The tactical and stragetical purpose of the Death Star

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by PainRack, Feb 11, 2004.

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  1. PainRack Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 2
    The Death Star has for the moment, been glimpsed in 3 movies of the Star Wars movie saga. This article attempts to explore the implications the presence of the Death Star brings about.


    1. AOTC
    The first glimpse of the Death Star in the Star Wars timeline. Without any real technical references in the movie, the subsequent movie reference material makes note of the Death Star as being smaller than the "orginal" in ANH. The Geonosians apparently planned for the Death Star to compensate for their smaller numbers as compared to the Galactic Republic.


    Stragetic purpose of the Death Star-
    According to the subsequent movie reference material, the Death Star here was meant to balance the stragetic balance between the Galactic Republic and the Seperatists. This puts a hole in the notion of a defenceless Republic.
    From Shatterpoint, we learn that the "Seperatists has essentially created a defensive barrier around their systems, behind which the Republic cannot penetrate. From here, they are free to concentrate their forces and systematically conquer any system, overwhelming the overstretched clonetroopers.As such, the Republic, under Master Yoda has decided to dispatch guerilla units, led by Republic Intelligence or Jedi to act behind enemy lines."

    Speculation: The Republic does not have the ability to attack into Seperatist territory at the onset of the Clone Wars. Without the actual presence of the Death Star on the Seperatist side, any value that could be derivived can only be estimated.

    It is probable that the presence of the Death Star on the offensive probably served to enhance the offensive striking power of Seperatist fleets. The Death star capabilities might have served to convert Republic worlds and even destroy Republic strongpoints. The destruction of Kuat, Kamino or any other vital chokepoint could knockout the Republic. It is probable that the Seperatist forces could be compared to Imperial Japan in WW2 intial plans. A series of far flung bases would serve to attrit Republic offensive capabilities and a knockout blow to the Republic defensive forces( The Jedi) would have given the Seperatist a free hand in the galaxy. Faced with a fait accompli, the Republic would have no chocie but to accede to Seperatist demands.



    2. ANH
    The Death Star was newly built in ANH, barely fully operational. Tarkin declared that the systems of the Empire would be bound together, and that fear of this battle station would serve to keep the governers of the Empire in line. It was used to destroy the planet Alderaan, as a demonstration of its capability. Similarly, it was to target a significant Rebel base, from which the Rebels had a safe haven to rearm their ships and strike Imperial targets. The failed strike on Yavin was supposed to end the Rebellion in one swift stroke.According to the ANH novelisation, energy bolts, explosive bolts were fired at the Rebel X-wings. Its shields were capable of deflecting the debris from Alderaan, accelerated to 0.5c(described as magnetic in the script, which might not describe the more massive shields the X-wings travelled through) The vector mechanics of Star Wars shields is further complicated by the fact that Rebel snubfighters penetrated this shield.


    According to the EU,The Death Star also had hundreds of turbolaser batteries and concussion missile launchers, as well as dedicated tractor beams on top of its superlaser.


    Stragetic Purpose of the Death Star
    According to the ISB, the Death Star was the ultimate expression of Tarkin Fear Doctrine, in which fear of the Empire stragetic abilities will keep systems from rebelling against the Empire.The Death Star was also built to fend off enemy capital ships. General Dodonna expressed that the Empire did not view snubfighters as being capable of threatening anything else other than another snubfighter. As such, the Death Star defences(and weapons?) were built around anti-capital ship weapons. The Death Star replaced the bombard fleets of the Imperial Navy. No longer was hundreds of ships, along with torpedo spheres req
  2. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    I think the point of the Death Star was just to scare the hell out of everybody.
  3. MatthewZ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2003
    star 4
  4. BaronFel88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 7
    The second Death Star was built as part of an elaborate trap set up by Palpatine to wipe out major portions of the Rebel Fleet once and for all.
  5. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    It shouldn't be overlooked that the Death Star is an effective consolidation of power. An amount of firepower greater than half the Imperial fleet is under a single command.

    This effectively lets Palpatine more directly control his military might by relying on one trustworthy commander (or if you don't trust the guy, leave your #1 henchman there to keep an eye on him) rather than diluting his military power through a fleet of ships and layers upon layers of admirals and captains.


    With the second Death Star, the Empire attempts to correct the mistake of the past. The information about the construction of DS II is leaked to lure the Rebellion to one large battle and even more tantalizing is that Palpy himself is there.

    Of course Palpatine isn't just putting himself up as bait for the Rebellion. Any attack by the Rebel Alliance is bound to involve Luke Skywalker in some way, and after the events of ESB, it wouldn't be wise to allow Vader another attempt to forge an alliance with his son. Palpatine is there to make sure that any alliance with the younger Skywalker either be with him, or that Luke be killed.

    Simple as that.
  6. Sithman Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 1999
    star 7
    "I think the point of the Death Star was just to scare the hell out of everybody."


    [face_laugh]

    Simply put, and exactly right.

    "Fear will rule the local systems now. Fear of this battle station."
  7. BaronFel88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 7
    It's fun reproducing this effect in the game, "Star Wars Rebellion." Any systems that had some dissent immediately became more loyal when a DS was present.
  8. PainRack Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 2
    Are you guys disagreeing with me, adding new thoughts or just concurring?
  9. DarthDrew Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 4
    I like what you've said so far, but as an aside, I'd wonder who was the tactical "genius" who decided to stop building after one. As evidenced by the destruction of the first one, they should have started construction of several at several different locations and kept on building them. Kuat and the other drive yards could have joined in on the construction as well.

    As Hadden Suit said in the movie Contact, "The first rule of government contracting. Why build one when you can have two for twice the price?"
  10. Lord_Makro Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2002
    star 2
    Well, just think of the resources required to build a Death Star. We are talking about an artificial planetary object; I don't think they could built more that one Death Star any time, no matter how powerful the Empire was.
    And the Death Star was such a great weapon that there was actually no need for a second; they probably believed that one was more than enough.
  11. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    It's fun reproducing this effect in the game, "Star Wars Rebellion." Any systems that had some dissent immediately became more loyal when a DS was present.

    But popular support drops in all loyal systems should you ever blast a planet with the death star. ;) It takes so much time and resources to build a death star that you'll have nothing but the death star as your fleet. 8-}

    -Aunecah
  12. appleseed Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2002
    star 4
    The Death Star is quite obviously the GFFA equlivent of the Nuke. It was created by Lucas during the Cold War, when fear of the Nuclear Holocaust was at it's highest. It represents everything we fear in technology, and it isn't a mistake that the Rebellion who oppose it are seen as a more religous force either. It tears and the very basic points of the human psyche and the clash in the 20th Century between science and faith.

    And yeah, it scares the hell out of everybody.
  13. cooker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2004
    star 2
    Excellent logic, Pain Rack, but you overlooked one of the most crucial functions of the DS:

    Bottomless pits.

    Without bottomless pits, the galaxy would still be under the thrall of Palpatine. The Force be with the designer who was brilliant enough to include bottomless pits in both incarnations of the Death Star, and in the Emperor's throne room no less!
  14. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    And the Death Star also carries on the tradition of being a superweapon with one critical weakness that is ignored because dissenters can't get to it any way. ;)

    -Aunecah
  15. Sith_241 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
  16. RogueWompRat Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2003
    star 4
    Note the Death Stars are also capable of busting through planetary shields, which would otherwise take a while using bombardment by a fleet or Torpedo Spheres.
  17. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    And I suppose Death Star can also act as a huge troop as well as squadron carrier. However, a Death Star takes so much time and resources to build, and so many resources to maintain that I don't know if it's really worth it at all...especially with it's "can't-get-to-it-except-in-a-fighter-which-is-the-only-thing-the-Rebels-have" weakness.

    -Aunecah
  18. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    Unlocking and upping for new discussion.
  19. GrandAdmiral_Frank Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2003
    star 4
  20. Traest_Krefey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 1
    The Death Star Project was a child of the Tarkin Doctrine. It was a weapon of mass destruction that would keep local systems in line and prevent them from supplying Anti-Empire groups. (Not only the Rebellion but also other local resistance organisations)

    Stil, I don't think DS should have been used to hunt the Rebels. The Imperial Navy is far more than capable of doing that. The DS should have stayed on Coruscant and occasionally visited "problematic systems" and show the who is the boss.
  21. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    Just a reminder:


    As with the other Movie Forums, the use of EU is restricted. It can be presented as a possibility. One option out of many. It is not to be presented as an absolute, or fact that cannot be argued against. When presenting an EU argument, it is considered good manners to point out that you are putting forth an EU commentary.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The primary value of the Death Star would have to be in not using it more than once. Destroying a planet means depriving the empire of that planet's entire present and future economic value, read tax revenue base. Simply put, the empire would not have been able to afford to use its terror weapon.

    Like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first demonstration is all that's needed, or ever feasible. After that it loses all military value as anything but a threat/deterrent.
  23. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    The tactical and stragetical purpose of the Death Star ....is to BLOW EVERYTHING UP!
  24. ImperialBA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2004
    star 2
    But destroying a planet sets an example to other planets/governments that you will not mess with the Empire. It is very much like the nuclear threat that we have faced today.

    After we put two bombs on Japan there hasn't been a single example of a country or nation using the nuclear bomb as either a offensive or defensive weapon. Period.

    The Death Star was and is the same thing. By destroying the rebel base they would send a clear and consice message to the rest of the galaxy. "You oppose our will and you will be destroyed and there is nothing you can do to stop us."

    Realistically if it wasn't for the rebels stealing the DS plans then the Empire would still be in full control and the rebellion would've just simply disappeared and cease to be a major or real threat to the Empire.

    Also the lose of the resources of just one planet is insignificant to the resources of billions of planets. The Emperor knew that he couldn't blow up every single planet and he wouldn't. Just by having the Death Star blow up one planet would allow him to gain more resources of other planets. Besides, the Empire had the resources to build fleets of over 25,000 ISD, about 18 SSD and smaller capital ships too many to count. Do you believe that the loss of just one or two planet's resources would make him pause?
  25. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    The purpose of the Deathstar is to symbolize Palpatines God complex - Im mean really, a mobile moon that can enter any system and destroy it? Its religious symbolism at its absolute most decadent and is truly genius at the how evil a writer can make a particular character. And its a MOON - how much more close to being God can one get?
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