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"Death Star Top Speed?" Topic

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1,721 hits since 19 Dec 2012
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Comments or corrections?

Mick A Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 8:42 a.m. PST

Sorry everyone, but sitting here bored and thinking (as anyone who knows me will tell you, never a good thing…). Was the Death Star capable of light speed? If not, how did it get from Alderan to Yavin so quick?


flicking wargamer Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 8:47 a.m. PST


Shark Six Three Zero Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 8:51 a.m. PST

Then why did it take so long to line up a shot at Tatooine? Couldn't they park that thing closer?

Ghostrunner19 Dec 2012 8:57 a.m. PST

A better solution:

YouTube link

wminsing Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 9:06 a.m. PST

It did have a hyperdrive (otherwise it's a pretty useless intimidation system: obey us or DIE; in 10,000,000 years….), and given it was so large it had it's own gravity I suspect it had to jump fairly far out from Yavin to give itself an additional safety margin.


boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 9:20 a.m. PST

And I think once out of hyperspace, it was slooooooow.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 9:41 a.m. PST

It is capable of Plot Speed.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 9:56 a.m. PST

In the WEG SWd6 game, I believe that it had a hyperdive multiplier of 4, with a backup multiplier of X24. So it was REALLY slow.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 10:16 a.m. PST

I think it would do the Kessel run in 24 or more parsecs.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 10:27 a.m. PST

Well, it took 30 minutes to clear the planet.

thosmoss19 Dec 2012 10:51 a.m. PST

I'd think the Death Star's Physics Department would have had a great time plotting gravity wells to speed up the Death Star as it swung around planets. Pick up some momentum here, jump to another gravity well and pick up some more momentum … eventually pop out of HyperDrive at incredible speeds. It'd certainly intimidate the natives, who would probably be able to see a sudden small moon appear and start getting bigger and bigger as it approaches. Much less hear whoosh noises that'd make the Enterprise look like a cheap dime store model.

Of course, it'd take a heck of a lot of work to decelerate something that big, too, so the "comet strike" planning would be fairly rare. Imagine the fun you could have, trading the DS's velocity with a planet's rotational speed … bet you could monkey with weather patterns on rebellious planets in all sorts of ways.

Given that they were still bragging the Death Star was now completely operational, maybe they hadn't had the time to start slinging some elliptical orbits around stars on their way to the Rebel Base.

Or hey, maybe it did just have Plot Speed Drive ….

CorpCommander19 Dec 2012 10:52 a.m. PST

The attenuation of the gravity field caused by Yavin blowing up would have caused Yavin 4 to "do the funky chicken" in space. That would pretty much blow for your Rebel Friends…

CPBelt19 Dec 2012 2:49 p.m. PST

It's Star Wars. Don't think too much or you'll get a headache. Same goes for Flash Gordon.

Feet up now Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 4:30 p.m. PST


Toshach Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 7:53 p.m. PST

It seemed to me that the Death Stars were always in orbit around a planet. I'm guessing that it moved from one system to another, from one planet's orbit to another. that explains why it had to wait until its orbit got it into position to attack Yavin's moon.

Martin Rapier20 Dec 2012 7:43 a.m. PST

All of the Imperial atrocity machines in SPIs non Lucasarts copyright infringing 'Freedom in the Galaxy' flew from system to system.

However you had to draw a specific event card in order to activate their specific powers. Where would be the plot fun in just flying straight to a planet and blowing it up?

I use my model Deathstar as a turn marker in SW tabletop games, so it just flies slowly around the table.

DS6151 Inactive Member20 Dec 2012 11:33 a.m. PST

It seemed to me that the Death Stars were always in orbit around a planet. I'm guessing that it moved from one system to another, from one planet's orbit to another. that explains why it had to wait until its orbit got it into position to attack Yavin's moon.

Now that's interesting, I like that idea.
Well thought, sir.

Also realize, they weren't in any hurry. There was no need to shoot through Yavin or any of the other stupid ideas that are out there.
They didn't launch any TIE fighters either, the only TIEs in the sky were launched by Vader, not Tarkin.

They just didn't care that the rebels saw them approaching.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2012 5:11 p.m. PST

The argument that they could "just shoot Yavin" assumes two very key things:

1.) That the Death Star had the energy to blow up a brown dwarf/Jupiter class planet. Just because it could destroy any Earth-size mass like Alderan, doesn't mean it could destroy something with over 300 times the same mass! (Using Earth and Jupiter as stand ins, there is a mass difference of 318 between the two worlds. I'm not a physicists, but even I know that the jump in required energy to obliterate the latter would be astronomical in the extreme.)

2.) That even if the Death Star could destroy a gas giant world, that it could do so from a range that would be safe from the energy of the blast and the resulting high-velocity debris cloud expanding from it.

As for why the Death Star didn't start with Yavin 4 in sight assumes that a hyperspace entry would even allow the Death Star to arrive at the system safely in an orbit or orbital insertion velocity that could coincide with a direct line of sight to Yavin 4, or that such a precise arrival location was either predictable or achievable.

IJAM,* of course, but it's not all that hard to derive perfectly plausible reasons as to why the course of events presented is in fact logically acceptable within the milieu of the film.

*It's Just A Movie.

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