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Bases & Space Stations


Death Star

Base: Space Station
Type: Custom Deep-Space Battle Station
Size: 160 Kilometers in Diameter
Weapons:
1 Superlaser
5,000 Turbolaser Batteries
5,000 Heavy Turbolasers
2,500 Laser Cannons
2,500 Ion Cannons
768 Tractor Beam Projectors
Crew:
774,576 Crew Members
27,048 Officers
378,685 Support Personnel
Top Speed: 10 MGLT
Troop Capacity:
607,360 Troops
25,984 Stormtroopers
42,782 Starship Support Staff
167,216 Support Ship Pilots and Crew
Cargo Capacity:
1,000,000 Kilotons
4 Strike Cruisers
7,000 TIE Fighters
3,600 Assault Shuttles
2,840 Skipray Blastboats
1,860 Dropships
13,000 Support Craft
11,000 Combat Vehicles
Passengers: Over 1,000,000 Beings

In an Empire ruled through fear, nothing symbolized Emperor Palpatineís oppression better than the infamous Death Star battle station. However, the Death Star also represented the Empireís greatest weakness: the tendency to consider technology supreme, and to underestimate its foes. This weakness resulted in the first Death Starís destruction over Yavin, although not before it had destroyed the peaceful world of Alderaan, killing billions of innocent people.

The Death Star was commanded by Tarkin, but Lord Darth Vader served as the Emperorís emissary and wielded the widest possible authority to enforce the Emperorís will.

The initial technical design of the Death Star, known at the time as the Ultimate Weapon, was created by Geonosian Industries and called for a spherical-like battle station capable of destroying Galactic Republic forces and planets under their control. 

Poggle the Lesser, leader of the Geonosians, returned the top-secret design to Count Dooku to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Jedi during the Battle of Geonosis. Dooku took the designs back to Coruscant and gave them to Darth Sidious, his dark master. These plans would later be fused with Wilhuff Tarkin and Raith Sienar's vision of an Expeditionary Battle Planetoid. 

21 years before the Battle of Yavin, early in the Clone Wars, Sidious ordered Geonosian builders to begin construction on the station. Hundreds of thousands of workers were busy building the station throughout the war.

Following the death of the Separatist Council and the end of the Wars, Separatist holdings were turned over to the newly established Galactic Empire, including the unfinished battlestation. Construction was renewed under Imperial supervision in order to secure Palpatine's new-formed absolute power. Wilhuff Tarkin was appointed to mastermind the secret development project. Tarkin's creative work and thought had resulted in the realization of Death Star as the Empire's ultimate weapon. 

To help build the superweapon, Tarkin had Darth Vader lead an Imperial invasion of Kashyyyk, where they enslaved Wookiees for labor. These Wookiees would later be transported to Despayre, the Death Star's construction site. However, the project nearly ended before it began. Although much of the technology of the Death Star was impressive, actually building it proved to be more difficult than anyone imagined. The project was dragged out over a nineteen year time period, with union disputes, and supply and design problems slowing the construction. Efforts were not helped by repeatedóalbeit usually unsuccessfulósabotage efforts. Actual effective work on the station took less than two years, and involved resources from every corner of the Empire being funneled to complete the project. 

Of particular concern was the technology required to create the massive superlaser, the very heart of the weapon. To this end, Tarkin brought together some of the most brilliant minds of the galaxy including Tol Sivron, Qwi Xux, and Bevel Lemelisk and build a proof-of-concept model at Maw Installation. This model would eventually become known as the Death Star prototype.

The Death Starís centerpiece was an awesome, planet-destroying superlaser. The weapon was used only twice: first to destroy the penal world of Despayre (where the Death Star was built) and second to obliterate Alderaan.

Everything about the Death Star boggles the imagination. At 160 kilometers in diameter, it was the size of a Class IV moon and was the largest starship ever built (at least until the construction of the larger second Death Star). Fully half of the battle stationís interior was filled by the reactor core, the sublight and hyperdrive systems, and the superlaser housing.

The Death Star was divided into two hemispheres, each subdivided into 12 bridge-controlled zones. It was comprised of eighty-four separate internal levels, stacked south to north. Each level was separated into 257 sub-levels.

The station had a crew of over 265,000 soldiers. Gunners, ground troops, starship support crew, and pilots brought the total onboard personnel to nearly 1 million beings. Even more amazing, these figures indicated minimum crew standards.

For weaponry, in addition to the superlaser, the Death Star had 15,000 capital ship turbolasers and over 700 tractor-beam projectors. These projectors could capture virtually any ship and, when working in conjunction with one another, could reel in even an Imperial Star Destroyer. The Death Star also maintained an awesome array of support ships and vehicles, with 7,000 TIE fighters, four strike cruisers, over 20,000 military transport vessels, and over 11,000 combat vehicles.

Despite all these awesome advantages, simple errors doomed the station. First, the Death Starís defenses were built around the idea of repelling a capital ship attack; starfighters were considered "insignificant" by Imperial military strategists. And when the Alliance mounted its assault over Yavin, the Rebels could send only two squadrons each of X-wing and Y-wing fighters. Grand Moff Tarkin considered the attack inconsequential. He refused to launch TIE fighters in defense of the station, and only the TIE fighters under Lord Vaderís direct command were deployed against the Allianceís fighters.

As a result of those errors of arrogance, the mightiest weapon in the history of the galaxy was destroyed by a simple proton torpedo fired down an unshielded exhaust vent. This Achillesí heel allowed the Empireís enemies to detonate the Death Starís power core and win the day.

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