Accident Analysis of the Imperial Death Star Mk2 (Part B – Circumstances)


Part A – Executive Summary

The Death Star

The Death Star (see Figure 1) was the second platform of that name. It commenced construction after the destruction of the first Death Star at the Battle of Yavin in 0 ABY. The Death Star was spherical in construction, with a diameter of 900 kilometres. The main power supply was a hyper-matter reactor. Propulsion was via Ion drives, although these were not operational at the time of the Death Star’s destruction.

Death Star

Figure 1 - Death Star Shortly before Destruction

In addition to the main armament (a Superlaser) the Death Star carried turbo-lasers and tractor beams for point defence, and small-craft docking and re-arming facilities. On-board accommodation was provided for up to 15 million crew and civilian contractors. The accident occurred whilst the Death Star was still under construction in orbit around the second moon of the gas giant Endor. All weaponry was fully operational, but the shields, ion-drives and portions of the superstructure had not yet been assembled and commissioned.

The Executor

The Executor was the lead vessel of a class of capital ships for the Imperial Navy. SSD Executor was approximately 20 kilometres in length, and was build from titanium-reinforced alusteel. Her primary armament consisted of several thousand turbo-laser batteries and ion cannons. Defences included laser batteries and deflector shield generators.

Timeline

The Battle of Endor was a planned counter-terrorist operation involving co-ordination between the Death Star, the Imperial Battle Fleet and ground forces on the 2nd Moon of Endor (the “forest moon”). In response to the asymmetrical warfare tactics employed by terrorist forces, the operation made use of carefully planted mis-information to expose the terrorist forces to a set-piece battle.

The plan for the operation called for a shield around the Death Star, generated from a bunker on the forest moon, to be maintained constantly. This shield failed due to catastrophic battle damage to the bunker approximately thirty minutes after the main phase of the operation began.

Subsequently, multiple small craft evaded both the fixed and mobile small-craft defences of the Death Star and entered the unfinished portion of the superstructure.

At approximately the same time the SSD Executor suffered battle damage to the primary command deck, losing attitude and propulsion control. The Death Star was unable to manoeuvre to avoid the path of the Executor, and the bow of the Executor struck the Death Star. It is believed that most of the casualties on board the Executor occurred during this collision.

The small craft within the Death Star superstructure fired on the reactor, and both vessels were destroyed by the explosion of the reactor core.

Timing for subsequent events has not been determined. Eye-witness reports suggest that there were survivors alive directly below the Death Star’s orbit on Endor for several hours following the explosion. Some theories suggest that portions of the Ewok population residing on the far side of Endor may have survived for several months before radiation and nuclear-winter effects rendered the surface uninhabitable.

Despite the availability of numerous Imperial and Rebel platforms in the region, no attempt at evacuation appears to have occurred at any time.

Sources

Return of the Jedi at IMDB

Wookieepedia

The Endor Holocaust

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