Death Star 2 is protected by a shield generated on the sanctuary moon of Endor.

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This opens up a tactical risk of the shield generator being attacked on the ground.

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If the shield was generated by the Death Star itself, that risk would be mitigated. Is there any practical or technical explanation (any level of canonicity, and fine if it's Star Wars tech mumbo jumbo) for why it has to be generated from the moon?


Because it was still being built

As alluded to on Wookieepedia

Endor was selected due to the massive concentration of strategic metals on the planets Dor, Eloggi, and Megiddo in the system, but the actual construction site was in geosynchronous orbit around the forested Sanctuary Moon, protected by a powerful shield generator on the moon's surface

So, whilst the Death Star was being constructed, they needed to use external shield generators on the moon of Endor below.

Note that, by the time of Return of the Jedi, the Emperor tells us that the Death Star II was fully operational, meaning that, as Hypnosifl points out in the comment below, that it was more of a ruse than anything else. But the point remains that originally it was used because the Death Star II was still being constructed.

  • But we do know progress on the Death Star was further along then it was made to appear, since the Emperor said it was actually "fully operational". Possibly, putting the shield generator on Endor was part of his plan to lure the rebellion into a trap that would devastate their forces, making the Death Star appear more vulnerable to a full-scale attack.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 20 '15 at 23:47
  • @Hypnosifl agreed, but I think we can safely say that the original intention was for keeping the Death Star safe before it was fully operational - might add that into my answer actually Oct 20 '15 at 23:48
  • 1
    I am fully convinced that by "fully operational" the emperor really meant "the main weapon" (that is, the station is fully capable of wiping out the rebel fleet). It is plainly clear that the Death Star II is not "complete"; it's missing half of its structure. To me, the station shields (and perhaps propulsion) were not ready yet. Otherwise the destruction of the generators upon Endor would not have made any difference. Oct 21 '15 at 4:51

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