To land on Endor's moon, Han Solo and his strike team, in the stolen imperial shuttle (Tydirium), must use a stolen code to gain access through the shield protecting the new Death Star and its work area.

In the scene leading up to the imperial's granting access, Tydirium is shown flying nearly a hand's breadth (okay, I'm exaggerating slightly) away from Vader's Super Star Destroyer.

This seems like a terrible security hazard to me ... Why wouldn't have Imperial traffic control assigned a less risky (imagine if the ship was remote piloted and had a really big bomb on board) flight path to a vessel which hadn't authenticated yet ?

(I mean it was useful for that proximity to help Vader sense Luke, but no one knew that at the time)

Is there anything in canon or Legends which explains this?

  • 3
    We're talking about people who leave thermal exhaust ports open and vulnerable, force field shields inadequate to the point where their ships and even [creaky voice] "fully armed and operational" battle stations get blown up, have no guard railings pretty much anywhere, and occasionally leave open shaft leading straight into reactor core in the middle of a room. Yes, Empire is just sloppy like that. The rebels are even worse.
    – void_ptr
    Feb 5, 2018 at 20:33
  • 3
    They're protected by the Death Star's shield and/or their own. And they surely have their weapons trained on the shuttle until it's authenticated. What's the problem?
    – Null
    Feb 5, 2018 at 20:36
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    consider that the shuttle arrives by hyperspace route and appears to continue on a relatively straight path. The approach of the Star Destroyers and that they would be crossing that path was unknown the shuttle, as was likewise the appearance of the shuttle unknown to the Star Destroyers. Piett had already decided to clear them by the time they were approaching the "bridge" area. Had the code not checked out, the shuttle could have been vaporized long before they became a threat. The only reason they got so close while unverified is because Vader interuppted.
    – NKCampbell
    Feb 5, 2018 at 20:47
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    Fwiw, "it's an old code" should have resulted in it not "checking out". We rotate codes and keys for a reason, people.
    – Paul
    Feb 5, 2018 at 22:07
  • 4
    @Paul, I think he said "older"? As in, reaching the end of its lifespan but not yet expired? Feb 5, 2018 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


Most certainly a retcon answer with a lack of Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) source material to back it up:

They have the technology to scan for certain materials, and deterimined the threat level.

This has always bothered me as it seems unclear what "scanners" can actually pick up. However, we know that they are capable of detecting two things:

  1. Lifeforms(1)
  2. Rhydonium(2)

Tydirium made a long approach before getting "dangerously close" to Executor. This gave the Imperial crews plenty of time to figure out that Tydirium was filled with crew members and not a volatile explosive.

While Tydirium could have been packed with a different explosive; one that undetectable by a ship scan, for instance; the Imperial crews probably determined that the ship was not going to be used as a bomb as it was filled with crew. The Lambda class shuttle, while fast for a shuttle, would be no match for the Star Destroyers or wings of TIE fighters defending the fleet. Escape via hyperspace was possible, if not for tractor beams; a commander worth their salt would have some guns/tractor beams tracking the possible threat.

To my knowledge, it is pretty standard for ships/aircraft to either continue on their present course or to remain stationary while the security checks are being executed.


  1. Star Wars: A New Hope
  2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (S:5, E:13)

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