Lit Death Star history

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Brenapp, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Brenapp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2012
    star 2
    So, just how well has the history of the Death Star project been smoothed out, what with its appearances in the PT somewhat violating what was earlier established in the EU?
  2. Brenapp Jedi Master

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    I've read on Wookieepedia that the Death Star prototype mentioned in some EU works, such as Darksaber, underwent construction at the same time the Death Star of ANH was being built, so there were two around at the same time. I don't buy this, as it seems a bit contrived. It would make more sense to me if the structure seen at the end of ROTS was the prototype referred to in the EU, and when it failed, construction began on the Death Star I (regardless of what Lucas says).

    There's still the problem of pre-PT EU sources saying the germ of the idea that became the Death Star project originated with Imperial scientists, when AOTC quite clearly showed the Geonosians to have developed the idea shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars.
    Last edited by Brenapp, Dec 11, 2012
  3. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Actually, it goes back further than Geonosis; Sienar developed the initial concept, passed it on to Tarkin, who presented it to Palpatine, who then gave it to the Geonosians, who developed the prototype, which was then captured by the Empire, and then the rest is history. :p
  4. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    The Darksaber is completely unrelated to the Death Star, except in basic function and it comes from the same plans. Otherwise, it has a vastly different design, was created by a Hutt, and wasn't made until about 12 years after the first Death Star was destroyed.

    The novel Death Star smoothed some stuff out, but not much, and the Death Star's history was hardly the focus of the novel. The thing with the prototype is this: people in the Empire were uncertain a laser could be built that accomplished what the Death Star was intended to do. So the prototype was built in the Maw to show that it could be done, and then construction on the Death Star itself resumed, while the prototype remained in the Maw. So the thing shown in ROTS is the Death Star in its early stages.

    Frankly, I think the existence of the prototype is contrived in and of itself, but that's KJA for you. Loved his superweapons.
  5. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Any differences (such as size of superlaser dish) could possibly be put down to redesigns- they might have kept the chassis- but stripped out parts and replaced them with better ones.

    While there was a theory that construction on the DS2 didn't begin till shortly after Empire Strikes Back, more recent works, like The Essential Guide to Warfare, have the first stages of DS2 construction beginning shortly before the Battle of Yavin.
  6. Brenapp Jedi Master

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    Uh......wouldn't it have been a lot simpler for Palpatine to just keep the designs with himself, instead of giving them to the Geonosians, and then take it back from them?

    It's simpler to accept that the project originated with the Geonosians, as AOTC strongly implies. Or maybe Sienar passed it on to Tarkin, and Tarkin then gave it straight to the Geonosians....
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Maybe, Palpatine for one reason or another, needed the Geonosians to actually build the thing, at least initially. Perhaps he had his hands full concealing the Clone Army (and Navy) under the Republic budget- and the Death Star would have been impossible to conceal on top of that.
  8. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2011
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    Why would he have to take the designs back?

    There can be more than one copy.
  9. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Yep. It is a digital template obviously. Not like we're talking about eleventy billion carbon sheets or something. :p
  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    In The Old Republic: Annihilation, we find out that Coruscant has about 100 billion people living in habitation spheres above the planet.

    In The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, we see a couple- (the pic was recycled from concept art for early plotlines involving Death Stars above Coruscant).

    Assuming this is true and not Imperial propaganda disguising the existence of incomplete Death Stars from the public- there's a strong similarity between Death Stars and habitation spheres in appearance.

    Maybe that was part of the design? With Sienar's design team having a revolution in superlaser technology, concluding that they needed a huge station to hold the thing, and using the basic habitation sphere design- modified to hold the superlaser and engines.

    (possibly scaled up, since the DS1 is characterized as "too big to be a space station" by Han, suggesting it's larger than any other Republic or Imperial-built station yet built).
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Sounds reasonable to me. Although the original design was a central sphere connected to smaller spheres, iirc. Plus (again iirc) it didn't have a superlaser.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Dec 11, 2012
  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    True- 3 habitation sphere hulls?
  13. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    I think so. I refuse to reread Rogue Planet to find out, though. :p
  14. TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff

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    Except that the EU established that the success of the prototype was what caused Tarkin to approve construction of the Death Star. :p Unless you're talking about the alternate timeline presented in Fate of the Jedi, where the prototype apparently didn't work and never destroyed Kessel's garrison moon. ;)

    The Essential Atlas nicely sums up the retconned history of the Death Star, lest there be any doubts about its revised (albeit convoluted) history:

    "Despite its iconic status as the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Civil War, the Death Star dates back to before the Clone Wars and a design by the famed starship maker Raith Sienar. Sienar's Expeditionary Battle Planetoid lacked a superlaser and included a smaller sphere at each pole, but the basic concept of what would become the Death Star was already established.

    Sinar's design required advances in hypermatter technology, and envisioned using ice asteroids for fuel. Those considerations troubled him, and by the time he showed his designs to the ambitious Wilhuff Tarkin, he had lost interest in developing the Battle Planetoid.

    Tarkin held the idea in greater esteem than its creator did, particularly once he imagined a mobile battle station with an offensive weapon to equal its defensive capabilities. His insight was that such a battle station could solve one of the oldest problems confronting the Republic: the inability of even a massive starfleet to police the galaxy's billions of worlds...a battle station with sufficient firepower to substantially damage a planet would change this calculus, however--fear of a visit from such a dread construct would prevent worlds from harboring pirates and insurgents or opposing central authority.

    Tarkin presented Sienar's idea to Chancellor Palpatine, claiming it as his own and championing the weapon in his evolving Tarkin Doctrine. Palpatine was intrigued, and directed research into the hypermatter tehcnology required to power such a weapon, as well as structural issues. Designer Bevel Lemelisk pursued both issues with help from the Geonosians under the command of Poggle the Lesser. Lemelisk was alarmed when Geonosis seceded from the Republic, but the Chancellor seemed oddly unconcerned, assuring him the Separatists would never put the weapon into production and urging him to keep his work a secret. When Geonosis became a battlefront at the beginning of the Clone Wars, Count Dooku took the plans to Darth Sidious, unwittingly bringing the schematics for the ultimate weapon full circle.

    Construction began on occupied Geonosis shortly before the end of the Clone Wars [the Essential Guide to Warfare clarifies this as "the outer reaches of the Geonosis system"] and accelerated when Emperor Palpatine assigned Tarkin to the project, making him the first of the Empire's new class of Grand Moffs...construction of the battle station--now code-named Death Star--proved agonizingly slow...But Tarkin always had faith, even as the headquarters for the project moved from Geonosis to Seswennat to Patriim. With Palpatine's approval, Tarkin created his own secret weapons laboratory in the heart of the black-hole cluster known as the Maw and charged the lab with building on the Hammertong findings to create a proof-of-concept model for the Death Star. With Lemelisk as chief engineer, the Maw Installation constructed a scaled-down superlaser within a skeletal armillary sphere. The news was good: it worked. The Death Star project was relocated for a final time--to Horuz, an Imperial penal colony in the backwaters of the Outer Rim Atrivis sector."

    There are still a few issues surrounding the construction of the Death Star, particularly the timing of its move from Geonosis. The Atlas suggests that it was moved from Geonosis to Seswenna to Patriim over a period of about fifteen years or so, but Star Tours II has a nearly-complete Death Star at Geonosis only a few years before ANH. The Force Unleashed has the Death Star at Horuz in approximately the same time period, but at a different stage of construction. The best solution is that the Star Tours II Death Star is actually the Death Star III from the original Star Tours, mothballed after the first Death Star was destroyed at Yavin...but it's doubtful that this will ever be the official explanation.

    TC
  15. cthugha Force Ghost

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    Sep 24, 2010
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    That has always bothered me -- the way the Star Wars movies treat digital information like priceless manuscripts that can't possibly be copied, or broadcast for that matter. I know the EU has tried to make more sense of some of this, but still... such technological naiveté in a science fiction setting is somewhat weird.
  16. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 5, 2012
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    I never got why the Separatists would voluntary give away the Death Star plans. If I was a Seppie, I would construct the Death Star somewhere well hidden and use it to destroy the Republic. Did Poggle the Lesser never wonder what Dooku did with his plans?

    PS: Umak Leth was the one who was the real genius behind the Death Star Project. Admit it! :)
  17. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    All you need to know is Lucas' blank stare and polite "I don't know" in response to Walter Cronkite asking how a Star Destroyer lands on a planet.
    KamSolusar and cthugha like this.
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Didn't ANH begin with the plans having been broadcast to Leia's ship- Leia stored the plans in Artoo- and they fled with them?

    "Where are the transmissions you intercepted? What have you done with those plans?"
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Dec 11, 2012
  19. cthugha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    True... funny how I didn't remember that. And seeing as according to the EU the Tantive IV was headed towards an uplink station when Vader caught it. Still, the whole issue hinging on R2-D2 having the only copy of the plans -- rather than, say, the Rebels immediately copying it as many times as they can, seeding every place they reach with the data, affixing a homing beacon to a datapad and throwing it out of the airlock, just to be sure, rather than leave it all to a single robot... but yeah, I know, it gets the plot going. :p
    CeiranHarmony likes this.
  20. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    Well, consider who the boss of the Geonosians is. Palpatine giving it to them to design is no different than him giving it to the Imperial Navy to construct. They're both his underlings, just at different times and in different guises.
    DarthBoba likes this.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Not to mention much less risky. If the Geonosians get caught building it, fine, they're just evil Seppers who plan to blast planets into little bits. Considerably harder to explain why the good guys (as far as the population of the Republic is concerned) would have it.
  22. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    There was a lot of confusion after the end of the Clone Wars among the general populace. "What's this 'force' thing you speak of???" :p
  23. Brenapp Jedi Master

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    Nov 26, 2012
    star 2
    So what's shown in AOTC and ROTS is still compatible with what was written about in the EU?
  24. TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff

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    It's been made to fit now, yes.

    Poggle gave the plans to Dooku, the leader of the Separatists, in order to prevent the Republic from discovering them--there was no safer person to give them to, in his eyes. The construction of the Death Star during the Clone Wars is a complicated subject--apparently Poggle thought that the Separatists were building the Death Star. Sidious is tricky like that.

    TC
    General Immodet likes this.
  25. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5

    ANH in a logic way:

    Recieve transmissions - rename files into "Bantha Burgers Blue Harvest Holliday Special" - transmit via holonet or other communications channels directly to Alderaan - done!