Author Topic: Long construction of the first Death Star  (Read 1605 times)

Offline Master_Phruby

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Long construction of the first Death Star
« on: January 27, 2012, 11:30 AM »
At the end of ROTS, we see Vader standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer looking at the framework of the first Death Star. It took the entire clone wars to build it that far. Twenty years later the Death Star is finished. Why did it take so long to build? It seems to me that it should have only taken a few more years. Why did the Rebel Alliance completely ignore the building of this Death Star for twenty years? How could the Empire keep it a complete secret for that long?

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Offline JediJman

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 01:59 PM »
At the end of ROTS, we see Vader standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer looking at the framework of the first Death Star. It took the entire clone wars to build it that far. Twenty years later the Death Star is finished. Why did it take so long to build? It seems to me that it should have only taken a few more years. Why did the Rebel Alliance completely ignore the building of this Death Star for twenty years? How could the Empire keep it a complete secret for that long?

Well, technically we don't know when construction was completed.  It seems like they've just finalized construction of the super laser in ANH, but the core construct could have been completed years prior.  Maybe there were delays in getting certain materials or setback in production? 

As for keeping it a secret, the EU novels often refer to various hyperspace lanes.  The NJO series actually has reference to those lanes being cut off or mined.  If it was built in a remote, outer rim region and those lanes were guarded or cut-off, then it would be fairly easy to keep it a secret for years.  Maybe that's why it took so long to build - they built it slowly to not build a trail of workers or materials that could be traced to such a big project?

Maybe there was just years of debate about how the offical IMPERIAL OFFICER uniform would look...  ;D
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 02:47 PM »
One thing in engineering is the first one is the hardest to build, the others get simpler each time since all the bugs are worked out (Geonosians?  :P ).

As for keeping it hidden, I'd say it's something Justin mentioned. I also think that it would be something like Kamino, which was 'deleted' from records so no one had any idea it existed. Or it was built in some part of the Outer Worlds that haven't been thoroughly scoured so that some cartographer would know of it... or it's all one big government conspiracy: The Truth is Out There! Deny Everything!

Offline JediJman

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 03:11 PM »
One thing in engineering is the first one is the hardest to build, the others get simpler each time since all the bugs are worked out (Geonosians?  :P ).

Is this reference to the second Death Star?  I thought I read somewhere that it had been under construction a long time before ANH as a back-up to the original, but the wookieepedia does say it was built after the destruction of the first one. 

This site has some added detail on why the original was delayed: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Despayre

A few key quotes:

Quote
Despayre, originally named Horuz, was a penal/slave world in the Horuz system and the place where the First Death Star was constructed and completed, after being relocated many times to avoid Rebel saboteurs and Intelligence.

Quote
Components from almost all major corporations of the galaxy were sent to this planet, and labor was found on the penal and slave colonies below....Tarkin concluded that they made for a terrible work force. They were not trained, they were physically challenged, and they were mentally unstable. Rather than hope for an improvement, Tarkin decided to cut his losses and ordered the immediate execution of the entire work crew.

Sabotage, relocation, acquiring materials from far away resources and a less killed workforce would all have caused some amount of delay.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 03:38 PM »
One thing in engineering is the first one is the hardest to build, the others get simpler each time since all the bugs are worked out (Geonosians?  :P ).

Is this reference to the second Death Star?  I thought I read somewhere that it had been under construction a long time before ANH as a back-up to the original, but the wookieepedia does say it was built after the destruction of the first one. 

I would think, in my opinion and not going on material, that they worked on the second in tandem or shortly after completion of the first since I find it hard to believe that in 3 years they had one mostly completed (not sure the percentage). If the first one took approximately 18 years to build, I find it hard to believe the Empire could build the second just as fast... maybe 15 years, but not 5, like you might guess with how the incomplete second one looked in Jedi.

I think the second was built in a completely separate location, secret even to the personnel of the first, so if one was compromised by spies, then the Empire would still have others ready to go.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 03:39 PM by P-Siddy »

Offline JediJman

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 03:49 PM »
I think it still makes sense.  It takes much longer to design and build a prototype.  How long would it take to design the first working automobile vs. building a second one?  They probably had to build tools and figure out numerous issues that could easily be bypassed in the construction of the second one.  They did build in different locations and it sounds like construction near Endor offered a much closer supply of raw materials.

I'm sticking with my theory that the super laser was the big delay on the first DS as well.  In the novel about the DS, they talk about the need to test it on a prison planet, which suggests this was the last part of the station to be built.  The second time around, they could rebuild or even enhance the laser with much less effort.  The physical construction of the shell of the DS maybe takes 4-5 years, hence the Laser being operational, but the full sphere/interior not yet being completed in ROTJ.
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

Offline warinthefloor

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 04:16 PM »
Full qualification of any first article design review of military hardware is always a painfully slow deliberate and red tape tangled affair. Now do one the size of mars moon phobos and Katie bar the Door!

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 09:12 AM »
Yah but the Emporer is a Sith Lord. You would think he could streamline the process.
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Offline Scott

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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 03:10 PM »
I saw that story yesterday.  You'd be amazed at what is discussed in Engineering and Mathematics classes.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 07:57 PM by Matt_Fury »
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Offline Qui-Gon Jim

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Re: Long construction of the first Death Star
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 12:08 PM »
I also doubt the Empire was hiding the construction of the DSII from the alliance.  Remember, that just before they used the DS on Alderaan, the Emperor disbanded the senate.  Up until this point, he still had to "play nice" to an extent until his full military might was in place to take over every aspect of governing the citizens.

Cripes.  What started as a quick reply turned into the plot for Episode 3.5.  Lucas would be proud.