14.04.2009 17:03 - The Wookiepedia File.
The Death Star
The Death Star was a large, self-propelled battle station, said to be the size of a small moon, originally built by Evil Overlord Senator Palpatine, shortly after declaring himself absolute Emperor of the Galaxy. The battlestation was commanded by the Grand Moff Tarkin of the Imperial Navy, assisted by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, Palpatine's right-hand man. The battlestation was destroyed in its first operational action, an attempt to destroy an illegal terrorist training camp on the third moon of the gas-giant planet Yavin. Rumour has it that the battlestation was destroyed by Vader's estranged son, who had been indoctrinated into a religious cult. The destruction of the battlestation was considered to be the first serious setback in Palpatine's policies of total galactic domination, and a disaster without parallel, resulting in an incalculable loss of life, as well as the deaths of a shitload of stormtroopers. Fortunately, that's not very important.
The Death Star was designed and built as a weapon of terror, with which Palpatine and his pupil, Darth Vader, would enforce their dominion over the Galaxy. Although the station was the size of a small moon, it was self-propelled and could move through normal space, and navigate hyperspace. The station was designed from the beginning as an instrument of war, capable of defending itself against a fleet of heavy cruisers, and was also equipped with a large energy weapon capable of destroying a terrestrial planet, and which it successfully did at least once, reducing the planet Alderaan to an unspectacular asteroid belt. (Far less spectacular than the one in Empire Strikes Back for example). As well as this, the station was heavily armoured, and featured both heavy and light anti-spacecraft turbolaser installations, both automated and manual. The station could operate as a base for large squadrons of TIE-fighters and bombers, as well as ancillary units for transport to ground of both AT-ATs, AT-STs and regiments of stormtroopers and their ancillary equipment.
1.1 Design FaultsThe Death Star Mk.1 suffered from a number of typical Evil Overlord design faults, such as over-large ventilation ducts and garbage chutes. Typically, due to Evil Overlord "the bigger, the better, the more terror" thinking, it could travel at relatively slow speeds in both normal space and hyperspace, requiring a huge energy-budget to do so. Both manoevering and use of the planet-cracking energy weapon took considerable time and effort. The relative unmanouverability of the battlestation required the use of small fighters to go ahead of it and wipe out any fast-moving resistance, before it came in and unslung the heavy artillery. Design of the station was monolithic and typical of early Galactic Empire / Evil Overlord architecture, with giant, overpowering themes and deep trenches, all designed to make the individual feel small and helpless.
1.2 Budget CutsEvidence of budget-cutting, penny-pinching and fiddling with the specification could also be found throughout the station, with controls for tractor beam power being inconveniently located on one of these trenches on a vertiginous walkway, the high-security holding areas being conveniently located practically next to the docking bays, and the complete and utter lack of safety features such as handrails on bridges, and protective grilles on exhaust ports. Some of these design features can be attributed to the theft of the original design from a race of winged insectoid reptilians, to whom the vertiginous architecture would be a positive boom. However, the overall design of the battlestation can be summed up in one sentence : Evil Overlords don't abide by Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
1.3 Lack of Trained PersonnelAt the time of its maiden voyage, the Death Star was severely understaffed, with many key positions still undergoing training, or absent altogether. Not only that, but the Imperial Stormtroopers stationed aboard the battlestation were subsequently found to be THX1138 Economy Models, trained only for usage in Imperial Parades, and completely incapable of reacting to any security emergencies. Relevant documentation points to the clones being substandard models, being highly suggestable and easily influenced, incapable of hitting a blast door from three paces, and suffering from an allergy to Ewok hair.Further details are difficult to establish, as the sole survivor claims to have left the relevant receipt aboard the Death Star, resulting in the destruction of the relevant documentation.
1.4 Failure of Quality ProceduresThe Death Star was also rushed into operation, due to theft of the plans, and had not, at time of full commissioning, undergone a thorough shake-down cruise, or, indeed, any form of acceptance testing. Various accounts exist of non-functioning bridges and Dia-Noga infestation in the waste areas. Security protocols in the computer system, running Windows for Battlestations LLAGFFA (Long, Long Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away Edition) were non-existent, allowing even the most minor Astromech access to critical functions and data.
2. Subsequent Inquiry
Subsequent inquiries have attempted to pinpoint the reason for the failure of this expensive project, largely due to sudden respiratory ailments contracted by the independent inspectors when they attempted to interview Senator Palpatine and the remaining survivor. Disappointingly, the Imperial Navy has pressed ahead with the construction of a second Death Star, irrespective of the faults of the old one. Lord Darth Vader has requested and been given a leave of absence to deal with the kidnapping and indoctrination of his estranged son.