What Is The Point of Starkiller Base?

4개월 전

What is the point of Starkiller Base?


This might seem like a strange question, because in ‘The Force Awakens’ it proves to be a far more powerful weapon than the Death Star. Also, it’s big, very big. If you are a bad guy in the Star Wars Universe, you like to intimidate others by going around in oversized vehicles, starships and battle stations. The Death Star was the size of a small Moon- 160 km wide to be precise, but Starkiller Base was way bigger: 660 km in diameter. And, as I said before, it far outperforms the Death Star in terms of destructive power. While that battle station had enough firepower to destroy a planet, Starkiller Base packs enough punch to destroy whole solar systems.


So at first glance it would appear that Starkiller Base is by far the superior weapons platform. But, it seems to me that it has some serious disadvantages.

Disadvantage One: Limited Targetting Capability

The Death Star might have been incapable of taking out an entire solar system in a single shot, but at least it was mobile. Why, in Episode IV we see it travel to Alderaan, blow that up, and then journey to Yavin IV where the Empire try (and fail) to destroy the moon with the Rebel base.


Starkiller Base, on the other hand, cannot fly anywhere. After all, it is not a mobile space station but a weapons platform built into a planet. How, then, do you aim it? You must surely have to depend on the planet’s rotation and orbital position lining the weapon up with the system you want to target. Unlike a Death Star, you cannot just turn the planet around and shift its position so that its weapon is aiming where you want. I can imagine a discussion like this taking place...

Commander: “We have identified the location of the Rebel base. They are in the Aloobi System. Destroy them immediately!”.

Subordinate: “I’m sorry sir, but we cannot hit the Aloobi system until 14th August 2136 at the earliest”.

Commander: “Damn it, why not?”.

Subordinate: “Because that’s the earliest date when our planet’s orbit and rotation aligns the weapon with the Aloobi System”.

I knocked up this illustration to show the problem.


And that’s assuming Starkiller Base can target a system at all. By the look of it, the weapon is built at the planet’s equator. Well, if I were a rebel group, I would put my base somewhere totally out of its line of fire, such as a system aligned with the north or South Pole of Starkiller Base’s planet.

Death Star, on the other hand, could travel to any planet or moon and blow it up. What is more, the problem of only being able to destroy one planet at a time is easily remedied by having fleets of Death Stars.

Disadvantage Two: Limited Firing Capacity

Starkiller Base is obviously built on an inhabitable planet. When we first see it being fired, the armies of the First Order are on the surface of the planet, some not wearing any spacesuits, watching their weapon in action, So there is clearly a breathable atmosphere and enough sunshine to ensure people can stand outside.

But how is the weapon powered? Finn tells us how: “It uses the power of the Sun. As the weapon is charged, the sun us drained until it disappears”.

Indeed, when the weapon is charged, we see the local star’s fiery atmosphere being pulled toward Starkiller Base, like a black hole devouring a sun.


Ok, so what happens when the sun has been totally drained and disappears? Two things. One, you no longer have a means of powering the weapon, and two, you have gone and made a once inhabitable planet totally hostile to life, because with no sun to provide life-giving energy nothing is going to be able to live there.

I don’t know how the Death Star obtains the energy it needs to fire its weapon, but it’s most likely a darn sight more practical than devouring the only star you depend on.

All in all, despite its enormous destructive power, the fact that you are not as free to manoeuvre Starkiller Base as you are with the Death Star, and you end up running out of the one power source it uses to fire its weapon, makes Starkiller Base a bit pointless!

But it’s all moot anyway, given it got blown up:)

Thanks to Disney for the images.

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