Imperial Death Star: DS-1 Orbital Battle Station: Owner’s Workshop Manual by Ryder Windham, Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas (book review).
Probably the biggest world-beater in Science Fiction terms has to be the Imperial Death Star as demonstrated in the 70s-80s ‘Star Wars’ films where it annihilated worlds. The ultimate weapon to be used against those nasty rebels who want to dethrone the Emperor Palpatine and keep any other planet’s population in-line should they be planning to rebel. No doubt there must also have been a propaganda machine in operation as well or how else would word of Alderaan’s destruction have been broadcast across that galaxy far, far away to instil fear in all who saw it. However, this book is more to do with how these two small moon-sized weapons were built and how the rebels destroyed them.
You get a tour around the various parts of the first Death Star with a little more detail where certain rebels were held and then later escaped from. The significance of the location of the force field shield controls that Obi-Wan Kenobi turned off also makes a lot more sense in context. There is also a picture of the scavenger dianoga in waste removal and it was lucky that kid Luke Skywalker escaped its clutches. Even more remarkable that the rebel Princess Leia Organa managed to survive the IT-0 Interrogator Droid in interrogation. The fact that each Death Star had a Throne Room for the Emperor does make me wonder if provision for such quarters is contained in every Empire military stronghold. I would have thought it would have made more sense to have the means for the Emperor’s starship to lock in an environment block in to wherever it lands than rely on new installations each time which would leave him open to assassination attempts. When you read about the security precautions made and further developed in the second Death Star, it’s no wonder the older Jedi Skywalker allowed himself to be captured to get in.
As with all of Haynes media-orientated books, there is a nice presentation with a mixture of diagrams and photographs and makes for a nice companion book to the one devoted to the Millennium Falcon. The Death Stars were truly deadly weapons and with their destruction by the rebel forces, it is unlikely that we will see their sort ever again. However, if one of them does appear in the sky overhead, you’ll know what to do to stop it.
(pub: Haynes. 121 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-85733-372-8)
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