It seems strange that the First Order doesn't use surveillance equipment in its Starkiller Base to prevent/react to acts of sabotage or prisoners' escape, such as Rey's one from her cell.

Han Solo can afford to have surveillance cams at his ship. enter image description here

So why can't the First Order?

  • 17
    They just turned a planet into a gun capable of destroying planets across the galaxy. Maybe they ran out of money. Jun 7, 2017 at 21:53
  • Also, they knew they had some force user on board so they figured he would just detect them. Aside that, we're never shown whether or not they have surveillance. You can count on the guards being incompetent if they do though.
    – Kai Qing
    Jun 8, 2017 at 0:30
  • Maybe the force disabled the cameras?
    – TimSparrow
    Jun 8, 2017 at 6:32
  • 2
    Getting cameras installed was their Second Order of business... Jun 8, 2017 at 16:29
  • @DaaaahWhoosh Was that sarcasm? If not, then. I think that all infrastructure on the planet was built long before the superweapon itself. Furthermore such expenses as surveillance cams cannot be compared with the superweapon cost.
    – hindmost
    Jun 9, 2017 at 10:49

2 Answers 2


There are a few problems there that need to be taken into consideration.

  1. Han had A FEW cameras watching critical parts of the ship. And it was only a freighter sized ship.

  2. Despite the cameras a whole GROUP of people managed to sneak aboard without Han detecting them.

Then for Starkiller Base you have 2 areas.

  1. The planet itself. Extensive landscapes with forests etc. Thus no way to surveil it all.

  2. The base itself. Despite taking up only a small portion of the planet it still had a tremendous size way bigger than a typical industrial complex in modern days.

So what does that mean in conclusion? In modern days we have cameras at critical junctions, and other critical areas and still time and again suspicious people are overlooked. And as Han's freighter showed, cameras in Star Wars work similar to cameras in modern days, with one exception. Robots. They are shown to be quite good at finding people as shown in The Phantom Menace.

If we now think of Starkiller Base. It is far too large to have every area covered by cameras. Thus (if at all, because of the small portion we saw of the base we can't really tell) cameras would be put at only critical locations. And still there is a good chance that some important info is overlooked due to the vastness of the area covered and thus also the number of cameras involved.

So this means in essence. We can't tell for sure if there were any cameras there or not. As we don't see the whole area but only parts of it AND the info where Rey went and where the Wookiee was could have easily been overlooked by people manning the monitor stations.

The main question is though why they don't use patrolling camera droids. And from what we see of the First Order, they share the same "dislike" seemingly for droids as the Empire did. So that also wouldn't be done.

  • If we consider Rey's escape from prison cell, there was no need to have fully attended stuff for surveillance cams. Just few cams at critical regions (as you wrote yourself) and one could easily track the current location of Rey (after escape).
    – hindmost
    Jun 19, 2017 at 20:59
  • @hindmost exactly. And from our (on screen) position it is possible we just didn't see the cams. Also the cells seem to always be guarded by storm troopers in addition to any other security measures. The only "problem" with cams could be that due to the size of the base there are just so many of them that overlooked (and kylo didn't seem to be a man patient enough to wait for a thorough analysis of past video material)
    – Thomas
    Jun 20, 2017 at 6:31

The base is planet sized so having surveillance cameras all over would require a lot of people to be watching the monitors. It is likely that the Stormtroopers and other people working on the base would be the 'surveillance' as Stormtrooper helmets all had comlinks and audio pick-up in them so it would be easy to very quickly tell the command when anything is going on.

"Its reinforced combat helmet featured an integrated comlink, audio pick-up, two artificial air-supply hoses, and a broadband communications antenna powered by a single power cell." From http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Stormtrooper_armor

So in conclusion, Han used cameras because his ship was small enough so that could monitor everything. But, the Starkiller base is way too big to monitor with cameras.

  • 1
    Although the bse uses the whole planet as "basis" for itself.....the base ITSELF is not eoncompassing the whole planet, but instead only a small portion of it.
    – Thomas
    Jun 19, 2017 at 12:25

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