Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

As we all know the Death Star is spherical. I don't know if it generates gravity on its own or has a gravity generator, but that's not important. I think we have basically two scenarios:

  1. Gravity works the same way as Earth. If you are in the lower hemisphere, you are upside down, but that's normal for you.

    If that's the case, when would the gravity shift? What if you're taking an elevator, would it be same as in the Total Recall remake?

  2. Everyone has the same gravity. Same as if you were in one big house.

    Now what if the trench ran in the lower hemisphere. Would the stormtroopers in the turrets be upside down?

I accept any sort of canon.

share|improve this question
5  
Not to mention spaceships. I mean, how does gravity work on the Millennium Falcon? And what about the gravity on that tiny asteroid where they landed in ESB. – Mr Lister Jan 15 at 12:32
4  
Realistic gravity seems to be ignored in the Star Wars universe, e.g. everything is pulled down from the camera perspective. It seems even centrifugal force gets neglected in spaceships like the MF or even smaller vessels like A/Y/X-Wings. – Thomas Jan 15 at 12:55
22  
How does the Death Star gravity work? Very well, thank you. – Paul D. Waite Jan 15 at 13:39
3  
“when would the gravity shift? What if you're taking an elevator” — an elevator through the centre of the Death Star? They probably don’t have such a thing, given that it’s the size of a small moon. – Paul D. Waite Jan 15 at 13:41
3  
A sidenote - the Total Recall remake example is fairly unrealistic. The way the elevator was designed, they would have been in freefall the whole duration, rather than just for a few seconds at the core. It's a common misunderstanding of gravity and inertia, though... – Luaan Jan 15 at 16:02
up vote 59 down vote accepted

From the old West End Games D6 Roleplaying Game (Second Edition) supplement Death Star Technical Companion, Chapter Two: Technical Specifications, p. 16, right column:

Gravity within the battle station was handled by omni-directional gravity boosters built into the decks, walls and ceilings. These gravity boosters changed orientation as easily as flipping a switch, and they were designed to allow the gravity orientation to be altered from sector to sector, or even from corridor to corridor. While hangar bays imposed gravity perpendicular to the Death Star's core, adjoining corridors shifted the gravity orientation to coreward. In a situation where the gravity orientation changed from one section to the next, there were numerous warning signs. However, most gravity orientation transitions were accomplished by turbolifts, which employ gravity compensators oriented to the lift's floor. While the lift was in transit, it would rotate to match the orientation of the destination deck, while the compensators would keep the occupants perfectly comfortable and completely unaware that the gravity orientation had changed at all.

To go into the specifics of the question:

  1. Gravity does -- for the most part -- work as on Earth (or any other celestial body), and you are upside down in the lower hemisphere, or rather, Space is always above you (which is a good thing while, for instance, manning a turbolaser battery).

    • The gravtiy changes are carefully marked wherever they occur (near a hangar, probably also near the core or the superlaser maintenance ducts - otherwise those poor guys would have to climb a 120km (or 160km in DS-2) long ladder). Elevators (i.e. turbolifts) have their own gravity, so the capsule rotates but noone inside feels it, you just get on and off and maybe in between the gravity has changed orientation a few times, but you wouldn't even know.
  2. Only within a specific area do the people experience the same gravity.

share|improve this answer
24  
This is why I love this site; what a beautifully obscure source! – VapedCrusader Jan 15 at 14:04
2  
@VapedCrusader Fortunately I knew the info was in there, because I had asked myself the same question back in the day when I read it the first time, but it stlil took me a bit to dig up the book from the correct box in the attic... :P – BMWurm Jan 15 at 14:11
2  
is this technical companion part of the canon? – njzk2 Jan 15 at 15:51
3  
@Turn Perhaps there are also physics compensation devices? – cyberbit Jan 15 at 18:49
6  
@Turn: Artificial gravity isn't how physics works. Anyhow, people don't feel gravity or acceleration. What they feel is compression or expansion from acceleration. If a person were spinning really quickly, you could apply differential agrav to different portions of their bodies so centrifugal forces weren't felt (although they're still there). This applies extra loads on the turbolift, but that's fine. Also, slowly-rotating turbolifts wouldn't be noticeable -- they already use this fact in some motion simulators. – MichaelS Jan 15 at 21:12

This is an excerpt from the excellent Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy: The Ultimate Guide to the Incredible Locations of Episodes IV, V, and VI factbook. As you can see, gravity on the Death Star is generated locally. On the outermost layers of the vessel, the orientation is toward the centre. Once you go more than a few layer inside, the gravity is then stacked top to bottom.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.