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So the Death Star is huge, right? Would it be possible to coordinate a hyperdrive to come out of hyperspace in the middle of the Death Star?

Maybe a small ship wouldn't be enough to destroy it, but let's say it was something the size of the Home One? Or maybe some sort of crazy explosive device inside a smaller ship.

As for the pilot, I'm thinking maybe it could be done by remote control? Or a kamikaze pilot willing to sacrifice himself to take out the Empire's worst weapon. But I like remote control better.

Could this plan work? And whether yes or no, why?

To clarify, I may not be understanding hyperspace correctly, but I'm not talking about crashing into it from the outside. I am suggesting you exit hyperspace so that you appear in the middle of the Death Star.

Related: What happens if two ships come out of hyperspace at the exact same time and place?

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    I'm pretty sure that'd end your trip real quick. – John Sensebe Aug 18 '16 at 1:12
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    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/115994/… – Josh B. Aug 18 '16 at 17:31
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    Why not strap a hyper drive onto a big phallic shaped piece of metal, stick in nav computer and everything and you have a weapon that travel faster than light speed and can attack anything in the galaxy in a short amount of time. This would potentially be much more effective than the death star's super laser, and could be fired from much smaller ships. The weapon could be as small as the smallest hyperdrive. Even an object the size of the falcon (which has a very fast hyperdrive), would cause huge destruction at relativistic speeds, maybe, if the physics wasn't so messy. – chewie Aug 19 '16 at 12:34
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    Because you can't travel in hyperspace through solid objects. – Kronos Aug 25 '16 at 13:41
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    @LordSalizar Welp.... not to revive an old post... but have you seen the last Jedi yet? HyperSpace Collision seem to be super effective. Why the hell did they build a death star in the first place? – Charles H Dec 20 '17 at 23:42
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The (canon) Star Wars novel Tarkin would suggest that a capital ship reverting to realspace near to a large static body could do very severe damage.

Despite being crewed by sentients, the mysterious cruiser hadn’t discharged any of its point-defense or ranged weapons. If destruction of the base was the goal, why hadn’t whoever was behind the attack used the ship as a bomb by reverting from hyperspace in closer proximity to the moon? Planetary bodies larger than Sentinel had been shaken to their core by such events.

Note that hitting a large object within hyperspace or reverting inside it isn't really an option. Planetary gravity fields (and those generated by large space stations) are sufficient to drag a ship out of hyperspace. At best you could hit it at high speed.


That all being said, the Death Star has a large and highly efficient shield. It isn't until considerable damage is done to the core (and presumably the shield generator loses power) that it becomes vulnerable to a physical impact so unless you expect to find the shield down, ploughing into it at any speed is pretty worthless.

  • Considering Pablo Hidalgo’s recent comment on hyperspace within a gravitation field, and the related examples, perhaps the part about being dragged out of hyperspace is worth mentioning? – Adamant Dec 29 '16 at 4:27
  • Though I do think that hitting an object not within hyperspace with an object within hyperspace is essentially impossible. – Adamant Dec 29 '16 at 4:28
  • @Adamant Until The Last Jedi was released I guess. – Steven Rands Dec 21 '17 at 13:25
  • @StevenRands - I would imagine that the Resistance didn't have anything big enough to make the impact worthwhile. – Valorum Dec 21 '17 at 13:27
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    In TFA didn’t they penetrate the shields of Starkiller Base by hyperspacing through them, making the last paragraph moot? – Darren Dec 21 '17 at 16:55
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It'll be extremely difficult to hit

Death Star is not still. Although it seems like a planet or a moon orbiting, it's a battle station that keeps in movement. It's displacement and speed out of hyperspace is so slow related to other ships that it seems to be still, but it isn't.

Calculate the exact coordinates where it will be in the moment the hyperspace jump is astronavigated is more difficult that it could seems. Keep in mind that space is HUGE, hit it knowing it's exact position would be difficult enough, but possible due to it's size.

But even if you make the hit and impact it

It's too big to get destroyed by a collision

Even Star Destroyers are tiny in comparison with Death Star size. You'd probably able to initiate a chain reaction enough powerful to destroy it if you manage to impact one of the critical points of the ship (AKA 'the reactor'), but this is almost impossible because your ship won't teleportate to the inside of the Death Star, it just will crash into the surface at light speed.

Wich makes me state that

Physics gets complicated when you add light speed to the mix

Real physics are more complicated than basic kinetic. When you add speed of light to anything, the usual side effect is everything becoming plasma and any small impact becoming nuclear and potentially capable to destroy a planet (even if you just use a baseball)

However, real physics and hyperspace jump are things that doesn't mix quite good, it will be a bit hypocritical to state that the kamikaze vessel will became a mix of unstable protons able to hit the Death Star with the strength of one thousand nuclear bombs without stating that it'd probably disintegrate in the first miles of hyper jump.

So

Trying to Keeping It Simple

If we adhere to a simplistic physics model, even throwing a Star Destroyer at it wouldn't be probably enough to destroy it (well... maybe a Star Destroyer could make enough damage with the crash) due to the relative differences in size.

And that's if you manage to hit it, in the first place.

EDIT:

From wookipedia: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperspace/Legends

Hazards of Hypertravel: "Hyperspace collisions, whether they be intentional or by accident, could devastate or even destroy a planet. Considering the fact that the output of the reactors of many Capital ships rivaled or eclipsed that of a star, and that the energies needed to make hyperspace travel possible were vast, one could unleash a great deal of destructive power on a target. Even if a planet had its planetary shielding up at the time of a hyperspace collision, it could still have the potential to kill millions on a world such as Coruscant just due to the fallout. One of the more famous hyperspace accidents occurred during the Clone Wars, when the battlecruiser Quaestor collided with the Separatist planet Pammant, fracturing it to its core."

So I supose we, in the end, can accept that ramming with a ship enough big into the Death Star will be able to destroy it.

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    I may not be understanding hyperspace correctly, but why does it imply crashing into it from the outside? I was thinking you exit hyperspace so that you appear in the middle of the Death Star. – Revetahw Aug 18 '16 at 10:16
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    Hyperspace is not a teleportation it's travel at very high speed. Astronavigation has to be made prior to a jump to avoid crashing into planets, stars, blackholes. You also can crash into a space vessel or a tiny asteroid (which, obviously won't be able on the navigation charts), but the odds are infinitesimal – Bardo Aug 18 '16 at 10:27
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    Not in SW universe – Bardo Aug 18 '16 at 10:31
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    cant be done, move along. every object has a shadow in hyperspace. a nav computer detecting an object will in most instances drop you out of hyperspace intentionally to avoid such collisions. now if you are a suicide bomber you could prob hack the nav computer to disregard the safety protocols. in this instance you crash into the side of another object. there is no teleportation, jumps, blinks or anything else of the sort in SW universe. You would have to be EXTREMLY lucky to even get that done as the Death Star isn't a stationary object, it moves so Bardo has the correct answer. – Cherubel Aug 18 '16 at 12:38
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    @Fiksdal you are just fixated on the jumping word. it is a word to describe hoping from A to B. if there is something in that line the hyperdrive will pul you out of hyperspace as this is a built in feature. it is not possible to apear inside solid objects in SW using hyperdrives. – Cherubel Aug 19 '16 at 7:52
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I'd always been under the impression that only the object in hyperspace would be destroyed. That was our West End Game rules, fwiw. If hyperdrive was an effective weapon, who needs a death star?

  • Welcome to Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stack Exchange. This is not an answer to the question, it is purely your opinion. Please follow the sites answering guidelines. scifi.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask – Theyna Aug 19 '16 at 2:19
  • Interesting. This would be a good thing to post as a comment :) – Josh B. Aug 19 '16 at 16:02
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Details from the SW universe are not always consistent with other statements from other SW sources, or thought out from a particular theory of how the science might work. We can reconcile what we can, but may have to accept that some things contradict and must be regarded as inaccurate, waved away, or just anomalies.

I think the best explanation for hyperspace is some form of travel beyond our typical 4 dimensions. You might consider it some form of worm hole theory, tunneling through space, or "wrinkling" space.

Any of those explanations actually would not necessarily result in the objects traveling in hyperspace to ever reach anywhere near relativistic speeds -- in the sense of the normal-space kinetic energy that would imply.

Entering this extra-dimensional space wouldn't, therefore imply even approaching the speed of light, kinetically. Neither would exiting. I would note that ships that come out of hyperspace appear to practically slam to a stop.

So, I don't think you can assume the exiting hyperspace would give any object sufficient kinetic energy to any special amount of damage. Given that, you'd have to either wave away as inaccurate the reports of exiting too close to planet. Unless something having to do with the size or fluctuation of the extra-dimensional space can have some affect -- perhaps unpredictably (and not always).

Also, if you try to reconcile the difficulty of navigating hyperspace with the emptiness of real space, you may conclude that mass and gravity actually have a far larger impact in hyperspace, so that (unlike in realspace), zipping about in hyperspace is like trying to slip a needle through tons of clusters of close and powerful magnetic fields without it getting pulled where you don't want it.

If that's a fair analogy, then even removing any potential safeguards from a hyperdrive engine (which would presumably attempt to drop you out of hyperspace in advance of a collision), the mass itself may interact with hyperspace in such away that it pulls you back into real space at a certain proximity (not within), perhaps too close to react but still, given the non-relativistic speeds the vehicle is actually traveling, too slow for the impact to do much harm to a much larger body.

All this being said, while hyperdrives have been calculated to allow starships to cross space in the SW universe at effectively many millions of times faster than light, even sublight speeds are nothing to sneeze at, with incredible acceleration and capability of crossing solar systems very rapidly. Those sublight speeds could allow a massive starship to be a very dangerous projectile even at velocities still much lower than the speed of light.

All of this must be made possible by some form of inertial damper, which effectively soaks kinetic energy somehow so that the passengers effectively feel little to no movement. This technology, like artificial gravity and repulsor technology (opposing gravity very precisely), also has many implications.

If starships can have inertial dampers for passengers, why not to mitigate the impact of collisions? Either way, you're soaking kinetic energy relative to an object. Granted, if this were possible, given enough reaction time for calculations of said dampers, then collisions (such as the SSD into the Death Star II, or asteroid fields, or other ship collisions), would be potentially irrelevant. However, I think, given those aforementioned sublight speeds, some form of external inertial damper probably would exist with the capability to at least reduce the impact significantly, and possibly proportionately (i.e., halving the impact kinetic energy, vs. just subtracting a certain amount). Otherwise collisions could still be crazy lethal. Perhaps that's part of shielding?

It would help explain, however, why only energy weapons really matter in SW. Why rail guns can't just be expected to rip through hulls and shields.

In sum:

  1. Ships coming out of hyperspace may not be traveling very fast and have non-relativistic kinetic energy.
    1. It may be impossible to exit hyperspace in or even extremely close to a sufficiently massive object (though still close enough for unavoidable collision)
    2. Inertial dampers or shields may make kinetic impacts significantly less destructive.
  • 1/2) Shields are effective against kinetic weapons. They always have to lower the shields to get a vehicle through. Same with projectiles. vsbattles.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Matthew_Schroeder/… Blaster fire sometimes appears to be slower than light, but is indicated in other places to be light speed. Battles are conducted at relativistic distances. In ROTJ, the Rebel fleet appears to be about 2 light seconds from the Death Star when it fires. – Chris Strickland Dec 26 '17 at 17:59
  • 2/2) In TLJ, the fleet is just outside effective range, and (sorry, just memory) that is about 4-5 light seconds. Getting a mass up to even .25c would be almost impossible, but it would still make those transit times 8-20s. A more realistic .001c (1000x faster than the fastest bullet) would mean times of half an hour to two hours. You can just maneuver out of the way of that, even in the slowest ship. – Chris Strickland Dec 26 '17 at 18:00
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I know it is an old question, but I will add an answer with a little bit of knowledge from mostly non-canon (i think) reference - Star Wars Roleplaying Game called Edge of the Empire from Fantasy Flight Games. This is a roleplaying game (like Dungeons and Dragons) with lots of rulebooks and sources.

There the explanation for the Hyperspace is that the nature of hyperspace is still a mystery, but we can travel through another dimension in the same direction as in real space.

"... Objects, especially large objects with powerful gravity like planets and stars, cast a shadow in hyperspace, and thus they exist in both planes at once."

And every hyperspace engine is being designed with safety in mind. That means there are many

"...sensors and failsafes designed to drop the ship immediately into realspace if it passes dangerously close to a gravity well or mass shadow. Acciddents do happen; there are many documented cases of a ship in hyperspace colliding with a planet or flying into the heart of a star. This, obviously spells certain death for the entire starship and anyone aboard. In certain, very rare cases, the starship can even come out of hyperspace far too close to a planet´s surface and crash and dangerous speeds. This could even do considerable damage if it has the misfortune of impacting a city..." ~Edge of the Empire Rulebook

So based on that, I believe that jumping out of the hyperspace within the boundaries of Death star is practically impossible, if you don´t somehow tamper with your hyperdrive.

But even if you materialized within the death star, it seems that based on that description, it is much more deadly for the ship, than the object. In my head, I imagine this as follows: Ship tries to "materialize" within an object, but there are different atoms, so the whole sctructure somehow collides and breaks the ship appart so the atoms "fit" between those that are already there, meaning, that the ship would crumble to pieces and dust and not doing considerable damage at all. But that is only my theory. Other canonical sources suggest that it would, indeed cause mayhem.

In any case, Empire possessed Interdictor Class Star Destroyers with gravity wells: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Interdictor-class_Star_Destroyer This gravity wells are powerful gravity generators that can basically pull ships out of the hyperspace. Could a Death star have a gravity well projector on its own to protect against such attacks? I believe it is plausible.

Anyway, the ship could still jump out (or be pulled out) from hyperspace just before the contact. Incredible speed (and maybe some explosives rigged in the cargo) could truly do some considerable damage, but you have to realise how big the Death star was. Even assuming that blast could penetrate its powerful shields, it would still take at least a few dozens of rigged capital ships to even scratch through the surface. The Death star was simply huge and well defensed against capital ships, torpedoes, lasers and explosions. The exhaust port was it´s biggest weakness because it destroyed the generator and created chain reaction. You wouldn´t do that with a hundred of hyperspace-rigged ships.

  • Do not cite the failsafes here. A good old fashioned $3 wrench could bypass them if you actually wanted to. – Joshua Jan 16 '17 at 23:42
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That can happen as you see in some other star wars movie (no spoilers) that happened to a huge ship but you need a big enough ship to do so.

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    You can expand on this answer, even with spoilers. The site has specific markdown for spoilers so you can provide a complete answer. – Skooba Dec 21 '17 at 14:19
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    Your answer is reasonably meaningless in it's current state. It's also source-less. If you've gotten your reasoning or evidence from other sources we highly recommend you include them in your answer. Try to write a complete answer that doesn't require clarification from the original poster to understand. – Edlothiad Dec 21 '17 at 14:30

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