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Death Star Explained: What You Need To Know Before Watching Rogue One

Star Wars is, without a doubt, one of the greatest series in the universe. The Star Wars universe has so many exciting storylines, iconic characters, and quotable quotes. We also shouldn't forget about the impressive structures and weaponry used during their battles – most especially the "ultimate power in the universe," the Death Star.

Dubbed as the ultimate weapon in Star Wars Episode IV, the planet-destroying weapon has made a mark on every die-hard Star Wars fan. For a casual Star Wars fan (or an ultimate geek wanting a refresher), here's a look at the Death Star before you watch the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, that focuses on the Rebellion's risky move to steal the blueprints of the ultimate weapon. This event in the Star Wars story brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things to be a part of something that's greater.

1. Emperor Palpatine a.k.a Darth Sidious and Darth Vader led the operation to build the Death Star, with the help of Darth Tyranus and was then commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin.

2. The size of the DS-1 platform a.k.a the Death Star I was over 120 km (74.56 mi) in diameter and had 357 internal levels. The Death Star was so large in diameter that it was sometimes mistaken for a small moon at first glance. "That's no moon. That's a space station," says Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

3. To show you how huge the Death Star is, here's a breakdown of the population inside it:

It was crewed by an estimated

1.7 million military personnel 400,000 droids 265,675 station crew 52,276 gunners 607,360 troops 30,984 stormtroopers 42,782 ship support staff 180,216 pilots and support crew

Wookieepedia estimates it at 2 million; that's like putting all the citizens of Slovenia inside the Death Star! 

4. Weaponry

The Death Star's primary weapon is its Concave Dish Composite Beam Superlaser. The diameter of the superlaser is approximately 35 kilometers and was powerful enough to destroy even a shielded planet with one shot. At full power, the superlaser takes 24 hours to recharge!

Besides the superlaser, the Death Star also has assault shuttles, blastboats, strike cruisers, land vehicles, support ships and 7,293 TIE/LN fighters. It's also protected by 10,000 turbolaser batteries + 2,600 ion cannon and 768 tractor beam projectors.

5. Damage and destruction

It isn't called the Death Star for nothing, after all. Both Death Stars were destroyed by The Rebel Alliance shortly after they became operational. The DS-1 exploded during the Battle of Yavin by Luke Skywalker with the help of Han Solo when they identified a weakness in the station's design. The total number of people killed in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope during the battle is almost 2 million.

6. The Death Star is deathly expensive.

The cost is over 1,000,000,000,000 galactic credits! Students at Leigh University estimates it to reach $8.1 quadrillion while a professor at Washington University says it'll cost $92 sextillion and he concludes that the total cost of building the two Death Stars was $419 quintillion dollars if you include research and development.

7. And then here's where it gets more interesting.

There's an actual petition in 2012-2013 in the US which received 34,435 signatures out of its 25,000 goals to build a Death Star. Unfortunately, the White House didn't approve the petition saying "the Administration does not support blowing up planets," and it will take more than 833,000 years for it to be ready.

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Be a part of the rebel alliance and catch 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' as it hits theaters on December 15, 2016. The film is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to know the latest updates on the film.

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