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This question already has an answer here:

Inspired by this question, how long did it take to build the original Death Star? Much of the dialogue in Episode IV indicates that the battle station is not "operational", but no mention is mead of how long it actually took to construct the station.

One could deduce that it took 19 years to build, since the construction begins at the end of Episode III and is only just operational near the beginning of Episode IV, which is 19 years later. However, it is equally as possible that the station has been built and ready for a while, but has simply not yet been used.

How long did the actual construction of the original Death Star take?

marked as duplicate by Wad Cheber, Jack B Nimble, Community Nov 3 '15 at 17:45

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Already answered here: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/96624/44025 - Basically, about 30 years from design to completion, with at least 19 years of actual construction work. – Wad Cheber Nov 3 '15 at 17:33
  • The earlier question was hard to find because the tags weren't very good. I've retagged it to avoid similar problems in the future. – Wad Cheber Nov 3 '15 at 17:39
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    @WadCheber Yep, definitely answers my question (and probably the one I linked). I swear I searched, by the way. – Dave Johnson Nov 3 '15 at 17:45
  • No worries. I wouldn't have been able to find it if I didn't know it existed, and I only knew it existed because I wrote the answer myself. The search function needs improvement, and to the extent that it works now, it only works if the question you are looking for has the proper tags. The earlier question didn't have the proper tags, so only someone who knew about it could have found it. – Wad Cheber Nov 3 '15 at 17:48
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As Wookieepedia states here

With the concept completed and the plans finalized, Lemelisk took the plans to Despayre, where construction would finally be completed after twenty years of hard work and the death of many individuals. In celebration, the Death Star turned its massive weapon on Despayre itself, completely destroying it.

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