I once read on starwars.com before it was taken down, that Emperor Palpatine sensed the destruction of the Death Star as a ripple in the Force. He also knew that Luke (Anakin's son) was the one who did it. Is that true?

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    I would think so. The killing of a large number of people does create a sizable ripple in the Force. – Chetter Hummin Jul 16 '12 at 4:02

There were over 1 million people on the Death Star when it blew up. When that many people are killed at one time it can definitely be felt as a ripple in the Force especially to someone as sensitive as Darth Sidious. He probably also felt the rage of his Apprentice as he watched helplessly from space as rebels destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon. He would not have "known" it was the Death Star but knowing the battle is happening I am certain he would have made that conclusion.

I never read or seen anything that would make me believe that Sidious would have known who it was that destroyed the Death Star immediately. However, Luke became very famous throughout the Empire following the Battle of Yavin. I suspect it did not take long for the Empire's intelligence agents to learn the name of the rebel pilot responsible.

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    When Alderaan was destroyed, Kenobi know immediately that something horrible had just happened. I would assume that no matter if you're a Jedi or a Sith, a force sensitive individual would be able to fell this ripple in the force. – Chris Jul 17 '12 at 12:53
  • And when Exiled Jedi (protagonist from KotOR 2) caused destruction of Malachor V, she was cut off from the Force. – Griwes Aug 3 '12 at 17:50

I'd say: Not necessarily. First of all, I don't know whether there's been some established "maximum distance" where you could feel such a ripple in a reasonable way. Would it be unlimited, there could be quite some "noise" due to planets getting destroyed by meteor impacts, ships blowing up, etc.

But even ignoring this fact, there's still the question, whether he'd be able to differentiate between the Death Star blowing up or its target blowing up (especially while anticipating the latter). After all there were probably more sentient life forms on the surface than just a few rebels.

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