This question is a spin-off of this one. Someone asked in the comments, How do we know the Executor is 19km long?

Based solely on canonical (film-only) evidence, how do we know this?

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    You should exclude the picture from the linked question from the allowed evidence.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 4, 2015 at 10:10
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    Well, if you count actual models made for the movies into canonical evidence, that's how - the actual model was scaled to be 19km (actually, 11 miles). It was designed to be 11x the length of a star destroyer, and TESB and ROTJ were very good at their scaling, so there's no contradictory evidence.
    – Luaan
    Mar 4, 2015 at 13:44
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    Curtis Saxon has thoroughly documented the size and scale of different vehicles on his Star Wars Technical Commentaries pages. They are well worth the read if you are really curious: theforce.net/swtc/ssd.html
    – Nick2253
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:17
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    That one cannot see the curvature of the Death Star when the Executor plows into it might be of some use to establish bounds on its size... though out-of-universe I have serious doubts the special effects folks took that into account.
    – Schwern
    Mar 4, 2015 at 18:09
  • I tried to work out something using the scale of Admiral Piett standing in front of the windows to estimate the height of the tower to estimate the length of the Executor, but couldn't find the right shots to go from tower height to tower depth. I did work out the main hexagonal portion of the tower is about 50m high.
    – Schwern
    Mar 4, 2015 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Below is support for the 19km length of the Executor.

Bear with me, this is a long chain of evidence, but it is all taken directly from movie footage and nowhere else.

The following image is a screenshot from Episode IV taken the moment the Tantive IV fully enters the shadow of the docking bay on the Star Destroyer. At this moment, we can then use this image to measure the size of the Tantive IV and the size of the docking bay.

The Tantive IV framed by the entrance to the Star Destroyer's docking bay

C-3PO can stand upright in the escape pod, and based on footage from the surface of Tatooine from inside the pod, the outside diameter of the escape pod is approximately 3 meters.

C-3PO (sitting) and R2-D2 (standing) looking out the escape pod port

C-3PO (sitting) and R2-D2 (standing) looking out the escape pod port.

Starting from this point, we get the total length of the Tantive IV as about 120-130 meters (122 in my measurements). The docking bay in the Star Destroyer then measures 192 meters.

There are several other scenes where we can get a very clear picture of docking bay size vs total length of Star Destroyer. My best measurements show the ship is 8.7 times longer than the docking bay, giving a Star Destroyer length of 1672 meters. Just from screenshot measurements.

In ROTJ it is difficult to get precise measurements between a Star Destroyer and the Executor since you are never 100% sure that the two are in the same plane (field of depth). What can be seen clearly is that the Executor is a minimum of 10 times the length of an ordinary Star Destroyer. So, a minimum of 16.7km. 19km is absolutely plausible.

Death Star size is harder to get based on screen footage only, but it is very definitely shown to be smaller than 300km. I currently have no direct evidence to support the previous statement. (I'm definitely not the first one to follow this chain of image evidence.)

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    +1 It would also be great if you could add an image showing the approx 3m escape pod? How accurate is that? 3m-5m? or 3m +/- 1m? Mar 4, 2015 at 1:51
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    Yes, I did answer my own question: scifi.stackexchange.com/help/self-answer, though as with any interested knowledge seeker, I am also hoping someone provides either a viewpoint to refute mine, or more detailed supporting evidence.
    – Stewbob
    Mar 4, 2015 at 2:27
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    @BMWurm, As I stated in the text of the answer, the image shows the Tantive IV entering the docking bay of a star destroyer, not a super star destroyer. Obviously it's not an image of the Executor.
    – Stewbob
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:35
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    @Stewbob You're right, of course, my mind just added the super in there because of the context of the question lol, oops. You might actually enjoy the SWTC site quite a lot, because Curtis Saxton uses basically the same method as you to reach the same conclusions. Careful though, one can get lost on his site :P
    – BMWurm
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:37
  • 2
    Amazing answer! Mar 4, 2015 at 15:49

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