November 13, 2015
Starkiller Base: Everything Known, And The Questions That Remain

Starkiller Base is the latest reveal to get its time in the spotlight from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. While it was previously revealed in promotional materials released in October, there was still much that fans didn't know about it -- until this week.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director J.J. Abrams confirmed what many Star Wars fans had already suspected -- Starkiller Base is another Death Star.

However, this one is apparently much stronger than the previous two seen in Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

What Is Known About Starkiller Base

The EW interview with Abrams does not appear to reveal much on the surface, but there is a great deal you can extrapolate from what the director had to say, particularly this tidbit.
"It is very much -- and it's acknowledged as such in the movie -- apparently another Death Star. But what it's capable of, how it works, and what the threat is, is far greater than what the Death Star could have done. Starkiller Base is another step forward, technologically speaking, in terms of power."
To understand what that means, you have to first understand what the Death Star was capable of. The first one could destroy an entire planet in a single shot.

Unfortunately for the Empire, it suffered from one glaring architectural weakness -- the unguarded rabbit hole that led directly to a reactor, which, when penetrated with torpedo fire, would cause a chain reaction of destruction to obliterate the entire space station.


The second Death Star from ROTJ is presumably equal in strength to the original, and, when finished, it would be dang near indestructible since its reactor lies at the core of the space station and there are no idiotic one-shot kill inclusions from the exterior this time around.

There is also an almost impenetrable force shield that gives the Rebels fits when they find themselves lulled in to an attack thanks to a false sense of security from that pesky Palpatine.

Unfortunately again for the Empire, though, they underestimated Luke Skywalker and the guerrilla warfare shrewdness of the Rebel-Ewok alliance, who together were able to deactivate the shield from Endor and stage a final assault on the vulnerable still-under-construction space station.

Lesson learned: Starkiller Base should have, at minimum, the ability to destroy an entire planet, and so long as you're going bigger and better, it might even be able to take out an entire solar system, though the logistics of that -- at least with the one-shot capabilities -- would be hard to fathom.

However, the EW piece shines light on this idea as well, noting that if you could destroy an entire star with one hit -- "Starkiller" -- then all life that star serves would perish as well.

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Questions about Starkiller Base Still Remaining

How did the bad guys manage to rebound after losing their two main leaders and their most formidable weapon/defense system in the galaxy after ROTJ?

Furthermore, how did they manage to build something so overwhelmingly vast and superior with what you would expect to be depleted resources and leadership?

How could Luke, his fearless friends and military strategists, and the power of the Force manage to lose its grip in such a short period of time?

Unfortunately, these are not answers that you will find here, but will have to wait to find out until Dec. 18 when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in theaters.

How do you think Starkiller Base will differ from previous Death Stars?

[Image of Starkiller Base via Official Star Wars: The Force Awakens promotional materials]