Can a Death Star Survive a Blast from Another Death Star?

This appears to be the week where I’m revisiting old thoughts and writing sequels to them. I guess it was inevitable. I kicked over a rock by restarting the block, and look at all the roachy ideas scurrying out.

Obviously, with the release of Rogue One in every format imaginable, including ones that are being retired (3D!), it’s no mystery I’d lock in on an old Death Star thought this week, but in a much more targeted (ha!) way. It’s a key to figuring out, as well, whether the Death Star Death Match could at some point break into a tag-team pro-wrestling match where one flame-painted war machine team could take on another one in a straight-on match of green-lasered punishment.

So my core question is, could it possibly take more than one shot from a Death Star to take out another Death Star?

Can a Death Star Absorb/Survive a Shot from Another Death Star?

I know it may seem like a silly question, but we know a few things about Death Stars.

  1. They are designed to defend against a direct large-scale assault.
  2. The Emperor was building more than one. (Apparently someone was building a Starkiller Base, too, but that’s a different thought for later.)
  3. They can destroy planets with a single shot.

Given the third item on the list, I suppose my question seems non-sensical. I mean, if a single shot can blow up a whole planet, shouldn’t a single shot from one Death Star blow apart the other?

Not necessarily!


I can imagine that, if a scenario like theDeath Star Death Match were possible, they’d have built some sort of counter-measure into the thing to make it resistant to, or at least capable of surviving, a blast from another super weapon.

My thinking is that, even if we are proceeding with the unnecessary schematics thrust upon fans through the years, then they would have been built to survive redundant failures. Sure, a concussion blast at the core reactor would cause a failure in the system (Did Galen Erso imagine it would be that explosive though?), but with something that size there has to be some redundancy built into the thing.

If you try to argue with me that the whole thing fails if one section has a fire or an overload, or even if something catastrophic happens in Sector 7G, then I reject your argument completely. There is no way they built the thing to fail.

Homer Simpson, Death Star Safety Inspector
The Death Star’s crack reactor team gets a surprise inspection?

I would accept the idea that it would be severely damaged, but that it would still be able to muster up enough to fire back at least once. From there, is it that much of a leap to imagine it could suffer two or three hard shots and come back for a win?


In addition to those considerations, we have on-screen evidence that there was a magnetic field (Red Leader mentions passing through it), so we can presume that would do something to act as a force dissipator for large blasts.

Again, it was designed to defend against a direct, large-scale assault. That line is in the movie! You may ask why, then, they had Anti-Aircraft weaponry clearly designed to defend against smaller starships scattered across the surface and in the trenches, but that’s another a discussion for another time.

If we take that small leap about force dissipation (but obviously not Force dissipation; notice the difference in capitalization of the first F before you fall all over yourself for the joke), then a blast from another planet killer likely loses some of its punch and the Death Star itself likely has shielding – they specifically mention ray shielding in the original Star Wars, too – then I think it’s completely conceivable that two Death Stars could trade a couple of shots before the fight was over.

In Conclusion

I’m not even getting really nerdy and arguing about the possibilities of breakaway sections, reflective plating, and the beam going cleanly through to exit the other side of the sphere, allowing for damage to be minimized and contained.

As I’ve mulled this, though, it just makes me pine again for a life free of an “Expanded Universe” or detailed over-explanations of technology that doesn’t, or can’t, exist. This journey has been far more fun than any detailed explanation could be.

This is why I should be class president…on a Death Star.

Death Star Cross Section Posted on the Internet, so Go Bother Them Not Me.
Seems legit.

3 thoughts on “Can a Death Star Survive a Blast from Another Death Star?

  1. Based on human history, I don’t believe a Death Star could withstand a blast from another Death Star. In the late 20th century, we already had rudimentary beam weapons, but 20+ years later, we’re still nowhere near a practical deflector shield (as far as I know). The point is that the defense doesn’t get developed as quickly as the attack, which is why there are doomsday devices in the first place. It may be laziness (necessity is the mother of all invention, and the defense isn’t as pressing a matter), or it may be that the technology for the defense is simply harder to develop. Either way, that’s how it tends to play out, so I’m going with that.


    1. I can’t find fault with your reasoning — “As a matter of cosmic history it has always been easier to destroy than to create,” as Spock says. But if I don’t, then my whole dream of Death Stars blowing each other to pieces is dashed, so I will ignore it.


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