Sign In

A simple ANH and RotJ idea

Author
Time

I was discussing with a coworker of mine, as my coworker and I are huge star wars fans, so we speculate and talk random ideas. One of the things we talked about is the Deathstar 1 and the silly explosion at the end of ANH. Also, about when the Deathstar 2 (bigger badder and more powerful) was initiated being built and how long it would have taken to build. We both came to the realization that it would have made a lot of sense that the Deathstar 1 could have been the Deathstar 2 and it was being retrofitted at Endor. So when Luke “blows up the Deathstar” he actually cracks it like an egg and pieces of it fly out into space, virtually destroying it.

Here is where this begins to fall apart some. So, the empire somehow gets the remnant of the Deathstar and hauls it to Endor, to begin fixing it. Meanwhile, they do this under the nose of the rebels at Yavin. The rebels we do see fleeing to another hidden base on Hoth in ESB. So maybe, after the awards ceremony the rebels decide the empire has other resources that the emperor will send their way so they flee leaving the destroyed remnant Deathstar. This opens up the opportunity for the Empire to gather it up and take it to Endor for repairs.

Any hell no, that won’t work? Or hell yes, that is pretty clever?

Author
Time
 (Edited)

OutboundFlight said:

My concern with this concept is that it diminishes the conclusion of Episode 4. It unnecessarily leaves the door open to future films, which feels off to me. I’m fine with them explaining these are the remains of DS1 in ROTJ. But I think ANH should end fully.

I think it comes down to the VFX for the explosion. I think it could be done in a way that shows catastrophic damage to the station (where there are almost certainly no survivors) and still keep some skeleton/large pieces intact. If so, it would have no effect on the end of ANH, while making the reconstruction even more disturbingly sinister in ROTJ.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

Author
Time

Yeah, I had the same thought. I think my first ever post on OT.com was basically this idea. The main difference to A New Hope, like Nev said, is just to have the Death Star blow up into large chunks rather than it just disappearing in one big explosion. Luke stills blows up the Death Star, but you’re basically just changing the way the Death Star blows up a little. It’s still a big explosion either way.

And regardless of the level of destruction the Death Star takes, the Rebels will still flee Yavin when the Imperial fleet eventually shows up. And yeah, after they leave, they probably could just haul the usable remains to a secret location (Endor). So I don’t think that is an issue.

You could do a few extra things to help with this idea as well. In the ESB opening crawl, you can change the word “destroyed” to “devastated” regarding the Death Star. The first scene with Darth Vader, when he is looking out the window of the Executor, we could see the damaged Death Star being repaired, maybe a little smaller than the ROTJ Death Star.

Then in ROTJ, you would just want to change the opening call to refer to this Death Star as being “reconstructed”. During the rebel briefing, you also might need to alter some dialogue to get that idea across.

I think there are cool ideas about making it the same, single Death Star, but if you think about it, if a ship or vehicle is damaged enough, then it is basically totaled. You can scrap it for parts, but you’re most likely better replacing your car or whatever with a brand new one, rather than making the severely damaged one work. But this is Star Wars, so story comes before science.

Author
Time

The special effect when the deathstar 1 hits Jedha in Rogue One and it has this ripple and explosion out into space and it takes a bit of time. I can imagine it looking something like this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z79nF8m49FA

Granted the immediacy of the explosion in Episode 4 works in the movie’s pacing. It goes from about to fire on the rebel base and everything is great to particulate covering a massive amount of space.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyAohfiMsF4

And in RotJ it blows up in much of the same way but improved effects over Episode 4.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB1DdtdUAG0

Still though with special effects as they are today, neither of these explosions would have looked as they did back then today. “Devastating” the deathstar 1 in Episode 4 and having the Empire rebuild it seems a logical thing rather than starting from scratch, fixing all the weaknesses that Galen Erso built into the design.

Also, even in Episode 2 which takes place many years prior to Episode 4, they have the deathstar 1 plans.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZpZzGOjRrc

And in Episode 3 you see the thing being built.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCoZItw93sQ

The point is that this took many years to design and construct, it is only completed during Rogue One which is immediately before the start of Episode 4. When did they start the deathstar 2? How did they get it online so quickly? In my mind it really makes sense to have the deathstar 1 being rebuilt as the deathstar 2 considering the time investment involved in the design and construction of it.

Author
Time

The DS1 had many design/engineering challenges that took nearly 20 years to overcome.

When they built DS2, they could do it in a fraction of the time because they knew what hurdles to expect and how to overcome them.

Don’t get me wrong, I like this idea (and generally dislike the two death stars in the OT for story/repetitive reasons), but the “Why’d DS2 take so much less time to make?” argument has never really held water for me. DS1 was the prototype, of course the “production” version (DS2) could be made much more quickly.

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
 (Edited)

ChainsawAsh said:

The DS1 had many design/engineering challenges that took nearly 20 years to overcome.

When they built DS2, they could do it in a fraction of the time because they knew what hurdles to expect and how to overcome them.

Don’t get me wrong, I like this idea (and generally dislike the two death stars in the OT for story/repetitive reasons), but the “Why’d DS2 take so much less time to make?” argument has never really held water for me. DS1 was the prototype, of course the “production” version (DS2) could be made much more quickly.

This assumes that the DS2 was identical to the DS1 (save some minor improvements here and there), but it had many improvements alluded to in ROTJ and it’s since established to be around 3x the size of the original. So I don’t buy the idea that it would take significantly less time than the original to plan and construct. However, if some source were to show that the Empire started the project 10 years after the start of the original Death Star, for example because the engineers already had many better and more ambitious ideas, then it would make much more sense.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

Author
Time

From what I understand, the issue was building the station itself, but getting the laser to work, which they were so desperate to get Galen Erso to complete the project, because he was the only person that really understood the kyber crystals. So the Death Star could have just been sitting around for a decade or even two until the laser dish and some internal stuff were installed once the science was figured out. Though none of that is very overtly stated in the films.

And like you said, Nev, the second Death Star is actually three times larger than the first (which I personally don’t like, but at least you can’t really tell just from watching the movie), so you’d imagine it would take even longer than the first, but I think the lore spins it as it being easier to build since it is not the first. It seems in general building stuff in the Star Wars universe can be done rather quickly, but production scale is never really shown on-screen.

According to Wookiepedia, the DSII was project was started because of DSI’s destruction, and in Legends it started construction around the time of the Battle of Yavin as well.

Also, I believe the new canon (not sure about Legends) implies that the DS1 was not the first Death Star. Instead, the Death Star we see at the end of ROTS was the first prototype. I guess that is meant to explain the different positioning with the dish. But, if I recall correctly, that prototype ended after the Geonosians revolted during its production. I think this was all covered in the Rogue One tie-in novel Catalyst.

Honestly, I think any idea can be spun to fit into some kind of logical framework. My only major gripe against the single-Death Star idea is that it probably would be easier for the Empire to just build a new Death Star rather than repair a heavily damaged one. Like I’ve said before, it can analogous to a car. If you total a car, it would be easier (and possibly cheaper) to buy a new one rather than to try and restore the total one.
But, having one Death Star just makes that whole plotline a little more streamlined.

Author
Time

I think it would be easier to rebuild rather than repair, but as you say it streamlines the plot and I think adds a wonderful creepy undead vibe to the DS2 which ironically differentiates it from DS1.

And now I imagine that they literally made everything 3x larger in the DS2, so that everyone’s sitting in huge oversized chairs and pressing massive buttons from on stepstools in cavernous rooms.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

Author
Time

This is an idea that’s been around for quite a while, has anyone ever done a mockup? I’d be for it depending on how it looks. It’s a pretty cool idea.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I don’t think so. Redoing the Death Star blowing up would be the biggest thing, FX-wise. I was thinking in order to keep the explosion still dramatic, at the moment it blows up, there could be a big flash of white light that obscures the moment of explosion, then the white slowly fades out to show big Death Star chunks drifting apart, the pieces vaguely in-like with what we see of the DSII.
Maybe it could be reminiscent to the Supremacy explosion.

And honestly, maybe you could make just enough necessary changes to make it where the Death Star II could be interpreted either as the same Death Star or a new one. The term “Reconstructed” could be interpreted either way if you think about it. “We’re rebuilding the Death Star” could mean they are putting it back together OR they are starting from scratch. That way people can interpret it however they like, with the only big hint to it being the same one would be the DSI pieces being in a similar shape as the DSII.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Obviously you would want to reword the ESB and ROTJ crawls a little, but you would also need to edit the ROTJ rebel briefing scene.

Mon Mothma refers to it as “the Emperor’s new battle station”. Luckily, it is in a wide shot, so you should be able to just cut out “new”. Also, Mon Mothma and Ackbar refer to it as “this Death Star” a few times, and I would recommend to trim it so it sounds like “the Death Star”, but I guess that might not be 100% necessary.

Also, if you really wanted to, you could possibly change the “Death Star plans presentation” in the ANH Rebel Briefing to make it seem like the plan involves overloading a single reactor within the Death Star rather than the main reactor, since Rogue One seems to indicate that the Death Star has multiple reactors. It could help explain why it didn’t blow up completely, but enough to severely damage it.

EDIT: Maybe the end of the animation could be altered to show that the Death Star internally has a multiple reactors, set up like spikes on a wheel, and instead of the proton torpedo going to the “center axle”, the center of the Death Star, it can go to one of the spokes where the explosion animation can happen. This isn’t necessary but it could be one option to help differentiate the ANH attack to the ROTJ attack.

Author
Time

RogueLeader said:

EDIT: Maybe the end of the animation could be altered to show that the Death Star internally has a multiple reactors, set up like spikes on a wheel, and instead of the proton torpedo going to the “center axle”, the center of the Death Star, it can go to one of the spokes where the explosion animation can happen. This isn’t necessary but it could be one option to help differentiate the ANH attack to the ROTJ attack.

I’m liking this idea a lot.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

Author
Time

In my idea I thought that it would only necessitate pieces from the one side to be obliterated. The only thing they really needed from the death star was the super laser. A crawl could indicate that the weapon was crippled and that final repairs to the super laser are almost complete. That would attribute to the same weakness of the core, etc. That we see in ROTJ and why the need for a shield.

digmodification.wordpress.com

Author
Time

Do you mean you would just have that one damaged side blow up? If so, that’s what I was thinking too. And if you went with that idea I mentioned about changing the plan presentation in ANH to suggest it is targeting a single reactor, it could help imply that reactor was on that side of the superstructure, explaining why only that side took most of the damage, but it would still be enough to cripple the laser system itself.

With ESB, I was thinking you change a word in the opening crawl regarding the Death Star to “devastated” rather than “destroyed”. And then in the film itself, when we see Darth Vader on the bridge of the Executor for the first time, we could see the Death Star through the bridge window, maybe less complete than it is in ROTJ, and with little specks of ships flying around it. It is basically a Death Star cameo, but this helps set up its return in ROTJ, and helps makes its return feel more intentional rather than be the result of a lack of originality or something. People will now expect for it to be a threat in the last movie. But that part is optional.

And then with ROTJ, like you said, reword the crawl to either refer to repairing the Death Star or the super laser in particular, at least very least removing any reference to it being a new Death Star. And like I mentioned above, cut a word or two from the rebel briefing. That should cover everything I think.

Author
Time

Is the 3x bigger thing actually stated anywhere in canon material? It’s definitely not in any of the movies.

a trolling bantha

Author
Time

Various sources state the first Death Star has a diameter of between 140 and 160 kilometers. There is a broader range of figures for the second Death Star’s diameter, ranging from 160 to 900 kilometers. It does not look like there is a canon source for this though.