• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.

How can there be a chunk of the Death Star on Endor despite the fact it exploded?

Oct 25, 2017
2,322
My favorite part is the OP doesn't even come at this complaint with an understanding of how explosions or space debris actually work, just how he feels they should work, wielding these misconceptions with absolute certainty. So we got some shades of anti-intellectualism mixed in with CinemaSins level critique. Super.
The movies show massive explosions engulfing both Death Stars.

You don't see the entire middle/bottom section of the Death Star II break away from the other pieces, the entire surface area is blown up. You don't see that massive section fly off either in space shots or from the moon's surface.

On-screen action is acceptable movie logic. In that sense, the submerged Death Star is also acceptable. They just chose to ignore that it was basically disintegrated.
 
Oct 27, 2017
690
These films are adaptations of a a story from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately due to real life concerns like budgets or the limitations of special effects, sometimes the events can't be portrayed as accurately as the filmmakers would like and sometimes there are minor inconsistencies.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,207
The movies show massive explosions engulfing both Death Stars.

You don't see the entire middle/bottom section of the Death Star II break away from the other pieces, the entire surface area is blown up. You don't see that massive section fly off either in space shots or from the moon's surface.

On-screen action is acceptable movie logic. In that sense, the submerged Death Star is also acceptable. They just chose to ignore that it was basically disintegrated.
Do you think Alderaan also "basically disintegrated" since it had the same fidelity explosion as the Death Star? Despite the Falcon explicitly coming out of hyperspace in it's debris field?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,322
Do you think Alderaan also "basically disintegrated" since it had the same fidelity explosion as the Death Star? Despite the Falcon explicitly coming out of hyperspace in it's debris field?
Unless they show that there are significant chunks of Alderaan left, it was reduced to nothing.

The Falcon probably wasn't even in as much danger as it was in the asteroid field in ESB.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,734
Well,

The explosion was from the reactor therefore it was inside-out. The force of explosion would have torn the death star up like a fragmentation grenade, sending pieces everywhere.

The film is a rough re-enactment of the rebels victory over the empire circa 1295 AE, and the movie budget could not capture the realistic breaking up of a space station that size. Perhaps in remakes down the road as CGI artists become better, and perhaps with a real physicist to oversee the SFX we will be given a better representation of the historical Death Star II explosion.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,896
I'm more upset everyone in the Star Wars universe uses shoulder/messenger type bags over backpacks. They're terrible on your shoulders and back if you're walking anywhere more than 30 minutes. I bet Poe and Finn have awful posture.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,207
Unless they show that there are significant chunks of Alderaan left, it was reduced to nothing.

The Falcon probably wasn't even in as much danger as it was in the asteroid field in ESB.
I don't know how you arrived at that conclusion because you're wrong. In canon, both old and new, and in the movie itself its established that Alderaan left a large debris field. It wasn't reduced to nothing.

 
Oct 27, 2017
7,608
Sunderland



The explosion seemed pretty thorough in ROTJ. If a huge chunk that was almost half the size of the Death Star fell we would have seen it.




In addition, wouldn't such a huge chunk have caused a massive earthquake (or even worse, an extinction event) on Endor? It doesn't seem to fit the end of ROTJ where the characters are just partying in a rather calm forest setting.
Just another plank in the Chewbacca Defence.
 
Nov 10, 2017
1,461
since the explosion came from the center, it doesn't really matter where the setpiece was located on the surface of the death star.

however, I don't think an explosion literally vaporizes everything even if it engulfs the whole structure, but I am not a demolition expert. the setpiece in the trailer does seem quite large but I don't think it's impossible that a chunk like that could have broken away.
I mean, it should be flying at the camera if it was intact.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,398
Toronto
Because the new trilogy is a mess. Even though Lucas made up the original trilogy as he went along it was mostly consistent.
If we're gonna nitpick the fuck out of things, then why are all the Jedi in the PT wearing outfits similar to Obi Wan's desert robes? If Obi Wan wanted to hide out and go unnoticed, wouldn't he wear something that blends in with the locals, like those robes, rather than wearing the outfit of a Jedi? What exactly was Luke wearing when he returned as a Jedi?

The entire saga is a mess held together with duct tape.
 
One of the many EU comics that are no longer canon was that the Rebel fleet intercepted the falling debris, so even in old canon, there was debris from the Death Star.

So they didn't give a fuck even before Lucas sold Star Wars away so let's not act like this is something that's exclusively JJ's fault.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,968
Sure it's a bit of a stretch but not so much that it becomes an issue for anyone being reasonable.
Also Battlefront 2 made it canon that it was not just vaporized and a whole lot of space junk resulted from the explosion.

Let's just say a few big chunks were engulfed by the flames of the explosion faster than they could fly away, and so were not immediately visible.

Or, alternatively...


As for where it landed, well, the gas giant Endor has 9 moons. The one in RotJ is called the "forest moon" of Endor. Maybe there's a "rocky ocean" moon of Endor. Or maybe the forest moon has an ocean somewhere. Or maybe the crash of a giant piece of moon sized metal changed the climate of one portion. Or it floated around in the system and got picked up by another planet's gravitational force sometime in the last couple decades. Wherever it ends up, it will be easy to explain.
Or it will end up in another planetary system entirely. We know how JJ feels and space and long distances.
 
Last edited:
I can't really express how this thread makes me feel...so here's Daniel Day Lewis to do it for me;


The Simpson's skewered this kind of shit decades ago...how is it still a thing? 1997, 22 years ago! Who saw those nerds complaining about xylophone ribs and decided "Yeah, let's watch everything through THAT lens! That'll make everything more enjoyable for everyone!"?
This isn't magic xylophone, it's a legitimate question. You can assume in movies that things you aren't shown didn't happen, so when later movies decide that they in fact did happen, it leads to questions.

I'd kind of prefer it go to Yavin IV, honestly. See if they can re-canonize the ancient Sith who built the Massassi temples used by the rebels on Yavin IV.

Not gonna happen but I can dream.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,207
This isn't magic xylophone, it's a legitimate question. You can assume in movies that things you aren't shown didn't happen, so when later movies decide that they in fact did happen, it leads to questions.
This thread makes me feel for film makers. Imagine having to make a movie knowing some of your audience has the object permanence of a toddler.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,520
The bigger question:
Is that really DS2 cause that thing had a dish diameter of 40km and that shot has some serious cloud ceiling/fog/scale issues if it is.
And is that really Endor? It HAS to be right?
To me this thing feels like a case of nice looking, but rather nonsensical concept art piece that a director like JJ sees on a tour of the art department and thinks "this is gonna be great!" and finally has inspiration for an idea for the 3rd act.
If that size is correct then crashing down on the planet would be an extinction level event, surely?
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,608
Sunderland
You can assume in movies that things you aren't shown didn't happen, so when later movies decide that they in fact did happen, it leads to questions.
When did that happen? None of the characters in Star Wars were shown being born. How does that make for reasonable assumptions?

What's not shown in the text creates a tension between the author's intent and the viewer's expectations. Nobody assumes that Kirk and Spock never use the toilet, and I think most people would find it weird if a later work revealed that transporter technology has replaced plumbing.
 
When did that happen? None of the characters in Star Wars were shown being born. How does that make for reasonable assumptions?

What's not shown in the text creates a tension between the author's intent and the viewer's expectations. Nobody assumes that Kirk and Spock never use the toilet, and I think most people would find it weird if a later work revealed that transporter technology has replaced plumbing.
This is more what I meant, not a lack of object permanence, but that things that should have narrative significance are shown happening. If it's not shown happening, it doesn't have narrative significance. In your example, the only characters in Star Wars we see being born, or whose circumstances of birth are mentioned, are Anakin, Luke, and Leia, and those are the ones whose circumstances of birth are significant to the narrative. We don't care how, say, Han Solo was born. Not even his origin movie cares about that. But we know it happened.

The Death Star's explosion seems thorough. That's why there was no Endor holocaust because as far as the narrative was concerned, that wasn't an issue. To bring it back now raises questions that are worth exploring because it creates tension between the viewer's expectations (Death Star is gone completely) and what we now see to be the case.
 
Oct 25, 2017
303
suspension of disbelief
Truthfully, something as large as the Death Star would not be vaporized from the explosion. :P

These films are adaptations of a a story from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately due to real life concerns like budgets or the limitations of special effects, sometimes the events can't be portrayed as accurately as the filmmakers would like and sometimes there are minor inconsistencies.
Yup, which is why JJ doesn't give a fuck and quite frankly it's a detail that's not worth wasting mental energy on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,608
Sunderland
This is more what I meant, not a lack of object permanence, but that things that should have narrative significance are shown happening. If it's not shown happening, it doesn't have narrative significance. In your example, the only characters in Star Wars we see being born, or whose circumstances of birth are mentioned, are Anakin, Luke, and Leia, and those are the ones whose circumstances of birth are significant to the narrative. We don't care how, say, Han Solo was born. Not even his origin movie cares about that. But we know it happened.

The Death Star's explosion seems thorough. That's why there was no Endor holocaust because as far as the narrative was concerned, that wasn't an issue. To bring it back now raises questions that are worth exploring because it creates tension between the viewer's expectations (Death Star is gone completely) and what we now see to be the case.
I know you think I should agree with you, but I don't see narrative significance as something that should always be foreshadowed. Steerpike only gradually evolves into the villain of Gormenghast. Likewise with little Annakin in the prequels. And sometimes it's okay to resort to retcon, as with the entirety of Captain Marvel.
 

Nooblet

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,975
Yea I don't think when they filmed destroying the Death Star in the 80s they were thinking about how to do a debris that can be used in a future movie 30+ years later and were more concerned with just making an explosion look cool.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,460
SoCal
Way back in the before times, there were a lot of questions about what the exploding Death Star would've done to Endor. I remember an old site in the '90s that went into the physics of the explosion, as well as radiation concerns, but the earliest summary I can find is here: https://www.theforce.net/swtc/holocaust.html. This is how it begins:

This document does not advocate or condone the extinction or betrayal of ewoks, it merely reports upon a physical situation and the acts involved.

The circumstances at the end of Return of the Jedi lead inevitably to an environmental disaster on the Endor moon. The explosion of a small artificial moon in low orbit sends a meteoric rain onto the ewok sanctuary, on a scale unmatched since Endor formed. Through either direct atmospheric injection of small particles, or showers of ejecta from large impacts, the atmosphere will be filled with smoke and fallout causing a gargantuan nuclear-winter effect.

Unless the rebel commandoes on Endor were executing a suicide mission, the rebel fleet was evidently able to intervene to protect their immediate vicinity: probably an area comparable to Luxembourg. Debris fragments amounting to the mass of the rebel fleet might conceivably have been diverted from that particular locality (by the exertion of the fleet's tractor beams) and onto adjacent areas of the Endorian globe. However this is only a tiny fraction of the total mass incident on the moon during an event lasting mere minutes. The mass of the entire debris cloud and fireball is incomparably (inexorably) greater than the combined mass of both fleets over Endor.
It even speculated on the size and number of debris that fell down upon Endor:

Observations of the morphology and kinematics of the explosion suggest that a combination of fine and coarse effects were experienced. The larger pieces are representated by at least fourteen fragments each a few tens of kilometres wide, seen hurtling down towards the moon's atmosphere. An explosive ring of plasma, erupting from the battle station's equator, will strike the moon within seconds, though it is unknown how much actual substance this phenomenon contains. The rest of the debris lacks discernable structure and seems to be fine.

The apparent tranquility of the site around the demolished shield generator, where the rebel commandoes celebrated their victory, has implications for the size distribution of the debris particles. The debris chunks which would have directly collided with the ground team must have been deflected to other areas of the moon's surface by the screening rebel fleet. However an impact over a certain size will cause a rain of ejecta and seismic concussion which would have harmed the commandoes even if they were dozens, hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away. This suggests that apart from the fourteen or so visibly large fragments, most of the impacting debris comprised bodies no larger than a dozens or a few hundred metres across, whose impacts would have no more effect on the rest of the globe than thermonuclear detonations. Much of the mass of the battle station probably fell as centimetre-sized or smaller grains, burning in the air and directly entering the atmosphere as dust without striking ground.
In summary, we've been ridiculous about this stuff for a very long time.
 
Did you guys watch Star Trek Into Darkness? The movie where they travel to opposite sides of the galaxy in like one day? Or the movie with this scene?

Or the Force Awakens? When Han and Chewie can somehow see the laser destroying the solar system while standing on a planet that's not in that solar system?

JJ clearly just doesn't care about this kind of stuff if it gets in the way of the story.
 

Nooblet

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,975
The bigger question:
Is that really DS2 cause that thing had a dish diameter of 40km and that shot has some serious cloud ceiling/fog/scale issues if it is.
And is that really Endor? It HAS to be right?
To me this thing feels like a case of nice looking, but rather nonsensical concept art piece that a director like JJ sees on a tour of the art department and thinks "this is gonna be great!" and finally has inspiration for an idea for the 3rd act.
I have a better explanation, it's just far away.

Did you guys watch Star Trek Into Darkness? The movie where they travel to opposite sides of the galaxy in like one day? Or the movie with this scene?

Or the Force Awakens? When Han and Chewie can somehow see the laser destroying the solar system while standing on a planet that's not in that solar system?

JJ clearly just doesn't care about this kind of stuff if it gets in the way of the story.
What's wrong with the spacesuit jump scene? Lore wise atleast.