In Attack Of The Clones, Darth Sidious is shown a holographic prototype of the first Death Star by Poggle the Lesser. In Rogue One, Galen Erso is portrayed as the engineer who built the Death Star, and the Empire is already at full power.

When exactly and by whom was it designed and engineered?

PS. Canon information only.

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    A holographic representation of an engineering design diagram is not a prototype.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 12:47
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    Do you mean "When did they start building it" and "Where did the labour come from"? (Both of which are answerable by googling "Death Star" and clicking the first link, by the way, but LMGTFY links are frowned upon) Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 12:55
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    Galen Erso only constructed the main weapon (and with it the main reactor), not the whole death star.
    – Hothie
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 13:42
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    Plus, there's a difference between "Who oversaw construction" and "Who performed construction", because the Empire mainly used slave labour. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:01
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    The Death Star is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a just a small moon or a space station, but that's just peanuts to the Death Star.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 0:59

2 Answers 2


The Death Star was possibly Geonosian designed, and mostly built with machines, and Geonosian and Wookiee[1] labor

The Rogue One novel Catalyst has many references to this: [more on the way]

[Krennic speaking to Geonosian Poggle the Lesser] "I'm certain you had all sort of weapons planned to pad the Separatist arsenal...What I'm most interested in is the deep-space mobile battle station...The one I'm referring to is the size and shape of a small moon."

Poggle at one point claims though that Count Dooku provided the basic plans and "the Geonosians had merely refined them" but later:

"Krennic smiled to himself: Poggle was finally taking credit for it."

So in this case, it is somewhat hard to pin down the exact source of the design because both Poggle and Krennic are largely unreliable.

Additionally - when Krennic inspects the work in progress:

Krennic felt that the holovid didn't do justice to the work in progress above the planet Geonosis...

"What you see is a product of countless hours of construction work undertaken by machines", Gubacher continued

Regarding labor:

"Geonosians would be the first to inhabit those immense life support modules...tens of thousands of drones had been transferred"

[1] source: Aftermath novel:

Wookiees were used across the galaxy too...in building structures like the Death Star


In the EU imperial chief engineer bevel lemelisk designed the prototype death star at a secret imperial installation called maw installation, maw installation engineers and scientists also created the sun crusher fighter prototype Bevel lemelisk showed the death star prototype to grand moff tarkin who then took bevel lemelisk with him to the imperial penal world of despayre and using slave labour from that world they built the first death star. The first time they tested the death stars super laser was to destroy despayre - bevel lemelisk also designed the death star 2.

  • 1
    This question is looking specifically for canon answers, please refrain from adding Legends information to questions asking about canon.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 19:11
  • 3
    Please also try to make some effort with grammar and spelling.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 19:26

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