In Star Wars: The Force Awakens the First Order built a Death Star-like construct known as Starkiller Base on a planet. To charge and fire the weapon, it drains the energy from a sun. To eliminate the Ileenium system it appears that they consume a complete sun. Assuming it only is possible to drain a limited number of suns in reachable distance the base will render useless after some shots. You might be able to move around space with the Death Star, but certainly not with a whole planet.

Why would they want to spend so much time and energy (and money) on a weapon they will eventually have to discard?

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    To kill rebel scum of course
    – Daft
    Jan 7 '16 at 8:40
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  • Starkiller Base is the planet.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 7 '16 at 10:02
  • But why not build a deathstar like before? It probably is more cost efficient than leaving a planetary weapen behind if you can travel around.
    – Peter
    Jan 7 '16 at 10:09
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    @PeterSchmucki - I'd guess that building something on a planet would be far more cost-effective. If nothing else, your workers don't need breathing apparatus and it's not like the First Order has an inexhaustible supply of Wookiee slaves or droid construction workers like the Empire did.
    – Valorum
    Jan 7 '16 at 10:15

It is reasonable to believe that Starkiller Base is built this way because its design is shaped by the First Order's existing beliefs and because the First Order's plans have no need for it once its intended purpose is fulfilled.

The First Order, founded by the majority of the Imperial military leadership that survived Jakku, inherited the Imperial military and political doctrine its founders are still loyal to. In Legends, we call it the Tarkin Doctrine. In canon, it does not have a name, but is still the same philosophy that led to the construction of the Death Stars: the Imperial military are enforcers of the New Order. In allocating resources to this purpose, both the Emperor and Grand Moff Tarkin prefer constructing massive, imposing shows of power and symbols of fear (superweapons) rather than concrete, efficient and effective force (more fleets, newer and better tech etc). This is why, to this day, the heirs of the Empire still prefer ever larger and more imposing symbols of fear and power, however unwieldy.

To understand the First Order's plans, we should first examine what we already know. The Wookieepedia article on the New Republic cites Before the Awakening as the source for the following:

Despite its outward appearance of unity, many members of the Republic Senate were in fact in collusion with the First Order, with senators such as Erudo Ro-Kiintor discretely accepting large sums of credits transferred through the Corporate Sector Authority and third-party corporations. These senators frequently delayed, derailed and dismissed motions regarding sanctions against the First Order and increased support for the Republic Navy.

We can observe the following visible elements of the First Order's plans:

  • Subvert the New Republic's warfighting capabilities and political unity
  • Destroy the New Republic's central government and fleet with Starkiller's opening shot
  • Destroy the Resistance's central command with another shot
  • Once war is inevitable after Ep VII, the First Order very likely intend the following: while the New Republic is still reeling from a loss of the central government and the accompanying infrastructure and hierarchy, seize back control of the galaxy while Imperial loyalists defect to the First Order or continue to subvert the New Republic from within.

Basically, if all had gone to plan, there's likely no need for Starkiller Base after that.


Conjecture (as opposed to the obvious plot hole)

It may be that the resources required to build the Starkiller are less than it would take the Republic planets by force.

A protracted war to conquer the republic may mean that even building the weapon is the faster/cheaper option

  • Is a tweet canon? I would have assumed that it was mobile too but can not think of anything on-screen to confirm
    – user001
    Jan 7 '16 at 11:19
  • It's a tweet from a guy who "was assigned a job within the newly formed Lucasfilm Story Group, whose main purpose is to create and maintain one cohesive canon".
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 7 '16 at 11:20
  • Then put it on screen or in the Marvel canon comics. They are the only official canon according to Disney. As I mentioned in the answer; my reply is conjecture and there is a plot hole that they are obviously trying to back fill with this tweet but a tweet is not canon.
    – user001
    Jan 7 '16 at 11:22
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    @BCdotWEB - "Creative Executive, Lucasfilm Story Group. Duly appointed defender of the Tyrest Accord. Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx. Don't cite tweets as canon." is what it says on his twitter feed
    – Valorum
    Jan 7 '16 at 11:24

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