With reference to this question: What exactly is the creature living in the garbage compactor on the detention level?

Why is there a fully grown Dianoga living on a brand new Death Star?

The Death Star is newly constructed and has yet to fire a shot in anger. But it has a Dianoga living in the garbage compactor on the detention level. How?

Its not like the Dianoga knows any Bothans that can tell him the clearance code to get on board the Death Star (it's an old code but it checks out).

And a Dianoga is hardly likely to be able to pilot a stolen imperial shuttle anyway - so how did it get there?

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    Yow might as well ask, where did all that garbage come from on a newly constructed Death Star? It was a government project, I'm sure the schedule slipped out a lot. Dianoga spores probably got thrown away with an emptied bag of Vodran Crunchies. Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 1:43
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    Related - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/14191/…
    – Liath
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 6:56
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    And putting some kind of sewer dweller into the movie was a stroke of genius. It makes you feel that the whole structure has a long history to it, like a tramp ship, possibly refitted, not like something that is spanking new out of starfleet dock (even though Tarkin mentions the fact that he has just been handed the keys to this new battle station). Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 14:35

3 Answers 3


The Death Star isn't really that new. Construction of it began well before Luke and Leia's birth, as we can see it's already in this state within days of their birth:

Death Star Construction as of Luke and Leia's birth

Sure it isn't ready, but as it's so large we can assume that they will attempt to start making parts of it habitable as soon as possible, as this will mean any non-droid workers won't need to wear space suits while working on it.

People working on board the station will then require food which will in turn generate trash, so they're going to want to build a waste disposal system very quickly so they don't have to shuttle workers in and out of the station constantly as well as shuttle the trash back out.

With this in mind, all that needs to happen now is to get a Dianogra on board. As it says on their Wookieepedia article:

Dianoga originated on the planet Vodran—discovered by the Hutts prior to the formation of the Galactic Republic

Over many millennia, dianoga migrated from Vodran by stowing away aboard garbage ships in their microscopic larval forms, and could be commonly found in trash compactors, garbage pits and sewers across the galaxy, living off any present organic matter.

So really all it takes is one Vodran worker not wiping his boots before boarding the station, or a Stormtrooper who got a bit too close to a Hutt and the larva will end up on the floor and get swept down into the garbage compactor on whatever level they worked.

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    In one of the (no longer canon) EU novels or comics, it mentioned that many civilizations used dianoga on purpose as a living waste disposal system. That's supposedly why they were so common in trash/waste facilities.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 20:39
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    If you're dumping the waste into space, who cares if the quantity is reduced by a dianoga?
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 15:28
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    @scott better to recycle the waste than dump it. Compaction may be the first step in a recycling process to move material to the recycling system. If intentionally introducing a dianoga, then it could simply be used to reduce more of the solid waste into liquid so it can be processed using piping systems, or it may be more effective than other breakdown systems or processes in turning the waste into something that is more easily processed further in the waste stream.
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 16:25
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    If you consider that dianogas don't eat metal, metal is pretty easy to recycle, and there's lots of metal in the garbage, I am skeptical that recycling is terribly important to them (although it should be, especially in space!) Maybe just an artifact of the 70's when people regularly threw trash out of their cars in the US
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 16:32
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    it's tough to explain no matter which way you go. i have to think their ability to recycle is comfortably beyond what we think of as recycling and anything that is considered waste can be recycled (solids and liquids), tho solids would be much more efficient. all waste would just get injected into a recycler without being 'held' for compaction or other treatment. so the short answer: it's super fun having a dianoga on your death star that who wouldn't have one?
    – horace
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 16:01

Something that grows from a larval state is going to have to mature very rapidly if it is to survive in the wild. It's not that farfetched to think it could have grown to adulthood at any point during the construction phase.

The same thing happens IRL-- a brand new house can have a black mold infestation within months of completion if the contractor uses materials that were already contaminated in the building process.


It is conceivable that if you are going to have trash, you could eliminate the biological waste with a dianoga then whatever is left would be either recycled or disposed of by whatever was protocol.

  • But the dianoga also produces biological waste, as required by metabolism. Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 10:24

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