• Mattie Stu

Star Wars: A Look at The Death Star

The spheroid shape of the Death Star was so large that it was often mistaken for a small moon at first glance. The battlestation’s equator comprised of numerous docking ports of various sizes, which were all supported by incredibly powerful tractor beam emitters and guarded by turbolaser emplacements. At over 120km wide in diameter, the Death Star had 357 internal levels. Because of its sheer size, it had a heavy gravitational pull, meaning TIE fighter pilots had to adjust their ships thrusters for a takeoff more like those within a planetary atmosphere. Capital ships, like Imperial-class Star Destroyers, were also able to dock the station. While the docking bay doors were open, magnetic seals kept the station’s internal atmosphere in and the vacuum of space out. The Death Star’s hull was made of quadanium plates.

The Death Star functioned essentially as a world of its own, having many creature comforts most other Imperial Military postings did not, like decent food, cantinas with latest-model bartender droids, and commissaries with selections of expensive treats and luxuries. The station’s designers planned to house nearly 300,000, but when complete, it accommodated over 300,000 military and 2,000,000 other personnel. Furthermore, in addition to communal barracks, there were enough private bunks to accommodate someone within three to six months of their arrival. The overbridge featured designated posts for Tarkin and other officers, a conference room featuring a circular table, a HoloNet booth for communicating with the Emperor and large banks of viewscreens. Although the detention block was large and formidable, it was not designed to hold prisoners for extended periods of time. Instead, it purposefully served as a means for temporary detention and interrogation before transfer to planetary prisons or execution.

By far the most prominent weapon emplacement on the Death Star was its superlaser, which was powered by a hypermatter reactor and focussed through giant kyber crystals with sufficient firepower to destroy an entire planet. However, despite its impressive size and destructive power, the superlaser was only fired once. Regardless, it needed a 24-hour recharge before it could be fired again. But the Death Star wasn’t just fitted with a superlaser, as 15,000 turbolaser batteries and 768 tractor beam emplacements also protected the structure. However, the defences were installed to repel a large-scale fleet, not to fend off individual starfighters since the Empire never viewed them as a real threat. The battlestation also contained plentiful TIE/LN starfighters which frequently patrolled the space surrounding the Death Star. The station was powered by numerous hypermatter reactors, which if destroyed would be catastrophic to the station.

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