Death Star

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The Death Star is a fictional moon-sized space station and superweapon appearing in the Star Wars movies and expanded universe. It is capable of destroying a planet with a single destructive beam.

Contents

Origin and design

Although particular details, such as the superlaser's location, shifted between different concept models during A New Hope's production, the notion of the Death Star being a large, spherical space station was consistent in all of them.[1] The buzzing sound counting down to the Death Star firing its superlaser comes from the Flash Gordon serials.[2] Portraying an incomplete yet powerful space station posed a problem for Industrial Light & Magic's modelmakers for Return of the Jedi.[3] Only the front side of the 137-centimeter model was completed, and the image was flipped horizontally for the final film.[3] Both Death Stars were depicted by a combination of complete and sectional models and matte paintings.[1][3]

Depiction

Films

The original Death Star first appears in A New Hope. Commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), it is the Galactic Empire's "ultimate weapon", a space station capable of destroying a planet in a single attack. The film opens with Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) transporting the station's schematics to the Rebel Alliance to aid them in destroying the Death Star. Tarkin orders the Death Star to destroy Leia's home world of Alderaan in an attempt to pressure her to betray the Rebels. In the film's climactic battle, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) uses his power in the Force to help him destroy the station.

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