Author Topic: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?  (Read 2031 times)

Offline Scott

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18221
  • Get Some
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« on: February 10, 2005, 04:30 PM »
I know the practical answer (I think)...Lucas had no way of showing Coruscant in ROTJ so he had to cheat.  I remember being clearly confused by the first images of ROTJ (the trailers and stuff)  Why was there another Death Star?  Was this the remains of the first one?  Did the Empire save part of it and are going around blowing up more planets?

But could there have been a better way of positioning the Emperor/Vader/Luke story and the Lando/Leia/Han/Chewie/Droids/ story besides rehashing a giant space station?  The McQuarrie ideas of the Emperor's Throne Room being in a lava environment sure would have been an interesting place to start.  Maybe the Lava Planet is also the Imperial Ship Yard and as such the Rebels have to go there and fight it out

The worst part of this rehash was the EU stories that revolve around the Rebels/Republic trying to blow up massive weapons the Empire was developing

I don't have a real answer just thinking out loud I guess

Offline Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 19896
  • i stay down with my demons
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2005, 04:40 PM »
My wife likes to joke that the Emperor must have a very big case of male envy...

Especially when you add in these EU stories about Suncrushers and such.  All the Empire wanted to do was build them superweapons, "larger, firmer, longer".

I never did understand why they built a second DS after the rebels blew up the first one, it did seem like a waste.  I agree that there were a number of settings that would have made sense, but maybe Lucas just liked the idea of Big Balls in space?

Jeff
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Morgbug

  • Old
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15957
  • mmm. pemmican.
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2005, 05:06 PM »
Deathticles.
Minivans: a sign of the apocalypse.

Offline Mikey D

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 3333
  • Lost soul
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2005, 05:23 PM »
It's the way politicians work.  If something doesn't work the first time, build it bigger and better the next time.

Of course, one has to wonder - Was the second DS actually built after the first one exploded?  What's the time table between ANJ and ROTJ, 3 years?  Something as massive as a DS takes a lot of manpower and raw material.  It's not that far fetch to think that construction started on DSII soon after the first one was built or even during the first one's construction (like a phased operation).  Like that line in Contact says "Why build one when you can have two for twice the price"
Common sense isn't so common

Offline LandotheScoundrel

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1951
  • Now with winning smile!
    • View Profile
    • Politis Design
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2005, 05:34 PM »
Especially considering the first DS seems to take 20 years or so to build (which seems more practical).
-------------------------------------------------
"Why you slimy, double-crossin' no-good swindler!"

www.politisdesign.com

Offline Angry Ewok

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5481
  • The Ewok Village Idiot
    • View Profile
    • www.TowheeStudio.com
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2005, 05:39 PM »
I think they were both being constructed at around the same time - the II was probably re-vamped after Yavin so that it wasn't just a clone of the first, but instead an improvement of the first (better defense of the exaust).
"...been known to make mistakes... from time to time."

SilverZ

  • Guest
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2005, 08:20 PM »
Well I think you already have hit on the practical reason why, Scott, without the technical/budgetary ability to pull of Coruscant in '82-'83 thinking. 

But regardless, a second DS is a ****** cop-out, just like most of the rest of the movie. I think that all focus on the characters was abandoned in an attempt at bigger, better, more action, because the prevailing mentality after Raiders succeeded was that audiences were just interested in action setpieces, not dramatic storytelling. I think its that mindset that mandated something big, safe, and familiar to use.

And there's not a very practical list of bigger, better, more destructive things than the Death Star, so I guess the easiest thing to do is make another one, regardless of how uninteresting it is.

Too bad, because the lava throne images are much more original. I'd like to have seen that.

In what we actually got, I've always been under the impression the 2nd DS was a rush-job, since everything was going according to a master plan until Luke popped up (unexpectedly).

I think if we got ROTJ today, we'd see the third act be the rebellion battling in the skies over Coruscant, paralleling the ROTS opening battle, and the Jedi showdown taking place somewhere more resonant, like in a Sith controlled Jedi Temple. Put the Emperor's chair in the circular Jedi Council, and you'd bookend the trilogy just dandy.

Offline Jesse James

  • Staff Member
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 30923
  • Slippery When Poopy
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender.com
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2005, 06:47 AM »
I agree that, from a filming standpoint, it was just a cop-out...

Thinking of it in terms of "reality", I don't think it's necessarilly a bad idea...  not sure on it being built at the same time as the DS1 or anything...  I think it's POSSIBLE (in my opinion of the Empire and SW universe in general) to have a DS whipped up in a matter of time between the films (years).

I don't know...  I think perhaps it was just getting started maybe when the first one was completed.  Sure one's nice but isn't a second one, even an improved one, nice to have?

Really the concept behind the DS is nice...  It's big, it flies around, it blows **** up...  You fix the exhaust issues and it's really a terror weapon unmatched.  It's the ultimate space-faring vessel really.

So in that sense, I see it as "if at first you don't succeed, try try again", and I can accept that excuse...  I agree though that it was really a bit of a cop-out from a filming stnadpoint though.  I think Lucas wanted ROTJ to be the bigger and better ANH he envisioned sort of, while still concluding his story he had going.

I like ROTJ better than any prequal...  That says a lot for it I think.  Cop-out or not, I still think it's a good film.

And I like the DS2...  Bigger, more accurate, and the Endor Space Battle still ranks as one of my most favorite moments of Star Wars.  If only it were actually enhanced via the SE CGI work.  It could stand to be even bigger and more hective IMO.
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender & FFURG.com Staff/Representative, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77

Offline MeBeJedi

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • I'm a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2005, 02:24 PM »
"I think if we got ROTJ today, we'd see the third act be the rebellion battling in the skies over Coruscant, paralleling the ROTS opening battle, and the Jedi showdown taking place somewhere more resonant, like in a Sith controlled Jedi Temple. Put the Emperor's chair in the circular Jedi Council, and you'd bookend the trilogy just dandy"

You are more right than you know, considering that in the early writings of ROTJ, Luke encountered Vader and Palpatine on "Had Abbadon, capital of the Galactic Empire. The planet is completely covered by cities and is shrouded in a sickly brown haze. Orbiting the polluted planet is the Green Moon." - Annotated Screenplays.

Of course, above this planet, there were two Death Stars being built. ;)

Funny how the "city planet" became a forest planet occupied by ewoks, and the number of Death Stars was knocked down to one. (Oh, the final lightsaber battle took place under the surface of the planet, near lava.)

"and the Endor Space Battle still ranks as one of my most favorite moments of Star Wars."

Agreed.

Offline Herbert_Ackermans

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • I'm a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2005, 09:18 PM »
History shows us that diabolical rulers seem to favour huge big expensive heavy impressive useless overdone impractical weapons over the more humble and nimble ones.

Take Germany in WW-2. It took 300,000 manhours to build a Tiger-E, where as the Russian threw together a T-34 in under 30,000. Sherman too was completed in roughly 30,000 manhours.

End of the story: 1300 Tigers versus 30,000 Shermans. I know who wins, no matter how "invincible" you make that Tiger.

Even though the Tiger-E was impractical, clumsy, technically unreliable, they designed the even bigger, heavier Tiger-B, and went overboard with the Maus, a behemoth of 250+ tons in weight, with absolutely no value on the battlefield other than a barely mobile bunker.

The Germans even drew up plans for tanks in the order of 1000 and 1500 tons, mounting battleship turrets on them boasting dual 28cm guns.

But, with the DS as a weapon, it's not that big bad gun inside that's the point, it is how much fear it can instill.

The DS wasn't something of a huge offensive weapon, it was meant to be a deterrant, don't mess with the Empire or we'll come and get medieval on your asses.

In the game Rebellion/Supremacy using a DS is perfect to submit systems to bow to your rule, playing the Empire.

But they consume huge quantities of men, time, raw materials and what else.

However, the Empire seems to have that, as the are the GALACTIC Empire, and that means, we've got it all, and we just have no clue what to do with it.

So, let's make this super-weapon, the Uber-gun.

Let's take that Maus into the picture, a massive, huge, thick armoured and heavily armed monster of a tank. It's pretty much stuck to where it stops moving, so... why don't we just drive around it, really fast?

This applies to the DS as well, even though it can travel through Hyperspace, in ANH it took quite a while to clear Yavin in order to shoot at the Rebel base, making the DS a sitting duck for most of the time.

In ROTJ, the DS seems capable to some quicker firing-rate, but still, it is effectively tied to where it is, Endor, and can't function as the terror they've constructed.

Granted, that was the Emperor's plot, but still.

The first DS being a solitary DS on paper sounds pretty impressive, but as long as it's not around, it's not a threat. As ANH demonstrated, the Rebels could move around quickly, leaving deserted bases behind like the one on Dantooine, and also, the swift evacuation of Hoth.

I don't think the Empire could toss the DS around in space as fast as the Rebels could relocate, or even, disperse.

So for a DS to be effective, it is imperative that you have more than 1. That way, you can be everywhere where there is trouble.

Think about this, you're aboard a B-17 on your way to Berlin, and this beautifull Mustang with ít's 6 browning's is escorting you. A Messerschmit appears, the Mustang speeds away in pursuit of the Messerschmit. Meanwhile, an additional 2 Messerschmits shoot down the B-17.

So, in essence, there's a lot to say in favour of the idea that a second DS was started together or some time after the first one was started.

Offline LandotheScoundrel

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1951
  • Now with winning smile!
    • View Profile
    • Politis Design
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2005, 10:47 AM »
Well said. I'm glad you're over here at JD now, Herbert.
-------------------------------------------------
"Why you slimy, double-crossin' no-good swindler!"

www.politisdesign.com

Offline CHEWIE

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14419
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2005, 11:17 AM »
Yeah, good post Mr. Ackermans.

My way of thinking is that the first Death Star took longer to build for a few reasons -

(1) It was the first one ever made... taking longer as they were unfamiliar with some of the technology.

(2) By the end of the Clone Wars, there wasn't a huge rush to get it finished.

(3) Who knows, this sucker could have been finished several years before ANH, but was kept in secrecy by the Emperor in case he needed it.  When the Rebels started to become a problem (and stole the schematics to it), he had Tarkin put in into actual military use.


Also, think of it this way for the second one -

(1) It was more of a rush job... when the Rebels blew up the first one, they kicked production into high gear.

(2) It wasn't even completed yet... I believe the gap between ANH and ROTJ is a bit over 4 years... this thing might have been "operational" but may have still been a good 3-4 years from being totally completed.

 :P


Offline Herbert_Ackermans

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • I'm a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2005, 11:34 AM »
About that first DS taking longer to build, and the second faster due to the learning curve.

Fact is, a DS is not some kind of exotic technology, far from it. The tech inside the DS is virtually the same aboard an ISD, or a Tie, or even, a blaster.

It's just immensly bigger. So, what would be the time-consuming factor is getting the parts ready, shipped out and assembled. According to AOTC, the design was ready when Poggle gave it to Dooku.

Also, the DS-2 is larger than the DS-1, probably to house an upgraded faster recharging central core to power the gun.

A few points about refining raw materials, that in the age and sophistication of SW, I don't see how they can make quantum leaps in that area in 20 years.

That aside, there's also the fact that with certain projects, you just can't build faster. I doubt you can shave of 50% construction time of a DS, or even 25%.

Due to it's complexity and grand scale, it will consume large amounts of time.

And you can't cut on that.

The fact the DS-2 was in an unfinished state on the outside seems to indicate that a decision was made to focus on it's large weapon system, probably dispensing with the surface defenses as the whole station would be protected by the Endor-shield.

Dropping the surface defenses, if that was done, creates room to divert all the effort used in that to other aspects of the station.

If time was won, it would probably be there.

And, to burst the bubble of "Did the Empire learn from the first DS"...

Remember, that first DS had a venthole where a proton-torpedo could be dropped in.

The second DS had a hole on it's surface large enough for the Millenium Falcon... ;D

Offline CHEWIE

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14419
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2005, 12:29 PM »
The second Death Star was still under completion, maybe that's why those "holes" weren't covered up yet... they needed to be open to allow for maintenance/construction vehicles to enter it.

As for the second one getting completed quicker - to me it was because they were in a bigger rush to get it done than they were with the first one.  I really don't think there's much more to it that that.

 :P

Offline Herbert_Ackermans

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • I'm a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: Why have a 2nd Death Star in ROTJ?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2005, 12:40 PM »
The second Death Star was still under completion, maybe that's why those "holes" weren't covered up yet... they needed to be open to allow for maintenance/construction vehicles to enter it.

That is possible, however, the passageway they flew through towards the central core looked pretty complete. But it is possible, very possible.

As for the second one getting completed quicker - to me it was because they were in a bigger rush to get it done than they were with the first one.  I really don't think there's much more to it that that.

 :P

Well, it teeters on where you put the start of contruction on the DS-2. If you believe that the 2nd was started about the same time as the 1st, than the Empire wasn't in that big a rush.

If you take that it was started after ANH, or even post TESB, than yes, construction must have been 10 times as fast as the first one.