Sir Ridley said:
More work on removing the Death Star hologram from the planning scene:
It’s not perfect, but if you’re not looking for the change I think it’s fairly seamless.
Nicely done. Do you think the lampshading of there being “another Death Star” isn’t needed?
That’s a part of it. Another thing was brought up by someone here (I forget who), saying that they originally thought that the Starkiller was built within a planet to save cost compared to the Death Star. When they then saw how the Starkiller’s weapon emitter alone was almost the size of the Death Star, it negated that bit of cleverness.
That got me to thinking about how we never saw the Death Star directly compared to the size of a planet in ANH. If it were shown in proportion to Alderaan (assuming it’s an Earth-sized planet), it would be laughably tiny in comparison:
Even though the audience on some level understands that it’s the size of a very small moon, the way it is portrayed as large and imposing in the shot sells the threat.
So by removing comparisons to any object of reference, it’s easier to imagine the scale of the station to be whatever size makes the most sense for a person’s individual view of the First Order and their abilities.
A year ago I suggested to shrink the Death Star further in the hologram and Sir Ridley included this change in his plans for Ridley’s Edit, however, this is a much more elegant solution because it doesn’t require FX work and it cuts out the not-so-subtle “It’s another Death Star” line.