In The Force Awakens, we see the beam from Starkiller Base split at an arbitrary point in space, spreading out and

destroying the republic.

Kylo Ren also happens to be on the bridge of the Star Destroyer, watching the beam as it splits.

Since energy weapons don't just split on their own, is it reasonable to assume that Kylo Ren in fact split the beam from the weapon? Since in the start of the film they already establishes that

he can hold blaster beams.

  • 3
    I would suggest editing this to be something along the lines of "How did the Starkiller beam split?"
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:08
  • If Kylo Ren could split massive planet-destroying laser beams, he'd be ruling the empire, not smashing consoles and throwing tantrums.
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 9:34
  • @RogueJedi While I agree that Kylo Ren conducts himself as a moody teenager, his abilities are more subtly applied. His stopping of Poe's shot without holding his focus for that sequence, as well as his ability to only take a knee after being hit with the bow caster, and his continued strength to battle not just Finn, but Rey as well seems to indicate he is far stronger with the force than we give him credit for. Although I have not read the novelization i can not be sure of course.
    – cptHeppy
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


This appears to be a simple foreshortening effect, making the multiple beams emitted from the Star Killer Base appear to be a single beam until it entered the Hosnian system of planets when in reality, it was always a set of half a dozen separate beams traveling along much the same path.

A shot of the beam in space, white with a red glow around it, is combined with two insets showing a zoom on the leading edge of the beams.  The beam front has a ragged look, with minor gaps between at least four discernable points.

This is backed up by the film's official novelisation which makes no mention of the beam splitting along its path, let alone at the command of Kylo Ren.

Penetrating to within a predetermined distance of the containment field, an immense hollow cylinder permitted a way out while ensuring that when the weapon was unleashed, gigantic groundquakes would not roil the world’s fragile surface.

When the weapons engineers fired the device, a breach was induced in the containment field. At incredible velocity and accelerating exponentially, the concentrated volume of quintessence escaped, transforming as it did so into a state known as phantom energy and following the artificial line of egress that had been provided. Assuming that the rotation and inclination of the planet had been taken into account, the released blast of concentrated phantom energy would travel along a perfectly linear path, punching a small Big Rip through hyperspace itself until it left the galaxy

  • "a small Big Rip?"
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:29
  • 2
    @RogueJedi - I didn't write the thing.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:30
  • 1
    Although the block quote doesn't mention it splitting, it doesn't imply that there were multiple beams, either. The picture is fairly convincing, though.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:37
  • 1
    @Richard It says "the released blast of concentrated phantom energy would travel along a perfectly linear path". If anything "the blast" implies a single beam, although it could allow for more.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:43
  • 1
    If the point you're trying to make is that splitting would not be linear anymore, I suggest you add that interpretation to the answer. For the opposing view (which I'm not saying I hold, just talking logic here), the path would have been perfectly linear up to the point it split.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 23:45

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