Bat­tle Sta­tions!

Star Wars’ weapons of mass de­struc­tion com­pared

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rogue one a star wars story -

DEATH STAR As seen in A New Hope

Ini­tially planned be­fore the fall of the Republic, the top se­cret Death Star was al­ready un­der con­struc­tion by the time Pal­pa­tine de­clared him­self Em­peror. Early stages of build­ing took place above Geono­sis, whose bug-like pop­u­la­tion was later wiped out by the Em­pire to help keep the weapon’s ex­is­tence clas­si­fied – a sta­tus they man­aged to main­tain for two decades. Galen Erso, Jyn’s dad, was re­cruited by Im­pe­rial of­fi­cer Or­son Kren­nic be­cause he saw the sci­en­tist’s ground­break­ing en­ergy re­search as key to pow­er­ing the weapon. Its ex­haust port was sur­pris­ingly vul­ner­a­ble to at­tack from Rebel snub fight­ers.

DEATH STAR II As seen in Re­turn of the Jedi

Be­cause one su­per­weapon is never enough, the Em­pire built a big­ger, more pow­er­ful Death Star II. It came with op­tional ex­tras like a tower at the north pole to house Pal­pa­tine’s throne room, and a pro­tec­tive en­ergy shield gen­er­ated from the nearby For­est Moon of En­dor. As well as us­ing it as a dis­play of Im­pe­rial strength, the Em­peror also in­tended it be bait for the Rebels, sell­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion to the Bothan spies about its readi­ness, and leav­ing the out­side con­spic­u­ously un­fin­ished while pri­ori­tis­ing mak­ing the weapon sys­tems op­er­a­tional. Its re­ac­tor core was sur­pris­ingly vul­ner­a­ble to at­tack from Rebel snub fight­ers.

STARKILLER BASE As seen in the force awak­ens

If Im­pe­rial fan­boys the First Or­der dis­played a slight lack of orig­i­nal­ity by build­ing their own spher­i­cal su­per­weapon, they did at least do it in style – why waste time mak­ing your WMD from scratch when you grab an en­tire planet and hol­low it out to turn it into a be­spoke su­per­weapon that also dou­bles as a classy base of op­er­a­tions? Like its pre­de­ces­sor it was pro­tected by an en­ergy shield, but Starkiller Base had the added USPs of be­ing pow­ered by drain­ing a star, and the abil­ity to de­stroy an en­tire star sys­tem from a dis­tance. Its ther­mal os­cil­la­tor was sur­pris­ingly vul­ner­a­ble to at­tack from Re­sis­tance snub fight­ers.

Di­am­e­ter 120km Op­er­a­tional from 0 years af­ter Bat­tle of Yavin

Di­am­e­ter 660km Op­er­a­tional from 34 ABY

Di­am­e­ter 160km Op­er­a­tional from 4 ABY

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