The Death Star is SO MASSIVE and has so many troops on it that I was wondering: Do they have troopers' or officers' families at all on the station? Is their any lore the suggests that families may reside in some manner on the station? Or are they not allowed to have families? Also is their any information on rules between female troops and male troops getting you know close to one another? it seems unlikely that this is something that is unavoidable in some manner and is their any lore that hints at this in any way? or are all the Troops pretty much like the unsullied from GOT?

  • 1
    see this is why Luke has always been on the darkSide, all the innocent people killed
    – Naib
    Nov 20 '17 at 12:51
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    Somehow I don't think an evil galactic empire would mind much about fraternization...
    – Hans Olo
    Nov 20 '17 at 13:14
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    Children? With so many chasms wihout any handrails?
    – Hothie
    Nov 20 '17 at 15:07
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    That's what shoreleave is all about. What happens on Alderaan definitely stays on Alderaan
    – n_b
    Nov 20 '17 at 15:12
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    @n_b - Until it literally can't.
    – Jeff
    Nov 20 '17 at 16:52

Non-canon answer:

Death Star novel by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, which now belongs to the Legends continuity (and has some contradictions with the current canon, namely Rogue One), can give you an idea of personal relationships onboard the Death Star. Yes, there were female members of the crew (e.g. waitresses, medical workers, other non-combat personnel), and they did have relationships. The commanding officers had a relaxed view on these, as long as their combat officers were in good shape.

Regarding families: there is no mention of them. Probably not, as having a bunch of kids running free onboard a secret battle station could prove a disaster.

As for the new canon sources, I have no idea. Maybe someone else posts a new answer with updates on that.

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    I would note that in current continuity, it's all but certain that many of the stormtroopers on the Death Star were female. They weren't just servers and nurses!
    – Adamant
    Nov 20 '17 at 20:04

Canon speculation:

In rogue one, we definitely see at least science officers have families, though we never see for sure if any are actually brought aboard the Death Star. However, it seemed like Krennic's intention was to bring Galen Erso's family along for the ride when he showed up at the Erso home. In the past, they worked closely enough for Krennic to be familiar with Galen's family, as in the flashback when they are having drinks together.

Now, consider this: If a warship capable of destroying planets was operated by soldiers, engineers, technicians, and officers that had family on planets that would be potential targets, how likely are they to cooperate with the Empire? I'm going to say not very, and the Empire would definitely need to worry about sabotage (cough Galen Erso cough). Given the secrecy of the project, its size, and mobility, I think it's likely that the families lived on-board somewhere, if only to keep an eye on them and prevent insurrections. Who knows how the crew would interact with the families, but it would probably be similar to a modern military base where there are civilian and non-civilian areas.

If there were civilians on the Death Star, though, the Rebels have some serious ethical questions to answer...

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    I'm not a legal expert, and Earth law may not be the final word on ethics, but by Earth international law, adult civilians on a Death Star vessel who were there voluntarily (and therefore acting as voluntary human shields), might not be considered protected -- see Article 51(3) of Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions. Deliberately putting themselves in harms way on a battlestation might be construed as taking "a direct part in hostilities". Also relevant: youtube.com/watch?v=iQdDRrcAOjA
    – Jacob C.
    Nov 22 '17 at 21:58
  • They are not 'innocent bystanders', but military contractors, who are at all times a valid military target in case of war.
    – TimSparrow
    Nov 23 '17 at 11:05
  • Also, for the Rebels, it was a 'kill or be killed situation'. They clearly had no time to evacuate the base.
    – TimSparrow
    Nov 23 '17 at 11:07
  • I personally view as though it were an aircraft carrier. Aircraft Carriers are literally floating cities. You don't have civies on an aircraft carrier. Nov 23 '17 at 19:51
  • Garret Gang - The US navy offers occasional "tiger cruises" in which family members of sailors can make trips on naval vessels, including submarines and aircraft carriers. I think that a better comparison might be to an army base which does have civilians and family members. Dec 3 '17 at 6:39

Somewhat off topic, I once wrote an unpublished story in which an involuntary space/time traveler got involved with a situation similar to that in Star Wars and becomes the equivalent of one of the characters; I planned that in other stories in the series he would sometimes revisit the setting and become the equivalent of some other Star Wars characters.

In this story the Galactic Empire equivalent took over a giant space habitat with a population equal to that of a planet and forced the natives to work on the project of adding Faster-than-Light engines and a giant planet destroying weapon to turn the space habitat into the Death Star equivalent. Thus the Death Star equivalent in this story had a planet-sized population of civilian slave workers and their children.

Since I have never heard that something similar happened in Star Wars, that probably can't be used as an explanation or justification for the presence of civilian workers, families of military personnel, or children on the Death Star(s) in Star Wars. As far as I can tell there is no mention of a civilized native species on the planet that was made into Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens, but possibly there could have been a species of intelligent beings that was not recognized as such, rough equivalents of apes or dolphins on Earth.

Someone writing a Star Wars fan fiction would have considerable leeway to interpret the information given in the movies, TV shows, etc. to depict between zero and many thousands of civilian workers, and/or families of military personnel, and/or children on each of the Death Stars.

I should point out that for hundreds or thousands of years at least a small proportion of many military, paramilitary, and warrior forces consisted of kids under 18 - teenagers or even preteen kids. In the 19th and 20th centuries most European and European type armed forces phased out the enlistment of kids and became 100 percent adult forces. The minimum age to enlist in the US armed forces is seventeen and the minimum age to enlist in UK armed forces is sixteen.

But about the time of World War II lighter rifles and automatic weapons were invented, guns light enough to be carried by persons much smaller than the typical man, persons including women, teenagers, and even preteen children. So ever since then many groups of guerrillas, terrorists, rebels, paramilitaries, etc., etc., have included women, teenagers, and preteen kids among their fighters and support personnel. In any given year there are tens and even hundreds of thousands of child soldiers under 18 worldwide.

In ancient, medieval, and early modern times when tribes migrated the warriors usually brought their women and children and other dependents along. And more professional armies of city states, kingdoms, nations, etc. also were accompanied by many "camp followers", families of the soldiers, civilian merchants and employees and their families, prostitutes and their children, etc. etc. etc.

Indian armies were often accompanied by several times their numbers of camp followers, a practice followed by the British in India. 690 British and 3,810 native soldiers were accompanied by about 12,000 civilians in the 1842 Retreat from Kabul - almost all were massacred.

In the US Army's darkest day, November 4, 1791, about a thousand soldiers were defeated by the Western Confederacy of American Indians. 264 soldiers and 13 civilian workers were wounded, and 632 soldiers and 24 civilian workers were killed or captured for later burning at the stake. It seems quite possible to me that a few of the solders who were wounded, killed, or captured for burning at the stake could have been young drummer boys.

After hours of fighting Major General Arthur St. Clair led a bayonet charge though the Indian lines and down the road toward the nearest fort. Everyone left in the camp was killed by the hostiles, including almost all of the 200 to 250 camp followers (wives, children, laundresses and prostitutes).

In the modern US armed forces, you won't find civilians, families, or children on fighter or bomber planes or on warships (except that families of sailors sometimes go on short "tiger cruises"). Considering the vast sizes of the Death Stars and their crews, it might make more sense to compare them to US military bases, where you can find civilian workers, families, and children.

Some US bases have firepower somewhat analogous to the Death Stars or Starkiller Base, basing bombers and missiles capable of delivering nuclear bombs to devastate foreign lands. Thus those bases would be most likely to be targeted and destroyed in an atomic war. But I suppose that those bases are just as likely to house civilian workers, families, and children as other US military bases.

So someone writing a fan fiction could suppose that the Death Star policy is:

1) Only male military personnel aboard and they only get to socialize with the opposite sex when on shore leave.

2) Only male military personnel aboard plus female prostitutes and the men can also socialize with the opposite sex on shore leave.

3) Both male and female military personnel aboard but they are prohibited from socializing and can only socialize with the opposite sex when on shore leave.

4) Both male and female military personnel aboard and also male and female prostitutes. Military personnel are forbidden to socialize with opposite sex military but can socialize with prostitutes and when on shore leave.

5) Only male military personnel aboard who can socialize with opposite sex prostitutes and with spouses aboard, and socialize on shore leave. No children in the families allowed aboard.

7) Both male and female military personnel aboard who can socialize with opposite sex prostitutes and with spouses aboard, and socialize on shore leave. No children in the families allowed aboard.

8) Only male military personnel aboard who can socialize with opposite sex prostitutes and with spouses aboard, and socialize on shore leave. Children in the families are allowed aboard.

9) Both male and female military personnel aboard who can socialize with opposite sex prostitutes and with spouses aboard, and socialize on shore leave. Children in the families are allowed aboard.

TBear's answer suggested that the Empire might want to go with with only single personnel or else my 8) or 9). Certainly if the personnel of a Death Star have their families aboard they will fight as hard as they can to block all attacks on the Death Star. And if the personnel on a Death Star have families on other planets Rebels could kidnap them and keep them on Rebel planets to deter Death Star attacks.

The above possibilities are for writers of Star Wars fan fiction. Writers of canon Star Wars works may be restricted in what they can depict aboard the Death Stars and Starkiller Base for various reasons, though it is always possible that a really good story idea could cause those restrictions to be ignored.

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