Just before the Battle of Yavin, Vader says

This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion.

Now, just before Obi-Wan died, Death Star was used (against Alderaan). As a reloading would take at least a day, how could they really destroy the rebel moon?

  • 9
    by waiting at least a day?
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 20:36
  • 4
    It could've easily taken over a day for the good and bad guys to get to Yavin after Obi-Wan's death. There's a lot of time skips in that movie they don't bother to give exact durations of.
    – Ixrec
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 20:38
  • 3
    The issue being that Vader himself states it's one and the same great day.
    – Ghanima
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 21:07
  • 4
    Maybe we're confusing an Alderaan day, Yavin day, and Earth day? Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 21:47
  • 4
    The quote is "This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion."
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:37

3 Answers 3


Based on the answer to the question you referenced, and the question of why the Death Star had to wait for a clear shot, I think you're focusing on the wrong details of the quote you refer to.

After firing a blast, though, the Imperial engineers had to recharge the reactor, which took at least 24 standard hours. Though the energy output of this blast could be scaled to fire at smaller targets such as capital ships, as was the case during the Rebel assault on the second Death Star, the two major instances in which the superlaser was fired were at full power at planetary bodies.

We see during the Battle of Endor that the Death Star can fire more than twice in 24 hours, it just needs to be used at a lower setting. It's entirely possible that the Imperials didn't intend to use the Death Star at full output, and only enough to destroy the Rebel Base. This would explain why the Imperials needed to wait to get a clear shot.

This is backed up by the Death Star Tech's dialog during the battle as they approach. They first mention approaching the moon, but then start referring only to the base itself.

Orbiting the planet at maximum velocity. The moon with the Rebel base will be in range in thirty minutes.


VOICE (over speaker)
Rebel base, three minutes and closing


Rebel base, one minute and closing.


Rebel base, thirty seconds and closing.


Rebel base, in range.

You may fire when ready.

  • i was just thinking this on the way to work, they only need to blow up a base not the whole moon.
    – Himarm
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 15:49
  • "Still, if there were any Rebel pilots left after the destruction of Yavin 4, he [Tarkin] would make them pay for the damage." - Star Wars: A New Hope: Official Novelisation
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 19:39
  • I've reluctantly downvoted. Although it's a clever answer, it's factually incorrect.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 19:40
  • 1
    It's factually correct when examining the only content that is 100% undoubtedly canon - the movies.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 20:12
  • 1
    And for all we know, once the laser was fully charged, he'd blow up the whole planet just for good measure, if only to wipe out any rebels attempting to escape.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 20:16

What are the facts?

  1. Alderaan is destroyed by the Death Star.

  2. The incomplete (though claimed to be fully operational) Death Star II is shown firing its primary weapon in rapid succession in the battle over Endor in RotJ.

  3. Obi-Wan dies the same day as the Death Star participates in the battle of Yavin, according to Vader.

  4. The Death Star has recharged and is capable of destroying the moon on which the rebel base is located.

What else do we know or suspect?

  1. Right before Alderaan's destruction, Leia announces that the rebel base is on Dantooine.
  2. The empire sends scouts to Dantooine to determine if this is the case.

Governor Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration - but don't worry; we will deal with your rebel friends soon enough.

Officer Cass: Our scout ships have reached Dantooine.

  1. Both Tarkin and the Rebels act as if they the moon is going to be destroyed when the Death Star is in range, and both have detailed schematics of the Death Star and should know its capabilities.

According to the movies, their is no plot inconsistencies here. Whether or not it takes time to recharge the primary weapon, and how long after Alderaan is destroyed before Luke arrives on the Death Star is inconsequential.

Now taking in the single source of now worthless expanded universe cannon, should it take the Death Star 24 hours to recharge the weapon to destroy a planet, then logically it is over 24 hours between the destruction of Alderaan and the battle of Yavin. This time line also matches up with other EU works which give the destruction of Alderaan and the battle of Yavin almost a 2 week window in which they happened.

  • 3
    On point #2, that wasn't the Death Star, it was the Death Star II. IT appears to be radically different (larger, for instance).
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 21:49
  • 1
    The Death Star II in the old EU continuity still had a long recharge time for destroying a planet (still 24 hours, IIRC), the recharge for a low-power starcruiser-destroying shot was much shorter; only 1 minute, I think.
    – zstewart
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 5:46

Alderaan was probably destroyed more than 24 hours before the planned destruction of Yavin IV.

  1. Han Solo, et al. are en route to Alderaan when it is destroyed.
  2. Some time later, they land, shoot up the place (rescue the princess, etc)
  3. Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi is killed.
  4. Han Solo, et al. fight the TIE Fighters, and escape to the Rebel Base

It is more than possible that the sequence of events here take more than 24 hours in-universe

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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