I am wondering why there were turret guns inside the trench on the Death Star if its designers had not considered small one-man fighters to be a threat.

"General Dodonna : The battle station is heavily shielded and carries a firepower greater than half the star fleet. Its defenses are designed around a direct, large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.

Gold Leader : Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are snub fighters going to be against that?

General Dodonna : Well, the Empire doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense..."

Here are some screen shots of the turret guns inside of the trench. These screen shots show that the turret guns are located on the floor of the trench and that the laser bolts being shot at the X-wing fighters are coming from these trench floor turret guns.

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Why were there turret guns inside the trench on the Death Star?

  • 5
    They can still fire out of the trench, and they're probably harder to hit inside the trench. Dec 14, 2020 at 14:58
  • 3
    They can fire out of the trench, but have a field of fire restricted by the trench. Kind of useless except for firing at things in the trench or in that small slice of the universe you can see from the bottom of the trench.
    – JRE
    Dec 14, 2020 at 15:01
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite, I can see that, but they would be very limited in what they could hit above them. I think they wouldn't be of much use during a big, full-scale attack on the Death Star by large capital ships.
    – user126715
    Dec 14, 2020 at 15:01
  • 1
    When I was a kid I just thought that was a cool idea to give lots of action and mazelike trench running with incomprehensible things happening. (Come to think of it, why didn't the Death Star have a planetwide deflectorshield like the Empire had at Scarif a few hours earlier??) Dec 14, 2020 at 15:07
  • 5
    About a trench itself: In a 2016 interview, Cantwell related that "I didn't originally plan for the Death Star to have a trench, but when I was working with the mold, I noticed the two halves had shrunk at the point where they met across the middle." As it "would have taken a week of work just to fill and sand and refill this depression," Cantwell suggested a trench to Lucas to save the labor. Lucas liked the idea. Dec 14, 2020 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Couple things:

The trench that the X Wings went down wasn't the equatorial trench where shuttles (and the Falcon) docked. It was actually up near the "North Pole" roughly aligned with the superlaser dish. It was much narrower and shorter than the big trench around the center.

The entire Death Star was covered in cannons and turrets. Without the trench guns a fighter could conceivably land in there and be relatively protected from whatever was going on outside. If one was landing troops or something like that, those guns could come in handy.

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