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I was wondering what percentage within the fully operational Death Star I had people actively living there, working there, etc. Perhaps everyone was near the surface and the inner parts were inhospitable all-machinery? Or no?

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All signs point to the 'city sprawl' on the exterior of the station being the main place in which the station's population work and live, with the interior being largely focused on engines, weaponry, power generation, etc.

City Sprawl - Living Quarters

Living quarters aboard the Death Star ranged from spartan barracks for the crew to multi-room luxury apartments for the senior officers. Lower officers, such as lieutenants, shared their quarters with as many as three other officers of like rank. Higher officers received private quarters. The crew quarters bunked as many as 50 individuals in a room, but some crew members received preferential treatment. Combat pilots and highly-skilled technical crew received better living conditions than the average service tech or lab assistant.

Death Star Technical Companion

enter image description hereDS-1 Death Star Owner's Technical Manual


We know that the station has a width of 160 kilometres, meaning that the depth of the 'city sprawl' (based on our observation of the blueprint below) is about 160 metres. Assuming 80% of that is freely usable as habitable space (e.g. minus the bit with the big death-spewing laser dish in the middle of it), that means that the living area represents about 5% of the total interior volume of the Death Star.

enter image description here

Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection

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  • Proving once again that writers have no sense of scale. A single storey of habitation chambers over just 10% of the surface area yields over 2000m^2 per person assuming over 2 million inhabitants. :-P And that's in 0.2% of the surface volume; use just 1% of just the surface and each person gets over 10000m^2 (1 ha) of personal space. Bunking 4 lieutenants together is just not applying any thought.
    – DavidW
    Oct 25 '21 at 20:05
  • @DavidW - Oh sure. The thing is vast and everyone could have their own town-sized bedroom without any problems, but you're not thinking like a military planner.
    – Valorum
    Oct 25 '21 at 20:09
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    (Nothing I say here should detract from the fact this is a good answer, +1.) But if I were thinking about it from a military point of view, I wouldn't spread all the soft squishy bits in a thin layer on the outside either! (I would make all the non-military parts of the outer 1km storage for bulk, inert, non-combat-critical supplies, like water and food.)
    – DavidW
    Oct 25 '21 at 20:16
  • @davidw water and food aren’t combat critical? When you’ve just blown up the nearest planet?
    – Graham Lee
    Oct 27 '21 at 7:20
  • One imagines that a lot of the crustal-habitation-zone is taken up by support-equipment for the hundreds or thousands of shield projectors, turbolaser emplacements, sensors, communications and auxiliary systems studding the surface. I imagine that if people live on the surface itself, they most likely live in discrete habitation-sectors when they're not bunking near their duty-stations. Nov 24 '21 at 12:53

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