My Problem with the Death Star

The Death Star

The last couple weeks I feel like I’ve been working pretty hard for both my day job, and my own projects at night (a new set of wallpapers for the site, trying to reorganize my portfolio, interview preparation, a new iStock upload, and making sure to get regular posts on here), and I just wanted to take it easy last night and relax. So after my last post, I went and picked up a couple decent cigars (Oliva O series) for my brother (Trog) and myself, and we sat out front and puffed away on them while we talked. Eventually our conversation turned to Star Wars (as it usually does), and I told him there was something about the Death Star that always bugged me, and I can’t figure out why they set it up they way they did. I tried several times to explain my question to him, but he wasn’t getting it. So I grabbed my sketch book and did some quick doodles to illustrate my problem (I went ahead and traced over them and tried to clean them up with the help from some reference material, to make them a little more clear).

Here’s my problem: In the first Star Wars film (and I mean New Hope), the Millenium Falcon is caught in the Death Star’s tractor beam and pulled in to the side…

Death-Star-Sketch-1

but it’s pulled straight into the center of that big huge gap (or trench) at its equator… still with me?

Death-Star-Sketch-2

Later, the X-Wings make their attack, but when they fly into the Death Star, it’s like they’re flying over a planet’s surface (they come down on it).

Death-Star-Sketch-3

So why wouldn’t the Millenium Falcon be pulled “down” into that giant equator trench, instead of directly into it like it’s coming at its side?

Death-Star-Sketch-4

I’m still not sure if my question is clear enough, but if you get what I’m asking, and you have answer, please let me know. I’m thinking it’s been retcon to say that they shift the gravity at the center… but why? Why do that? What would be the point? Anyhow, I’m interested in seeing some kind of answer if anybody (or the four people who read this blog) has one. Just leave a comment below.

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1 Comment

  1. Dig it.

    The death star has it’s own gravity (see, not only does it have a gravity well generator, but it’s also unbefuckinglevably big). So, the thing is, it’s not an up/down issue. Rather, it’s a relevant plane issue (up is where I look, when I look up, if you follow).

    Now, the issue isn’t really a difficult one. If you make the landing bays open to direct space (like, say, in that wonderfully sketched picture of yours), you subject the interior of the Death Star to dangerous plunging fire if someone ever got in a ship and fired at it. Keeping in mind that the interior wouldn’t benefit from all that armor plating, and also that the doors that would conceivably close and protect the landing bay from aggressive fire wouldn’t likely be anywhere near the thickness of the armor, and suddenly, you have many, many exploitable weaknesses.

    How do we get around this? Simple. Have all docking bays run perpendicular to the armor, and underneath. We will have all ships let our docking bay techs lock onto them with tractor beams, pull them near the opening, and then use repulsors to keep them from accidentally getting smacked into the other side of the trench or whatever.

    I mean, they’re building the Death Star. What, they’re gonna quibble about the cost of a few repulsor pads? The thing’s the size of a fucking moon.

    Also, it’s a movie made in the Seventies. if you think too much about it, it dissolves. it’s like cotton candy for your brain.

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