Rogue One filled one of the biggest plot holes from Star Wars Episode 4, by showing that the exhaust port was designed as a weak spot of the Death Star by its architect Galen Erso.

Was the idea that someone intentionally designed a weak spot so that the Death Star could be destroyed an invention of the writers of Rogue One or was it an idea that George Lucas came up with but that was never revealed? (or was it?)

Are there sources that confirm that and show who came up with that idea?

  • 2
    It's been complained enough as a potential plot hole that I'd be surprised if it wasn't a conscious back-filling of that hole, to end the complaints. Looking forward to seeing if there's any documentation on this. +1 Nov 17, 2017 at 17:22
  • 1
    Relevant: youtube.com/watch?time_continue=91&v=agcRwGDKulw
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 17, 2017 at 17:42
  • 7
    I guess it's not super relevant to the question, but I think considering this a major plot hole in Star Wars is a bit silly. There's a quote in the movie that the Empire does not consider small fighters to be a threat. Also, it's not that big a weakness. It requires maneuvering down a narrow trench in the face of turbolasers with a Sith Lord on your tail and then finally making a perfect proton torpedo shot (even though it's a measly exhaust port it's ray sheilded!) that even computer assistance doesn't make likely. Nov 17, 2017 at 23:34
  • 3
    @ToddWilcox clearly you're not aware that"plot hole" is internet speak for "anything that's not 100% explained to my satisfaction"
    – Paul
    Jun 29, 2018 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


According to the interview with Pablo Hidalgo (of the Star Wars story group) quoted on this Web page, what Galen Erso did was not to include the exhaust port, but rather to make the reactor susceptible to easy destruction. So the weakness wasn't the open port at all, but what was inside the reactor.

"Did Galen Erso engineer the faulty exhaust port?"

"Not specifically or else he would have said so in the message. He built an unstable reactor. And it turns out there is a weakness there, but how do you exploit it?"


"He knows there's a way to do it... in the novel we get the notion he signed off on the general design plan for these thermal exhaust ports. But he still doesn't have that specific piece of information to pass on, which is why he says 'go get the plans and you'll find it'."

  • 11
    That's a good quote, although it doesn't actually answer the question of whether Lucas had intended the vulnerability (here, in the reactor) to be sabotage.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 17, 2017 at 17:42
  • 5
    This quote from Hidalgo directly contradicts the novel. The exhaust port solution was specifically added by Erso; "You may be too obtuse to realize it, Erso, but I’m doing you a favor. This project needed to be done weeks ago. Send me the final venting shaft and exhaust port plans. I’ll bypass SSCR and submit them for production, manufacturing, and installation. Changes have been approved."
    – Valorum
    Nov 17, 2017 at 19:04

Even with not taking Rogue One into account, exhaust port is a common thing on our world too, like an exhaust pipe of the car which emits the heat and gasses. The exhaust port vulnerability comes if someone/enemy finds about it (which the rebels did). The rebels didnt even knew about the weakness unless Jyn told them or if taking episode 4 only they didn't knew until seeing the plans themselves.

Originally George just came up with just the weak spot and rebels destroying after finding about the weak spot. Rogue One writers just cunningly cleared a confusion.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.