Throughout the operational lifespans of both the Death Star I & II, which side suffered more directly attributable casualties cumulatively as a result of the Death Stars' existence:

  • Rebel combatants directly killed in action, or other people killed for their support of the Rebellion, by the Death Stars' superlasers, other armaments & onboard garrisons
  • Imperial military personnel, civilian contractors and other members of the Death Stars' staff and the Galactic Empire in general who died aboard the Death Star, whether due to conflict with the enemy onboard or due to the Death Stars' ultimate destructions.

Slave labourers, Endor planetside commandos, Bothans and Ewoks don't count. Imperial personnel deployed to Star Destroyer fleets defending the Death Stars (as opposed to direct deployment to the Death Star itself) don't count. This list of exceptions isn't complete, but I think you should have a good idea what I'm looking for.

I don't need statistics, I just want to know which side the Death Stars "killed" more of. Interested in both the canon & Legends versions - How great a difference would there be between the two?

  • Alderan was destroyed in part due to Bail Organa's support for the Rebellion. Does that count?
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:50
  • 1
    @Jonah More directly due to his adoptive daughter’s direct involvement in the Rebellion. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 6:36
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - That's true.
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 6:37
  • Alderaan counts under "Rebels-by-association directly attacked by the Death Star" Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 7:32
  • 1
    Bothans don't count?? Are you aware that many Bothans died to bring us this information?
    – Turion
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


In canon, we don't really know

Very few works remain canon, if they were published before April 2014. Only the original films and the Clone Wars series are considered canon. To my knowledge, the number of soldiers on the Death Stars was not solidly indicated in the films.

The Death Star also fired on a rebel ship in Return of the Jedi, so without knowing whether the Death Star had a skeleton crew or (as in non-canon material) a full complement, we can't really be sure which side took more casualties.


In Legends, as indicated in this answer, the two Death Stars combined had literally millions of stormtroopers and crew. There were few Rebels on Alderaan; since Bail Organa could not be seen to support the rebel cause, their bases were elsewhere.

It is very unlikely that the single rebel ship destroyed by the second Death Star had millions of soldiers on board.

It seems clear, then, that far more Imperials died in the defense of the Death Stars than rebels at the hands of its garrisons, or due to its superlasers.

Although a number of individuals evacuated the second Death Star prior to its destruction, the first Death Star had no such warning.

This is all assuming we don't count Alderaan as a Rebel death toll, of course.

If we count Alderaan, then, whether in canon or Legends, there were far more Rebel-associated deaths. Alderaan had a population of about 2 billion, according to Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, which, having been published after the Disney acquisition, is canon.

This clearly dwarfs the several-million people on the two Death Stars.

  • The asker specified rebel combatants. Even if Alderaan supported the Rebellion en masse, the vast majority of those people would still have been civilians -- especially given that Alderaan has no weapons. Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 8:29
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    The asker also said "Alderaan counts under "Rebels-by-association directly attacked by the Death Star"
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 8:30
  • That's why I added this.
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 8:30

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