George Lucas' Death Star, the fictional moon-sized space station & super weapon that appeared in the original Star Wars movies & expanded universe is capable of destroying an entire planet with a single destructive super charged energy beam. Sounds pretty impressive right? Well not according to the Pentagon. The Pentagon’s in-house acquisition journal, Defense AT&L Magazine have offered a detailed explanation as to why not. Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward happily expands on the gaping flaws in the gigantic weapon of mass destruction. Hit the jump to check it out. Updated.
Lt. Col. Dan Ward "In the Star Wars universe, robots are self-aware, every ship has its own gravity, Jedi Knights use the Force, tiny green Muppets are formidable warriors and a piece of junk like the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. But even the florid imagination of George Lucas could not envision a project like the Death Star coming in on time, on budget."
"Droids are Republic technology," Ward continues. "They don't intimidate anyone. Instead, they earn their keep by being useful and practical. Droids are about finesse, while Death Stars are about brute force. And given the current world situation, finesse is clearly what we need." Brilliant.
Lt. Col. Dan Ward "Introduced in Episode IV, A New Hope, the Death Star makes an impressive debut when it vaporizes the planet Alderaan—the one and only time it fires its main weapon. Shortly thereafter, the entire station, with 1.2 million people on board, is destroyed by a single shot fired by a half-trained Jedi. That’s what we call a critical vulnerability, and it’s the subject of relentless fan disdain. The second Death Star’s performance in combat was even less impressive. Despite being much larger than the origi- nal one, it was dispatched by the rebels before firing its planet- busting laser even once. So much for being 'fully operational'. In fact, the Death Star’s combination of inadequacy and vulnerability may be the second-most realistic aspect of the entire saga."
Ward continues his "Operational Assessment".
Lt. Col. Dan Ward "To be sure, the Death Star is primarily a weapon of intimida- tion rather than something to be used all willy-nilly. Even the Evil Empire didn’t want to demolish more than a handful of planets. So the fact that the Death Star only ever fired one shot may not be that big of a deal. However, the fact that the stations kept getting blown up is a big deal indeed. It’s hard to be intimidating if you’re a smoking cloud of debris. One might wonder how such an ostensibly powerful weapon could have such a consistently poor track record and such a gaping weakness. Despite the opinion of certain critics, these shortcomings are not a cheap plot device by a lazy writer."
Thanks to Wired for the heads up.