The Death Star of Star Wars is a colossal weapon. Not only is it the size of the Moon, but with a single blast, it could destroy entire planets. It is truly the ultimate weapon of villainous proportions.
In Star Wars Episode IV, the Death Star (the first) is the Galactic Empire’s weaponized battle station, which has the capability of erasing planets from existence.
Besides being a planet-sized military base, the Death Star battle station is the cozy home to 300,000 Imperial Navy and Army personnel, 25,000 Storm Troopers, and two million support personnel.
Economics students at Lehigh University actually attempted to calculate how much money the Death Star would have taken to build. The answer was ginormous: It would take roughly $852 septillion just to construct the Death Star.
“The first Death Star is stated to be more than 100 km to 160 km in diameter, depending on the source. It is crewed by an estimated 1.7 million military personnel and 400,000 droids.
The second Death Star is significantly larger, between 160 km to 900 km in diameter depending on the source, and technologically more powerful than its predecessor. Both versions of these moon-sized fortresses are designed for massive power-projection capabilities, capable of destroying multiple naval fleets or entire planets with one blast from their super lasers.”
Princess Leia comes to regret her foul remark after Governor Tarkin decides to test the Death Star’s destructive power on her home planet of Alderaan. A little trivia is that Peter Cushing’s (Tarkin) boots hurt so much that he did the whole A New Hope scene in slippers.
Thanks to the film Rogue One, not only do we now know why it was so easy for Luke to blow up in A New Hope, but also how the plans were ultimately delivered to the Rebel Alliance.
Practically since the day the first Star Wars movie was released, fans have wondered why none of the Empire’s engineers ever realized it was a bad idea to build a Death Star with such an obvious vulnerability—a small exhaust port that leads directly to the space station’s reactor core, enabling anyone who shoots it with a proton torpedo to blow up the entire structure.
Rogue One (2016) provides a plausible, even narratively satisfying answer to that question: as the film explains, the engineer responsible for the flaw placed it there on purpose, in the hopes that one day it would spell the Empire’s demise.