"That's no moon. It's a space station."―Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Mk I Superlaser (1)
- Tractor beamemplacements (768)
- Turbolaser batteries (15,000)
- Super Blaster 920laser cannons (2,500)
- Ion cannons (2,500)
- 1,186,295–1,206,293 total personnel (mission dependent)
Over 1 million kilotons
"Both as an impregnable fortress and as a symbol of the Emperor's inviolable rule, the deep-space mobile battle station was an achievement on the order of any fashioned by the ancestral species that had unlocked the secret of hyperspace and opened the galaxy to exploration."―Wilhuff Tarkin
Present for battles/events
- Destruction of Jedha City
- Battle of Scarif
- The Disaster
- Rescue of Princess Leia
- Battle of Yavin
- Shann Childsen†
- Thane Kyrell
- Conan Antonio Motti†
- Pamel Poul†
- Wullf Yularen†
Points of interest
The station was spheroid, and measured 160 km (100 miles) in diameter with 357 internal levels. A large, concave dish in the northern hemisphere made up the superlaser emitter. The station's command bridge was located in the northern hemisphere above the dish of the station's superlaser. The overbridge featured designated posts for Tarkin and other officers, a conference room featuring a circular table, a HoloNetbooth for communicating with the Emperor and large banks of viewscreens.
The station's equator comprised numerous docking ports of various sizes, all supported by the extraordinarily powerful tractor beamgenerator tower, which utilized several tractor-beam projectors and tractor-beam focusing shafts. The station's equator housed docking and hangar bays; tractor-beam generators, projectors and emitter towers; turbolaser emplacements; and mooring platforms for ships of the fleet, including Imperial-class Star Destroyers.
A habitable crust several kilometers thick was composed of command centers, armories, maintenance blocks, and other requirements for a fully operational space station. Unused stories in the station's lower levels held backup weapons operators in the event of an emergency. Levels in the station's southern hemisphere extended downward through armories, deep storage, and a southern command sector. Massive girders provided grid-like support to the lower levels. Cranes and other abandoned construction material could still be found within the station by the time of its destruction in 0 BBY. With the exception of the crust, the station's entire interior space was uninhabited, and housed the hypermatter reactor, hyperdrive, sublight engines, and the station's superweapon. The station's outer hull was made of Quadanium steel plates.
The Death Star featured an entirely man-made atmosphere. A vast, central cylindrical atmosphere-processing unit ensured the air inside the station was regulated. Several modular artificial atmosphere stations and water-recycling tanks were dotted throughout the station's levels for the creation of air and humidity. Several large, cavernous airways served as means for circulation and as an emergency air dump in case of atmosphere contamination. A large, central airway existed for each sector. Magnetic seals and an atmosphere-containment projector kept the station's internal atmosphere in and the vacuum of space out if docking bay doors were opened.
Armaments and defensive systems
The most prominent weapon emplacement on the Death Star was its superlaser—a weapon powered by a hypermatter reactor and focused through giant kyber crystals with sufficient firepower to destroy an entire planet. The hypermatter reactor at the center of the station fed energy into the various components of the superlaser, including the primary power amplifier, the superlaser power cell, the firing field amplifier, and the induction hyperphase generators. When firing, the energy was redirected into eight tributary beam shafts located around the perimeter of the superlaser, producing lasers that were converged using focusing coils, forming one large beam powerful enough to destroy a planet. If the firing-chamber arrays were not precisely aligned, the crystals would burn out and overload, sending dangerous levels of waste heat back into the Death Star's main reactor.
In addition to its superlaser, the surface of the Death Star was also peppered with 15,000 turbolaser batteriesalong with 768 tractor beam emplacements. As the station's defenses, these were installed in order to repel a large-scale fleet attack, rather than fend off individual starfighters which the Empire viewed as no real threat. Shield projectors and communications arrays were distributed across the armored surface, analogous to colonies. A network of security stations were situated around the entire circumference, and were equipped with holographic maps of the local region of space.
For space-based offense and defense, the battle station contained numerous TIE fighters, which frequently patrolled the space surrounding the station. Due to the Death Star's enormous size, it had a heavy gravitational pull, which forced TIE fighter pilots to adjust their ships' thrusters for the kind of takeoff more common within a planetary atmosphere than on a space station. TIE staging areas had twenty TIE craft ready at any time for immediate takeoff.
The battle station housed 342,953 members of the Imperial Army and Navy, 25,984 stormtroopers, and nearly 2 million personnel of varying combat eligibility. Furthermore, although there were communal barracks, there also were enough private bunks that most people could expect to receive one within three to six months after arrival. While Enlisted personnel used walkways or turbolifts that could move both vertically and horizontally, officers had access to a high-speed, officer-only shuttle system that orbited the station. Massive housing blocks for enlisted personnel featured a large atrium for off-duty personnel to walk in. Officers could expect their own exclusive accommodations. Life support modules inhabited by workers during the original construction of the Death Star could still be used in an emergency. The station featured several hospital wings. Several color-coded life-support modules existed in the station's lower levels: gray for workers, red for overseers.
Meant to function as a world of its own, the Death Star had creature comforts most other Imperial Militarypostings did not: decent food, recreation areas, cantinas with latest-model bartender droids, and commissaries with selections of expensive treats and luxuries. The Death Star had its own commissary and bar. Off-duty stormtroopers were known to clandestinely meet to play violent, prohibited ball games in the station's zero-gravity filtration system.
The station's detention block, while large and formidable, was not intended to hold prisoners for extended periods of time. Instead, it served as a place for temporary detention and interrogation, pending transfer to planetary prisons, and execution. Prisoners were kept on the Detention Level in complete darkness, then moved to bright interrogation rooms.
The station was powered by a cavernous hypermatter reactor encased in radiation insulator plating located at the center of the station, the destruction of which had the potential to be catastrophic to the station. Dooniumand dolovite were essential for shielding the hypermatter reactor core, focusing dish, and superlaser. The reactor was connected to various components in the station, such as the superlaser, the tractor beam generator tower, the power diversion selonoid, and the station's enormous power cells. Above the reactor were vast watertanks. The power of the Death Star's superlaser could be controlled depending on how many reactor ignitions were used to power it. For example, a single reactor ignition was capable of destroying a large area of a world's surface instead of destroying the body entirely.
"Oh, it's beautiful."―Orson Krennic
Additional Documents and Images