The Death Star has enough power to destroy an entire planet. It's been estimated that one blast of its superweapon delivers energy comparable to that released by the Sun in an entire week so we can assume that there is a pretty big reactor in there.

When Luke Skywalker detonates the core with his X-wing, even if we factor in the distance the bombs have to travel to reach the Death Star's core (~88km), it seems unlikely he could have traveled fast enough to escape the explosion.

How did he avoid being killed when the Death Star exploded?

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    Well I mean, he must have, otherwise he'd be dead – Edlothiad Aug 18 '18 at 17:55
  • From the alleged close reason: "unless related directly to a cited work of fiction." Are you claiming that Star Wars is not fictional? That close question is for questions about things like Elon Musk's Teslas. You know, things that only exist in the real world, not fiction. Scientific (or fantastical) explanations about SFF works are always on-topic. – Brythan Aug 18 '18 at 19:13
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    @Edlothiad - Maybe he did die... wooOoOoO! Plot twist!! – Valorum Aug 18 '18 at 19:51
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    The Death Star can indeed destroy an entire planet when all its energy is focused on the planet. In an unfocused explosion, only a minute fraction of the energy would hit Luke's small ship at a moderate distance. – Blackwood Aug 18 '18 at 20:07
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    A Nuclear Weapon explosion can destroy a city, but destroying it without triggering the chain reaction won't have same yield. Unless you can tell the exact mechanism of Death Star superlaser production, there's no way to answer this. – Lobo Aug 18 '18 at 22:27

He almost did die. Even pulling out of the trench at full speed immediately after making the shot (not waiting to see if it went in) and burning directly away from the station at full speed, his X-wing was stil rocked back and forth with the energy of the explosion. Eventually he and the other ships managed to outrun the blast wave.

Luke knew that the moment would be imprinted on his memory forever. The way the ring of pure energy and fire blew out from the center of the battle station, ripping it apart into nothing more than shreds of metal and dust. The pressure of the detonation rocked the X-wing, sending it bobbing. Just as quickly, his flight smoothed out again and calm returned to the galaxy. The terrifying giant was gone, and with it the weight of fear that had been pressing down on Luke.

A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy


And then there was an explosion.

Luke got away just in time. He looked back over his shoulder. In a blinding flash of light, the Death Star burst into a billion pieces.

Classic Star Wars: A New Hope


The three Rebel starfighters and the Falcon were barely out of the danger zone when the Death Star exploded in an immense, blinding flash. From a distance, the blast resembled a small supernova.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - Junior novelisation


I think the exploding Death Star would have sent millions of tons of metal shrapnel flying out in all directions at a very high velocity. If anything would have taken out Luke’s X-wing fighter it probably would have been a piece of shrapnel.

Also, ideally, all the x-wing fighters and the M Falcon should have jumped to hyper-space immediately after the two missiles entered the exhaust port on the Death Star.

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