140 votes
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How did no other engineer see the design flaw of the Death Star?

They did, but Galen misdirected them There's a supplemental document included in the Rogue One novelization, comprised of several messages sent between Galen and one of the engineering managers, ...
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92 votes
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What do the Death Stars do, other than destroying planets?

The primary purpose of the Death Star is to create order through fear, as stated by Tarkin in A New Hope. TARKIN: The regional governors now have direct ...
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82 votes
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How was construction of the Death Star(s) kept secret?

The canon explanation is given in the novel Tarkin. The Empire used a combination of secluded and inhospitable bases which each supported only part of the project. This made sure no single person (...
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80 votes
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How big is the Death Star compared to the Executor

Darth Satan got it first and deserves the credit, but I couldn't resist doing this in Photoshop: I took the picture in the question, found a frame from before it where the Executor hasn't hit the ...
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  • 4,206
78 votes
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Why was the Death Star's shield generator on Endor?

The shield generator was temporary protection while the second Death Star was under construction. Both Death Stars had built-in shield generators to protect against enemy capital ships but ...
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  • 68k
75 votes
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Why didn't the Empire target Yavin Prime?

This was addressed in an "Ask the Jedi Council" feature on the StarWars.com website. According to LucasFilm's (former) Head of Fan Relations/Director of Content Management Steve Sansweet, ...
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  • 615k
73 votes

Would Luke Skywalker be considered a war criminal?

War crimes are generally defined as actions taken during war time that violate agreements regarding what is and is not acceptable in war. Therefore, it's impossible to say how Luke's actions would be ...
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69 votes
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How did the Rebels find the design flaw to the first Death Star?

The Rebels had a slight advantage: they already knew what they were looking for; Galen's message, relayed by Jyn, explained both what to do, and what the result would be: "What kind of trap?&...
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68 votes

Why did the Empire need the Death Star?

The Death Star is the ultimate expression of the Tarkin Doctrine. Grand Moff Tarkin gained his favour with the Emperor in large part due to his belief that the threat of destruction was an effective ...
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  • 1,682
67 votes
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How does the Death Star gravity work?

From the old West End Games D6 Roleplaying Game (Second Edition) supplement Death Star Technical Companion, Chapter Two: Technical Specifications, p. 16, right column: Gravity within the battle ...
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64 votes
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In episode IV, did the inhabitants of Alderaan realize what was about to happen?

According to the (canon) short story Eclipse, the inhabitants were largely in the dark about the nature of their impending demise. The "planet killer" was a closely guarded secret. A few individuals ...
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60 votes

Why was the Death Star's shield generator on Endor?

The shield generator on the moon of Endor was there to provide protection during the construction phase. Since the Death Star II was not complete, it wasn't yet able to generate its own shields like ...
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  • 1,642
60 votes
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Why is the superlaser dish in the southern hemisphere of the Death Star rather than the northern one?

In space, orientation is relative Unless the Death Star is very close to a planet or other massive body, any significant gravity it produces is artificial. As such, whether the laser dish is in the ...
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  • 112k
58 votes
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Why didn't anyone stop Luke from leaving the second Death Star?

I would like to point to the fact that when Luke is escaping with Darth Vader, the battle already took a huge step in favor of the alliance. The Shield generator on Endor was destroyed where every man ...
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  • 1,401
58 votes

Why is the superlaser dish in the southern hemisphere of the Death Star rather than the northern one?

It's always in the northern hemisphere. You're upside down. The Emperor's throne room on the second Death Star was on the top of a 100-story tower located on the north pole of the superweapon. ...
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  • 5,858
57 votes
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Why didn't the original Death Star's shields protect against small fighters?

This is directly addressed in the movie during the rebel briefing on Yavin IV (emphasis added): GOLD LEADER: Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are snub fighters going to be against that? ...
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55 votes

Was "Death Star" an officially designated name?

According to the new (Disney Canon) junior novel, Star Wars: The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy, the Station was codenamed the Death Star; But the system had been swarming with Imperials. ...
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  • 615k
51 votes
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Why did the Death Star not target this location at the end of “Rogue One?”

I think it was because they didn't want to wait to get into ideal position. The Death star was rising from the horizon and positioning itself to attack. Turning huge battle station like that even ...
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  • 1,589
51 votes

How did no other engineer see the design flaw of the Death Star?

Have you ever worked on or seen a FMECA? Even for a simple system, they are a truly stupendous amount of work. A few years ago, I reviewed one performed by someone else on a relatively complex system (...
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  • 1,044
45 votes

Would Luke Skywalker be considered a war criminal?

The key concept that you are missing is proportionality. To quote Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, in 2006: Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of ...
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44 votes
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A New Hope: Why doesn't the Death Star scramble more TIE fighters?

Having re-read the script, it seems that Tarkin and Vader didn't view the attack (by the fighters) as much more than an annoyance until it was far too late. Resistance (by the Rebels, who're about to ...
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  • 615k
43 votes
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Why is there a difference in the speed of explosions caused by the Death Star?

It wasn’t at full power The Death Star was not being used at full power. It only blew up a portion of the moon’s surface, not the entire moon. “Target Jedha City,” he snapped. “Prepare single reactor ...
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40 votes

Was the thermal exhaust port on the Death Star really a design flaw?

Disney Canon: Absolutely not The exhaust port flaw was included by Galen Erso, one of the designers of the Death Star, as a means of deliberately sabotaging the Empire: “My colleagues,” Galen said, “...
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  • 112k
40 votes

What do the Death Stars do, other than destroying planets?

After blowing up Alderaan, the Death Star's role is Power Projection (aka Force Projection) for the Empire. See Wikipedia's article on Power projection. The Death Star was supposed to be impervious ...
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  • 493
40 votes

Was it implied by the dialogue in A New Hope that the Death Star had never been used before?

A New Hope does specifically state that Alderaan was the first planet destroyed by the Death Star, as mentioned by Valorum. Tarkin: Not after we demonstrate the power of ...
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40 votes
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Why are stormtroopers stationed outside the Death Star near the turbolaser batteries adjacent to Bay 327?

They're Spacetroopers They were retconned identified as such at Celebration Anaheim 2015, and got a collectible toy release from Hot Toys; quoting from their description: The Spacetroopers are ...
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38 votes

Why didn't the original Death Star's shields protect against small fighters?

It's too big. According to Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, the Death Star was simply too large to have a single effective shield based inside the station. It had to make do with shielding for individual ...
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  • 615k
37 votes
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Was the Death Star cost effective?

An answer can certainly be calculated, but it requires the use of numbers from both canon and Legends, as not all statistics found in Legends material have an equivalent figure accounted for in Disney ...
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  • 33.8k
36 votes
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How does the size of the Death Star compare to the Yorktown Station in Star Trek Beyond?

This is a graphical depiction of how the two objects would look side-by-side, based on the best canonical evidence we have about their sizes. According the the concept artist for Star Trek Beyond, ...
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