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The Starkiller operates by:

Draining the energy from a nearby star, collecting it within the volume of a planet, then using that energy to power a projectile/energy weapon of some sort.

We see a lot of crazy tech in Star Wars. FTL, lightsabers, blasters, death stars, etc. However, the Starkiller is something wholly different.

Mass and energy are the same thing (e=mc2). If you siphon off the mass of a star, convert it to energy, then store it, it will have profound effects on gravity. It is possible you just created a black hole and, if you didn't create a black hole, you just increased the gravitational effects on the planet by orders of magnitude. The fact that the planet doesn't implode, and that people on its surface suffer no gravitational effect of the transfer of mass/energy, suggests a mind-bending mastery over the forces of gravity.

I'm curious whether the star wars canon ever mentions the ability of anyone to create/weaponize singularities or to otherwise manipulate gravity at a solar-system level scale. This could either be through the force or through technology.

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    I think your basic premise about what would happen according to real science is wrong (if the sun were compressed to become a black hole its gravitational pull on the Earth wouldn't be any stronger or weaker as mentioned here, and the page also mentions that the Sun would have to be compressed to a diameter of about 6 km before it became a black hole, while I think the diameter of the Starkiller base was a lot larger). I'd recommend cutting out the intro part and just leaving the question about star wars canon. – Hypnosifl Dec 22 '15 at 5:17
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    @Hypnosifl: Err, but isn't the difference in this example the fact that a star is essentially transferred, somehow, to inside of an already existing planet? I'm pretty sure that the inhabitants of that planet would notice something different. – Ellesedil Dec 22 '15 at 5:28
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    The midichlorians in the base hold the energy. – Cameron MacFarland Dec 22 '15 at 6:03
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    I think this is a misinterpretation. The Starkiller is powered by energy taken from the sun, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it takes all of the sun's energy, never mind the entire mass-energy equivalent. (They did fire the thing twice after all, and when we saw the charging process, the sun went dark but didn't disappear.) – Harry Johnston Dec 22 '15 at 6:27
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    As is usually the case when people analyze star wars physics, don't think too hard about it. The coolest technologies always bend our universe's physics and this is probably one of those cases. – Hatandboots Dec 22 '15 at 7:07
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Actually, your assumption in your first poster is 100% wrong.

It does use the energy of the star, but NOT for the weapon itself - it fires using the energy of "Dark Energy", as we see in the dialog between Ackbar and Finn (quoting from Novelization):

“As near as I understand it,” Finn continued, “enormous arrays of specially designed collectors use the power of a sun to attract and send dark energy to a containment unit at the core of the planet, where it is held and built up inside that containment unit until the weapon is ready to fire.”
“Impossible,” Ackbar insisted. “Although we know there is more dark energy in the universe than anything else, and that it exists everywhere around us, it is so diffuse that it can barely be detected. Let alone concentrated.” Finn persisted, despite the discomfort he felt at disagreeing with someone of Ackbar’s rank and experience. “It can be, and it is,” he responded with certainty.
Statura, at least, seemed ready to believe. “If the engineering could be worked out,” he observed, “one would have access to an almost literally infinite source of energy.”

So, this is entirely new "physics", having nothing to do with the star, or E=MC2


Also, to address your further questions:

  • I'm curious whether the star wars canon ever mentions the ability of anyone to create/weaponize singularities or to otherwise manipulate gravity at a solar-system level scale

    Not in Disney canon. But EU/Legends canon has Celestials who were indeed doing engineering on Galactic scale:

    The Celestials were known to have created a number of projects that took place near Corellia, Kessel, and other sites in the eastern galactic disc.[9] Notable achievements of this race included assembling the Corellian system,[2] the Vultar system,[2] the Hapes Cluster, the Kathol Rift, and the Maw black-hole cluster.1 (all sources and citations are EU/Legends level, on Wookiepedia) ...

    Thus it was generally accepted by researchers that the Corellian system been assembled at some point[2] from pre-existing planets that were brought together by a combination of buried planetary repulsors and hyperspace tractor engines like Centerpoint Station or the Cosmic Turbine.1

    As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the latter (hyperspace tractor engines) and the weaponized use of Centerpoint Station from Corellian Trilogy were inspiration for Starkiller Base in Episode VII - Disney openly stated that they will steal reuse and Legends concepts they like in New Canon.

  • Also, there are Artificial Gravity tech which can screw real world analysis.. – Captain Cold Jan 2 '18 at 23:23
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You can think of black hole creation similarly to nuclear fission in a way. In order for nuclear fission to reach explosive levels, they mass needs to reach criticality. Same thing with black holes and gravity. You have to have the matter and resultant gravity pass a critical threshold.

It is likely able to be explained that the stored energy is kept in a complex matrix that holds just enough energy but not enough to reach criticality by keeping the energy into spaces separated just enough and that hold just enough energy to almost be able to collapse into singularity on their own, but not quite.

Once the "thermal oscillator" which regulates the stored energy was destroyed, the planet did finally collapse and then explode. Probably because the star wasn't within the Chandra limit (am I naming the right limit?) for black hole creation.

As far as gravity felt, we already know we have artificial gravity in Star Wars, no reason to believe reversing the Poles or whatever of that mechanism allows for gravity reduction and or normalization.

  • The Chandrasekhar limit is approximately 1.4 solar masses - not a distance. And with nuclear fission, the mass isn't specifically a factor, it's the close proximity of the atoms of fissile material so that fast neutrons can generate reactions before being absorbed or slowed down. Criticality (self-sustaining reaction) generated with fast neutrons, is called prompt criticality. this is a special case of supercriticality (increasing reaction) These reactions propagate in the nanosecond range. This is how fission weapons release a great deal of energy in a very short time. – Fred Valenzano Jan 2 '18 at 18:37

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