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Kael

Death Star Super Weapon

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I think to usefully discuss this, we need to have at least a vague idea of how the Death Star works. Not the specific physics of it, obviously, but what effect it is specifically having on the planet. A planet like the Earth is not a balloon with a box full of dynamite at the centre. Even if you shot it with some hypothetical giant space laser that could penetrate to the core, there's nothing in the middle that would suddenly ignite and blow the planet into pieces. You'd kick off a massive series of volcanic disturbances, but no big bang.

When we've figured out what causes a big ball of rock and metal to break up into millions of asteroids, then we could talk about a gas giant. Someone suggested it creates reverse gravity at the centre of the planet. That would work on a gas giant as well as a rocky planet. Better in fact. But the sheer scale of gas giants would mean orders of magnitude more power. For example, you've all seen photos of Jupiter with the "red spot". That spot is in fact a giant cyclone. And you could fit two Earths side by side in it - that's how large it is.

I would say gas giants are not an option for either Death Star, personally.

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I would see it as more of a planetary make up thing.

1.Shooting throw a gas giant would cause laser refraction throwing of the aim of the shot.

2. there is the chance depending on the make up of igniting the plants gasses, and maybe starting a small supernova.

3. to destroy Yavin would require hitting the core of the planet through all the gas with all of the about possible.

4. final you could end-up with a sun in your way instead of a planet. (which may not be bad you could roast the rebel out lol)

Edited by tenchi2a

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I think to usefully discuss this, we need to have at least a vague idea of how the Death Star works. Not the specific physics of it, obviously, but what effect it is specifically having on the planet. A planet like the Earth is not a balloon with a box full of dynamite at the centre. Even if you shot it with some hypothetical giant space laser that could penetrate to the core, there's nothing in the middle that would suddenly ignite and blow the planet into pieces. You'd kick off a massive series of volcanic disturbances, but no big bang.

When we've figured out what causes a big ball of rock and metal to break up into millions of asteroids, then we could talk about a gas giant. Someone suggested it creates reverse gravity at the centre of the planet. That would work on a gas giant as well as a rocky planet. Better in fact. But the sheer scale of gas giants would mean orders of magnitude more power. For example, you've all seen photos of Jupiter with the "red spot". That spot is in fact a giant cyclone. And you could fit two Earths side by side in it - that's how large it is.

I would say gas giants are not an option for either Death Star, personally.

 

Of course, in the shift from a terrestrial planet to a gas giant, you also lose the fixed variable of core composition.  It may be entirely reasonable for a planet like, say, Bespin, to have sufficient quantities of combustible gases in its lower layers, that the "box full of dynamite" analogy suddenly isn't so unreasonable.  Perhaps the specific plasma technology used in SW universe blaster and laser weaponry would also react violently with the frozen methane of our own gas giants.  It may be a reasonable possibility that gas giants are even more susceptible to the DS's main weapon than a smaller rocky planet, and the reason they don't shoot Yavin Prime in ANH is because the resultant explosion would have taken the DS itself with it, and the weapon's effective range isn't sufficient to place the station outside of the blast radius.

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I would see it as more of a planetary make up thing.

1.Shooting throw a gas giant would cause laser refraction throwing of the aim of the shot.

2. there is the chance depending on the make up of igniting the plants gasses, and maybe starting a small supernova.

3. to destroy Yavin would require hitting the core of the planet through all the gas with all of the about possible.

4. final you could end-up with a sun in your way instead of a planet. (which may not be bad you could roast the rebel out lol)

1. It's pretty clear from what we see of SW "laser" technology that we're dealing with more of a plasma weapon than a light-based laser in the Earth sense.  As such, while a gassy atmosphere may diffuse the blast, I don't think there's any precedent for refraction.  This is also ignoring the more relevant question of "Does it matter?" A sufficiently energetic weapon won't have a stringent accuracy requirement, since any contact with the intended target will result in enough energy transfer to destroy it.  We don't see *any* situation where the DS's power is mitigated even partially, so without that, I don't think there can be any accurate estimation of the effects of an indirect hit, or whether an otherwise direct hit could even be made less direct by the properties of the target itself.  It may be a situation like covering an egg in rubber band layers.  You might be able to use the properties of the rubber to deflect low-energy projectiles like a thrown pebble or even a slingshot BB, but even a weak air rifle should still blow right through it and break the egg...and the DS is the equivalent of a high-powered rifle.

 

2. With the exception of your word choice of "supernova", I completely agree.  Though since we're talking on a stellar/planetary scale, I don't think it's fair to use "supernova" as a catch-all for "big boom".  A real supernova would take the entire system with it.  I don't think you'd see anything close to that.

 

3. That's pure speculation with very little to back it up.

 

4. What?

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I think to usefully discuss this, we need to have at least a vague idea of how the Death Star works. Not the specific physics of it, obviously, but what effect it is specifically having on the planet. A planet like the Earth is not a balloon with a box full of dynamite at the centre. Even if you shot it with some hypothetical giant space laser that could penetrate to the core, there's nothing in the middle that would suddenly ignite and blow the planet into pieces. You'd kick off a massive series of volcanic disturbances, but no big bang.

When we've figured out what causes a big ball of rock and metal to break up into millions of asteroids, then we could talk about a gas giant. Someone suggested it creates reverse gravity at the centre of the planet. That would work on a gas giant as well as a rocky planet. Better in fact. But the sheer scale of gas giants would mean orders of magnitude more power. For example, you've all seen photos of Jupiter with the "red spot". That spot is in fact a giant cyclone. And you could fit two Earths side by side in it - that's how large it is.

I would say gas giants are not an option for either Death Star, personally.

 

Of course, in the shift from a terrestrial planet to a gas giant, you also lose the fixed variable of core composition.  It may be entirely reasonable for a planet like, say, Bespin, to have sufficient quantities of combustible gases in its lower layers, that the "box full of dynamite" analogy suddenly isn't so unreasonable.  Perhaps the specific plasma technology used in SW universe blaster and laser weaponry would also react violently with the frozen methane of our own gas giants.  It may be a reasonable possibility that gas giants are even more susceptible to the DS's main weapon than a smaller rocky planet, and the reason they don't shoot Yavin Prime in ANH is because the resultant explosion would have taken the DS itself with it, and the weapon's effective range isn't sufficient to place the station outside of the blast radius.

 

 

An interesting conjecture and it's given me some thought. Hmmm. One note though, if methane were to combust, it would need oxygen to combust with. If we're talking the core of a gas giant, I would presume there wouldn't be such available. Under those pressures, any available oxygen would have long since combined with the methane. One possibility would be that the core of a gas giant would be an enormous diamond (all that compressed carbon).

 

But we don't have to assume that the beam of the Deathstar is a laser or otherwise pure energy. Now I'm wondering what it would take to trigger fusion rapidly on a large scale at the core of a planet. The Sun holds together because of its massive gravity. A planet... less so.

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I'm no chemist...how would oxygen combine with methane?  Is it possible that the plasma from the superlaser beam could uncombine them to allow combustion?
 
If we want to get "Really realistic in our science as it relates to blowing up planets with a moon-sized space superweapon", I don't really thing there's enough oxygen for *any* of the super explosions we see in the Star Wars films.  Even if you make the argument that the ships haul their own oxidizer and that's what allows them to explode, it doesn't cover Alderaan (or Hosnia-Berzegovina).
 

Now I'm wondering what it would take to trigger fusion rapidly on a large scale at the core of a planet. The Sun holds together because of its massive gravity. A planet... less so.


Yeah, I think that it's just not a situation in which an environment for fusion could be sustained for any perceptible time period.  You *may* trigger those conditions, but I'd have to imagine that any actual fusion would then immediately alter the environment to the point that further reaction could not be maintained.

 

It *is* Star Wars, though, so anything could happen.  But from my spot in the cheap seats, if my players wanted to turn a planet into a mini-sun, it'd take some *serious* containment/management technology (planetary scale containment field projectors, bleed-off vent systems, etc.), the procurement of which would be, at very least, the focus of an entire campaign.  Given that there doesn't seem to exist any sort of meaningful energy crisis (or any energy limitation at all for that matter) in the galaxy, the need for such a thing does not seem to be terribly great.

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My interpretation has always been that approaching a mass shadow in hyperspace is devastating to the object in hyperspace but does nothing to the realspace object creating the shadow. This specifically voids using hyperdrives as weapons.

 

 

In Legends it is destructive to both objects. There was a Separatist planet during the Clone Wars which was destroyed because a Republic Battlecruiser took damage to its hyperdrive and jumped on a course that crashed it into the planet. FFG claims planetary shielding.would block most of the damage but A: We don't know what class of ship they were referring to, and B: We now know that ships can jump through planetary shielding with no ill effect on the vessel so I don't see how they would block such an attack. However in canon we have yet to see a ship in hyperspace collide with a mass shadow so we don't know the exact effect.

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I believe I read somewhere that it took the First Death Star 24 hours to charge its superlaser, which answers that. The Second Death Star could do it in 2 minutes if memory serves.

I think there were also different power levels for the DS2.  So they could preheat for 225 and only had to preheat for 15-20 minutes...but if they had it set to 450, well that was going to be a while.

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

 

I'd be skeptical of that idea.  While the DS2 could certainly fire weaker shots more rapidly, enabling it's main weapon to be used to defeat an entire fleet of capital ships, there would be little to no reason to enable it to fire a full power shot every 15 minutes.  It arrives in system, and immediately begins to top off it's charge, replacing whatever the hyperspace jump drained.  It gets in range of the target world, and destroys it.  What need would it have to be able to fire another full power shot within 15 minutes?  Or even 30?  It still has to travel to its next destination before it will be in range to destroy it.

 

That's like building a cannon capable of leveling the entirety of New York City in a single shot, and then also building it to fire 10 rounds per minute.  After you've destroyed NYC with the gun, what purpose is there to firing the other 9 rounds when the only thing in range is a slagged, glowing crater?

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

 

I'd be skeptical of that idea.  While the DS2 could certainly fire weaker shots more rapidly, enabling it's main weapon to be used to defeat an entire fleet of capital ships, there would be little to no reason to enable it to fire a full power shot every 15 minutes.  It arrives in system, and immediately begins to top off it's charge, replacing whatever the hyperspace jump drained.  It gets in range of the target world, and destroys it.  What need would it have to be able to fire another full power shot within 15 minutes?  Or even 30?  It still has to travel to its next destination before it will be in range to destroy it.

 

That's like building a cannon capable of leveling the entirety of New York City in a single shot, and then also building it to fire 10 rounds per minute.  After you've destroyed NYC with the gun, what purpose is there to firing the other 9 rounds when the only thing in range is a slagged, glowing crater?

 

 

 

Don't ask me why they did it but Wookieepedia says it could fire every three minutes and since it refers to the first Death Star taking 24 hours to recharge it sounds like they mean full strength shots.

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

 

I'd be skeptical of that idea.  While the DS2 could certainly fire weaker shots more rapidly, enabling it's main weapon to be used to defeat an entire fleet of capital ships, there would be little to no reason to enable it to fire a full power shot every 15 minutes.  It arrives in system, and immediately begins to top off it's charge, replacing whatever the hyperspace jump drained.  It gets in range of the target world, and destroys it.  What need would it have to be able to fire another full power shot within 15 minutes?  Or even 30?  It still has to travel to its next destination before it will be in range to destroy it.

 

That's like building a cannon capable of leveling the entirety of New York City in a single shot, and then also building it to fire 10 rounds per minute.  After you've destroyed NYC with the gun, what purpose is there to firing the other 9 rounds when the only thing in range is a slagged, glowing crater?

 

Well...it *was* a taxpayer-funded government project...

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

 

I'd be skeptical of that idea.  While the DS2 could certainly fire weaker shots more rapidly, enabling it's main weapon to be used to defeat an entire fleet of capital ships, there would be little to no reason to enable it to fire a full power shot every 15 minutes.  It arrives in system, and immediately begins to top off it's charge, replacing whatever the hyperspace jump drained.  It gets in range of the target world, and destroys it.  What need would it have to be able to fire another full power shot within 15 minutes?  Or even 30?  It still has to travel to its next destination before it will be in range to destroy it.

 

That's like building a cannon capable of leveling the entirety of New York City in a single shot, and then also building it to fire 10 rounds per minute.  After you've destroyed NYC with the gun, what purpose is there to firing the other 9 rounds when the only thing in range is a slagged, glowing crater?

Well...it *was* a taxpayer-funded government project...

So how come it actually worked and was delivered on time? *confused*

Edited by knasserII

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I think DS II would have been able to fire fullpower shots every 15 minutes but I'm not sure if that ability was online by Endor. Basically DS II was going to have two reactors with one being used exclusively to power the superlaser while the DS I had one reactor powering the superlaser and the rest of the station.

 

I'd be skeptical of that idea.  While the DS2 could certainly fire weaker shots more rapidly, enabling it's main weapon to be used to defeat an entire fleet of capital ships, there would be little to no reason to enable it to fire a full power shot every 15 minutes.  It arrives in system, and immediately begins to top off it's charge, replacing whatever the hyperspace jump drained.  It gets in range of the target world, and destroys it.  What need would it have to be able to fire another full power shot within 15 minutes?  Or even 30?  It still has to travel to its next destination before it will be in range to destroy it.

 

That's like building a cannon capable of leveling the entirety of New York City in a single shot, and then also building it to fire 10 rounds per minute.  After you've destroyed NYC with the gun, what purpose is there to firing the other 9 rounds when the only thing in range is a slagged, glowing crater?

 

 

 

Don't ask me why they did it but Wookieepedia says it could fire every three minutes and since it refers to the first Death Star taking 24 hours to recharge it sounds like they mean full strength shots.

 

 

I can't find the mention you're referring to in Wookieepedia, but the original Death Star also couldn't do low-power shots, so that could also be the difference between the 3-minute and 24-hour recharge times.

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Is this the regular Death Star, or the Son-of-the-Death-Star?

 

Or the Son-of-the-Son-of-the-Death-Star from Force Awakens? Because, y'know, that one's ten times bigger and a million times more awesomer and badass and everything.

 

It can blow up loads of planets at once and the explosions are so awesome they can be seen from anywhere in the galaxy. That's a lot of yellow dice.

Edited by MTaylor

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