Star Killer Base has an extremely deep, long, and wide trench. If the base were the size of Earth, I would guess the trench to be twelve thousand miles long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles deep. We get the sense that the base was constructed from a pre-existing planet. what technologies and methods did they use to dig a trench of that massive size?

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    They got a big digger Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 10:28
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    A whole lotta stormtroopers, and a whole lotta shovels. Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:04
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    I'm going with "lasers".
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:43
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    @Richard By my guess, they would have to either vaporize or remove 27 billion cubic miles of ore and soil to make a trench of that scale. The machine to do that might need to be a retrofitted death star.
    – CodeMed
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:53
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    @codemed - Lasers and tractor beams.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: They used giant vacuums.

World Devastator

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... World Devastators could use a targeted world's material resources for the Empire's benefit. A Devastator's primary tactic was to land on the surface of a planet. There, its mighty tractor beam projectors would literally tear the planet beneath it apart, thus making them "planet killers." Thus, the World Devastators functioned similar to the Star Forge, which also harvested materials from a nearby astronomical object.

The deconstruction of the planet and its resources would then be used for both fuel for the Devastator and for its massive foundries which churned out starships, starfighters, and droids which would be sent into battle straight from the assembly line. The internal factories could create anything from a starfighter or speeder to a medium-sized cruiser, given enough resources. –wookieepedia

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    The real question is, where's all the slag piles?
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 19:11
  • Thank you and +1 for going where no one had gone before in terms of knowing the answer to this.
    – CodeMed
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 23:48
  • @CodeMed - After you've read Zhan's novels, check out the Dark Empire comic. That's where I first heard of them. IMO, those are episodes 7~10; TFA is episode 11+, as we seem to have also skipped the events of the Jedi Academy trilogy. Also, their names have been changed to protect the non-innocent? Their children's names are Jacen, Jaina and Anakin.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:01
  • Do these exist in the current canon?
    – chepner
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 21:25
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    @chepner - You'd have to ask Leland Chee. Or you could, you know, think whatever you want (I hate this 'canon' non-sense - no one else gets to decide for me what has happened in a galaxy far, far away).
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 22:50

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