After the destruction of Alderaan by the first Death Star, how was that world's disappearance (and the deaths of all the people on it at the time) explained to the general populace of the galaxy?

I'm looking for the Empire's "official explanation".

  • 5
    "Alderaan accidentally left the coffee pot on overnight and the planet burned down. Nothing to see here, folks."
    – Wad Cheber
    Nov 8, 2015 at 16:10
  • The destruction of Alderaan was in exact accordance with the Tarkin Doctrine - and the Death Star was its manifestation. Trying to say "the Rebels did it" would run counter to that.
    – user12183
    Nov 8, 2015 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


Wookieepedia suggests that:

The Imperials blamed the Rebels

The Imperials attempted to pin the blame for Alderaan's destruction on the Rebels, keeping a small number of people loyal to the Empire; however, the ruse convinced few.

Unfortunately there isn't any source for this (although it's quite plausible to think they would)

That same page also indicates that, despite this explanation, many knew the truth that the Empire had done it:

The plan [to show off their might] drastically backfired, driving thousands of beings to the Alliance cause, even in the Core Worlds, and sending many planets in the Mid Rim into open rebellion. A number of Alderaanians serving in the Imperial military defected to the Rebel Alliance after learning of their homeworld's destruction; among the defectors was the TIE fighter pilot Tycho Celchu.

According to the Legends material Graveyard of Alderaan, it seems that the Empire placed scouts around the remnants of Alderaan to capture anyone who attempted to return there; partly to destroy the remaining Alderaanians, but also possibly so that anyone who visited there couldn't return to tell of the tale.

Based on all of this, I believe that the Empire's 'official' explanation was the Rebels did it. But whilst trying to reduce support for the Rebels, considering the Rebels knew that they hadn't done it, it was an attempt to show the power of the Empire to the Rebels. When using the Rebels as a scapegoat dismally failed though, it seems that they tried keeping it quiet, as I've suggested possibly supported by the establishment of scouts in the remnants of Alderaan.

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    Really? I mean, I see the wookipedia link and all, but that's a really disappointing explanation. It seems the whole point of the Death Star was as a fear engine, and you squandor that if you blame the Rebels. The Empire's PR arm should have said, "Yeah, we blew it up. Try to do anything about it and you'll end up the same way." Giving the rebels credit here just says to people, "Wow, if they can do that, maybe we've got a better chance of beating these guys than I thought. Where do I sign up?" Nov 8, 2015 at 5:25
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    The original plan probably was to own it; that's in line with what Tarkin states earlier ("fear will keep them in line - fear of this station", and comments about Dantooine not being an important enough target). Of course, as @SJuan76 points out, getting the Death Star destroyed so quickly afterwards would put a major crimp in that... Nov 8, 2015 at 13:33
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    Of course, the second Death Star was probably well under way (it would have to be - a project like that probably takes decades), so the loss of the first would be only a minor setback in the rule-by-fear campaign. Why build one when you can build two for twice the price? Nov 8, 2015 at 15:22
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    There is no propaganda problem with the deathstar being destroyed shortly after destroying Alderaan, if the Yavin system was remote and unpopulated like a proper rebel base should be. The Empire could simply deny that their superweapon was destroyed by the Rebels. And they might have been able to keep on bluffing until the second Deathstar was operational. They might simply say that some planets were coming close to being rebellious enough to be destroyed like Alderaan and they were considering whether to do so. Nov 8, 2015 at 23:16
  • 1
    @DVK I'd like to see what your canon source says. Please post your information.
    – Null
    Nov 9, 2015 at 4:36

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