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In Legends, it was theorized that the Death Star had:

One hundred twenty-three individual hyperspace generators, tied into a single navigational matrix (...)

And these:

were necessary to carry the Death Star beyond the speed of light.

I believe it was in a legends book (perhaps Crosscurrent, where big ships had multiple hyperspace generators) that was mentioned that parts of a ship could be separated in hyperspace and end up in unexpected places, different time-space or even be stuck in hyperspace permanently.

Therefore, what would happen if this "matrix" was compromised and one or several of these hyperspace generators failed while jumping to or while in hyperspace? Would chunks of the Death Star be left behind while others make the jump?

Sidetracking... The Rebels would just need to hide in some ship's smuggling compartments, dress up in knocked out stormtroopers suits and force a failed hyperspace jump, maybe with the help of an old Jedi and some luck, thousands of Bothans would be saved...

  • Han had to make a whole bunch of calculations before the jump to hyperspace. Total speculation but, I'd imagine the Death Star would go through a similar process and at the same time check that 'all systems are go'? Basically - would they risk jumping a battle station into hyperspace before checking that it was 100% safe? – Longshanks Jan 6 '17 at 16:15
  • “perhaps Crosscurrent” — uh, it’s Coruscant. [shakes head] Newbies! – Paul D. Waite Jan 6 '17 at 17:11
  • @Alistair86 I remember from the movie that in a ship with a single hyperdrive the calculations are made in order to avoid a lethal jump out of hyperspace (into a star, for example), but with multiple hyperdrives, the calculations probably go beyond that and need to consider the jump into hyperspace for avoiding what Gandalf described below. – CPHPython Jan 6 '17 at 18:43
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    @PaulD.Waite lol, the book's name actually makes sense in the several scientific possibilities it explores, it's one of the most interesting stories I read in the Star Wars universe (IMO as good as any of Thrawn's books) (btw, Coruscant means "glittering")... – CPHPython Jan 6 '17 at 18:53
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    Putting a fault into the hyperdrives might have been a better way for Galen Erso to sabotage the Death Star than making the central reactor vulnerable to explosion. First time they go into hyperdrive, the engines tear the bloody thing apart. People would suspect the whole idea of a spaceship that huge was just asking for trouble and never build one again. – RichS Jan 7 '17 at 1:20
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As a general military practice, it is a good idea to have redundancies in a system so that the destabilizing of one of the hyperspace generators would not result in total destruction of the death star.

Note: This information is taken from Star Wars Legends, as that is the only place that actually delves into the physics of hyperspace jumps and hyperspace generators. As of yet there are no cannon source I know of that delve into the subject deep enough to answer this question.

However, if one destabilized the entire matrix, or did something to enough of the generators the Death Star would be pulled apart into many pieces. The Physics behind hyperspace jumps appears to not only be complicated, but also very stressful on the objects involved. Hyperdrives had many safety mechanisms preventing them from failing (1), but they could still be sabotaged. Wookieepedia lists two specific components, a "4-axial stabilizer and hyperdrive regulator", meant to specifically prevent the ship from being torn apart by the physics involved in a jump. One can assume that sabotaging these components would cause the physics of a jump to then tear a ship apart.

Additionally, hyperspace generators work by generating fields. If one were to sabotage the matrix so badly as to guide each of the hyperdrive generators to jump in different directions they would tear the death star into 123 parts, one part for each different hyperdrive field.

(1) Wookieepedia, "Hyperdrive" http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperdrive/Legends

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In Force Awakens, Han says to Rey:

This hyperdrive blows there's gonna be pieces of us in three different systems.

Wookiepedia states:

the Millennium Falcon possessed a Class 0.5 hyperdrive, while top-of-the-line battlecruisers such as the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer contained Class 2 hyperdrives.

If the Millennium Falcon can separate like this with only one hyperdrive, it is probable that a matrix or individual hyperdrive failure would cause separation of the Death Star. This failure would be very rare, given all the security measures hyperdrives employ. The engineers of the Death Star presumably put in defense measures against this too.

Although it should be noted that the quote you provided mentioned 123 hyperspace generators rather than hyperdrives. I don't know if there's a difference or if that difference is significant.

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