Archive for empire

Review: Death Star

Posted in Reviews, Spotlight with tags , , , , , on 31 July 2011 by Megan
Death Star Cover

inb4 That’s No Moon!

by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry.

I was actually pretty disappointed by this book. Steve Perry has been in my good graces for a long time–he’s produced some really good Star Wars stuff in the past (Shadows of the Empire, anyone?), and Michael Reaves has been steadily winning me over with his Lorn Pavan stories. So when I got through this book and all it was was a dull walkthrough of the Death Star’s construction manual.

Some bits that I did like were scenes from the film done from the opposite point of view, but still, even these were just cop-outs that emphasized how unenthusiastic the writers were about the project. Catchphrases, clich├ęs, and generalizations made up the majority of this book, coupled with excessive technological description that most Star Wars fans read SW books to avoid. When it descended into going over ANH for me, I wrote it off in sheer boredom–how many novelizations does the first movie need? Regular people should have been cool to read about. And yet.

Anyway, it’s a harmless canonical book; just don’t be surprised when it turns into explication of what you already know, and don’t expect really fun or exciting, fresh characters like in Perry and Reaves’ other works. Check it out on

The Imperial Academy

Posted in Questions with tags , , , , , on 27 July 2011 by Megan

I have been wondering about the Imperial Academy lately. Is there a reference book that outlines what was offered at the Academy, the different branches of the Imperial Military, and the corresponding ranks and duties therein? — Michelle

Unfortunately, information about the Imperial Academy is rare and not very in depth. None of the references which I own discuss it at all. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia is supposed to have entries on the Imperial Academy, however; unfortunately its cost of $78 with the Amazon discount discourages me from buying it.

The planet Carida

The planet Carida

According to the Wookieepedia, there are various branches of the Academy, the one I am familiar with being at Carida. Corulag Academy, Coruscanti Pilot Institute, Prefsbelt Fleet Camp, Raithal Academy, and Vensenor Flight Academy being the others. One of their sources establishing these as locations, however, is The Imperial Sourcebook, a roleplaying game guide, and I myself have always taken RPG data with a grain of salt where canonicty is concerned.

More easily acceptable books, these being actual novels, describe the Academy at Carida, or at least discuss it in some level of detail. The Dark Forces trilogy, particularly Soldier for the Empire, include some of Dean Williams’ gorgeous paintings of the Academy. Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson also touch on Carida, right before it is destroyed, but be warned that both books are dripping with bias. Han Solo, expelled from one academy, thinks about his experiences in A. C. Crispin’s The Hutt Gambit, but in flashbacks only. Michael A. Stackpole’s Isard’s Revenge also goes to the Academy, but I have not read that one yet and can’t say in what capacity.

The Darklighter comics offer some information, but this depends on how canonical you want to make graphic novels. My answer is “not at all, for the most part,” so that’s that. The Academy trained Stormtroopers on a variety of planets, as well as training for officers, probably much like any Earth military training program. Flight schools for TIE pilots took place on Destroyers and were supplementary to academy education.

So the short answer is, no, there is really very little information to be had on the procedures for training Stormtroopers and Imperial officers. And it’s just possible that with the amount of prejudice held against the Empire, the little that can be found is not necessarily accurate, using the Emperor’s personal evil to paint with a broad brush all the adherents to the system.

If you’d like to drop $80 and send me that Encyclopedia, though, I would so be all over finding out more for you ;)

Death Star

Posted in Questions with tags , , , , , on 5 April 2011 by Megan

hey, I thought you may be able to help cause I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere, what is the propulsion system on the death star? any other relevent specs would also be awesome. — Eric

The Death Star I

The Death Star I

The Death Star (Make: MK1 deep-space mobile battle station) has a diameter of 99.4 miles and 84 levels of 4,684 ft. each. Levels are divided into 357 sublevels of 13.1 ft. high. It houses about a million individuals and thousands of armed vessels. This includes a crew of 342,953 (285,675 operational craft, 57,278 gunmen, and 843,342 passengers, which I think includes officers, Stormtroopers, and admiralty).

It was built around a hypermatter reactor. “A fusion reactor of incredible proportions, fed by stellar fuel bottles lining its periphery, produced the raw energy demanded by the Death Star’s superlaser and propulsion systems. Much of the station’s interior volume was filled by the machinery necessary to sustain such a fusion core, with sublight propulsion systems and defense field generators lining the outer equatorial regions. Realspace propulsion was handled by an external array of powerful ion engines, which converted the raw fusion energy of the station’s core into thrust and pressed the stations great mass into any motion dictated by the Death Star’s huge navicomputer banks. . . . The Death Star’s hyperspace motivator units were comprised of linked banks of field generators such as those found aboard Imperial Star Destroyers. One hundred twenty-three individual hyperspace generators, tied into a single navigational matrix, were necessary to carry the Death Star beyond the speed of light. The intense power generated within the battle station, combined with its great mass, gave it both magnetic and artificial gravitational fields equal to those of a natural body many times its size.”

Its actual specs are this–it has a Class 4 hyperdrive. Engines: SFS-CR27200 hyperdrive reactor powering 123 Isu-Sim SSPO6 hyperdrive generators. 2 Sepma 30-5 sublight engines. Armaments: 1 superlaser (range: 29,241,719 mi); 5,000 Taim and Bak D6 turbolaser batteries; 2,500 Borstel MS-1 ion cannons; 768 Phylon tractor-beam emplacements; 11,000 combat vehicles (probably including AT-ATs, AT-STs, and TIEs of a variety of makes). Its maximum speed is 1.2c.*, and its fuel is compressed stellar hydrogen.

Its manufacturer was the Imperial Department of Military Research and Sienar Fleet Systems. The designers were varied–the concept came from Rath Sienar but was stolen by Grand Moff Tarkin. Further development took place by Geonosian Hive Engineers, and it was finalized by Bevel Lemelesk. It was built in three different locations–Geonosis, the black hole cluster called Maw Installation, and was completed with slave labor in orbit around the penal colony Despayre (which then became the first planet the space station destroyed).

So, there you have it! My sources were The Complete Cross-Sections, The Complete Locations, and The Technical Journal. MTFBWY!

* Johnson does not define the unit “c” anywhere in The Technical Journal, and it is not referenced anywhere in any other material.