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Star Wars: The Deathstar Destruction and Imperial Incompetence

Updated on May 28, 2018

Deathstar Poll

Who is most to blame for the destruction of the Deathstar?

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Me, Star Wars and The Deathstar

I love Star Wars. The original trilogy (Episodes 4-6) came out before my time. This didn't matter. As a kid I got given a VHS boxset of all three films when they were digitally remastered. Probably for Christmas but thats not important.

I loved the films. All three of them. I must have watched them hundreds of times. I wanted to be a Jedi yet couldn't fail to be impressed by the coolness of Darth Vader and the Empire. I had all the toys. To this day I can quote large parts of the films straight off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm not alone here!

I thought all the spaceships were cool. I bet you did too. One 'ship', however, stood out in my mind: The Death Star. Ok so it isn't technically a 'ship', in fact it's not a moon either, but a space station!

The trilogy has two of the things 'how cool' I thought. Yet despite the seemingly impressive nature of such a space station, with its ability to destroy entire planets no less, there is a slight problem. Now when I say 'slight' I actually mean huge. Grand Canyon size. Even as I child I picked up on it. I am of course referring to the dreadful design!

Now the design really is problematic. While the thing looks impressive, carries great weapons of immense power, millions of Stormtroopers and Imperial officers (who are all killed without a thought for their lives), firing a laser down a hole destroys the entire thing! If, like me, you thought it may be Science Fiction but that’s just ridiculous, you are not on your own.

The second Deathstar
The second Deathstar | Source

The Death Star: Imperial Failure

It almost ruined the film for me. Now let me tell you why. I follow the story: The Empire capture Princess Leia, allow her to escape in order to reveal the location of the secret rebel base, so that the Deathstar can destroy it. End the rebellion in easy laser beam, great. Only thing is a single fighter manages to destroy the whole thing. Imperial Incompetency or rebel luck?

I have the following problems at this point:

1) The rebels only send what seems to be a handful of fighters against it. All they have maybe, but how do they manage to get to the exhaust port and blow it up? There's just no way they would ever be able to get close enough full stop.

2) When they somehow do get to the Deathstar, how do they find the exhaust port? It's the size of a moon remember and it all looks the same when your that close.

3) Assuming you do find it the 'turbo lasers' (I fail to see anything 'turbo' about them) only have to shoot relatively straight to destroy any fighter that gets miraculously close enough. Yet fail miserably.

4) So the lasers fail, let's send in the tie fighters. Good idea right? Yes, had they sent an adequate number. They appear to dispatch no more than 10. There must be thousands and thousands on board so why not launch them?

5) The Millennium Falcon saves the day. How does an even larger ship get close enough in the first place I hear you ask? Good question. Obviously Imperial gunners are blind.

OK I accept you could say Luke 'uses the force' and this is the only reason it's destroyed. Let's put aside the ridiculousness of some 30 fighters ever getting close enough to destroy it and move on to the fundamental problem: terrible design!

Who designs a space station with such a ridiculous design floor? The Empire with all of the resources at its disposal didn't think to: A) protect it (a nice shield perhaps), B) hide it, C) not design it with such a ridiculous design floor in the first place.

On the subject of plans, I've so far failed to mention that they were in fact stolen in the first place. Let's gloss over this fact and focus on the designer themselves. Who was this man? How did it ever get planning permission? Why did no-one notice that it had such a ridiculous weakness? Why wasn't he at the least fired?

A lot of sleep has been lost trying to answer these questions. Eventually, after several coffees, I let it go... Only to recall the third instalment 'Return of the Jedi'. I can forgive such a terrible mistake once, but, to build a second Deathstar with exactly the same design fault is absurd! How did the man keep his job? The Empire kill off anyone who fails, yet this man, who fails in epic styles is rehired!

How can the Empire be so incompetent, again? To be fair it is protected by a shield generator. This in turn is guarded by a legion of 'the Emperor's finest men' who are beaten by glorified teddy bears! Finest men my shoe. Not only does Imperial Architecture leave something to be desired but so does its military training. I am forced to conclude Imperial failure is to blame for the destroctuin of two Deathstars, and the eventual fall of the entire Empire! All in all a large part of my childhood was almost ruined by ridiculous design!

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