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As everyone knows, there was no Endor holocaust when the Death Star exploded, even though there probably should have been one. But I've got to wonder about the events immediately prior.

Endor is referred to in Return of the Jedi as a "forest moon," implying that a significant fraction (if not all) of its land surface is covered in the sort of heavy forests we see in the scenes set on Endor. Well, for an hour or so prior to the destruction of the second Death Star, there was a fairly heavy firefight going on in the forest. Bolts of superheated plasma were fired all over, both from blasters and also much heavier machine-mounted weapons, and most of them, fired with typical Stormtrooper accuracy, missed their target and hit some piece of the scenery instead. Speeders and walkers ended up exploding all over the place, and at the very end, a fortified military installation was razed with high explosives, setting off a massive explosion that could be seen for miles around.

And yet, in the celebration scene at the end, we see no evidence of the horrific conflagrations that should have swept through the entire region and devastated the Ewoks' home forest. Does any canonical explanation exist for how this battle never managed to touch off a massive wildfire?

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    Stormtrooper aim is so bad, they missed the forest. – Oldcat Jun 15 '15 at 21:03
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    @Oldcat: That might make sense if they had actually been aiming for the forest... – Mason Wheeler Jun 15 '15 at 21:03
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    just looking at endor leads me to believe its a very "wet" planet. were i live in the midwest there are almost never forest fires because forests here are super wet and moist all the time, i could litterally toss gasoline on a tree in the closest forest to me, and once the gas burrned off the tree would stop burning their so wet. this is in contrast to the forests by California, which are very dry forests and will in fact start on fire easily. This is most likely the reason their were no fires, however, i dont actually know if endor is a wet forest, while i believe it is. – Himarm Jun 15 '15 at 21:05
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    "Can a nuclear power plant explode like an atom bomb? Absolutely not. A nuclear explosion is impossible in a commercial nuclear power plant. A power plant doesn’t contain the type of fuel in the amount which is needed to make atomic bombs." nh.gov/safety/divisions/hsem/nuclearpowerplants/… we can assume that the people with far more advanced tech have similar features. – Himarm Jun 15 '15 at 21:43
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    I don't know if I should make this an official answer, but the scenes were shot in the Pacific Northwest, which, as I understand it, is technically a rainforest (or something close to it). The trees on Endor are similar to Redwoods, which tend to grow in very wet environments. The forest was probably quite damp, and the bark of redwood trees is very thick and tough, so the forest was probably just fine. If you've ever seen a survival show set in a similar location, you know that the survivalists always have trouble trying to get a fire started. – Wad Cheber Jun 15 '15 at 22:45
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The clearest answer I can see has to do with the type of forest we're talking about. The Endor scenes were filmed in California's Redwood National Park, which, as I understand it, is technically a rainforest. Redwood forests like this one tend to be extremely damp and receive a lot of rain. If you've ever seen a survival show set in the redwood forests (I believe "Dual Survival" has done an episode there), you know how much trouble the survivalists have in trying to start a campfire. Everything in the forest is soaking wet most of the time.

And redwoods are especially resistant to forest fires: the bark is thick and tough, and the foliage is so far above the ground that a fire on the forest floor can't reach high enough to get the branches and leaves burning. Basically, the outer layer of bark gets scorched, but the tree itself doesn't catch fire, and the blaze just consumes the undergrowth and dead wood laying on the ground, leaving the trees largely unharmed, and even benefitting the trees by fertilizing the soil and making more room for new trees to grow.

I don't think that George Lucas expects us to believe that the trees on Endor are the same species we have on earth, but they are obviously quite similar to redwoods (and again, the trees we are seeing on our screens are in fact redwoods). So the same rules that govern our redwood forests probably apply to Endor's forests as well.

Obviously, our redwoods don't have to deal with plasma bolts and blaster fire, but we could argue that the extreme heat produced by a blaster bolt dissipates so quickly that it doesn't have enough time to start a serious blaze. It might not even be able to penetrate the thick layer of bark on the outside of the tree.

Considering how wet redwood forests are, it is actually kind of surprising that the Ewoks are able to have fires and torches at all. I can only assume that they keep their firewood covered up so it can dry out before they need to use it.

And we could actually ask the same question about all sorts of substances that we see being hit by blaster fire. Why don't people's clothes catch fire when they are shot? Why doesn't anything catch fire when it is shot?

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