified the designs to allow many small exhaust ports actross the sphere instead of the inital ones. That would allow more stuff to be consturcted and could lead to in the inclusion of other units such as the ESD and Sovereign.
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  • 2 months later...

i have a doubt about DS2 vulnerability to starfighters

"The second Death Star corrected several flaws of the original design. The two-meter exhaust vent that doomed the first station was replaced with millions of millimeter wide tubes, each designed to seal if excess energy was detected." Ok that protected it from trench runs... but the fighters could actually flight directly to its reactor!!!... o this was possible because it wasn´t finished?

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Exactly, so this was possible because the Emperor got all hyped up that he would win but in the end he failed since the Rebel team beat the odds somehow. Yes I Know they destroyed the Shield bunker at Endor but that was their fault for undergaurding that place also.
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Exactly, so this was possible because the Emperor got all hyped up that he would win but in the end he failed since the Rebel team beat the odds somehow. Yes I Know they destroyed the Shield bunker at Endor but that was their fault for undergaurding that place also.

With all his forsight, the Emperor did not know that Ewoks would rise and turn the tide. Without those little fuzzies, his plan would have worked to perfection.

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