With the Death Star plans at their disposal, the Rebel Alliance had the intelligence required to construct its own Death Star. One general may have briefly considered it in Star Wars.
It’s a dark time in the Star Wars galaxy. The first Death Star has been destroyed, leaving the Empire angry and ready to retaliate. Members of the Rebel Alliance are on the run. It’s not yet clear if Vader and his forces will ever strike back.
But the rebels in charge are making plans. And one of those plans might involve using Death Star technology to rid the galaxy of Emperor Palpatine for good.
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Doctor Aphra No. 33 reveals that the Rebel Alliance may have briefly considered using the original Death Star blueprints to build its own weapon.
Technically, they couldn’t actually afford to build an actual Death Star. Not being part of an official galactic organization makes it kind of difficult to secure the funds and resources to build a space station the size of a small moon.
But General Cracken used a kyber crystal from a stolen artifact to construct a weapon that could cause widespread damage with one shot — just like a Death Star. Using the same technology, he explains to Aphra, someone could pilot a starfighter to the location the Emperor resided and take him out for good.
This issue (part of a fantastic comic as a whole, really) points out something we don’t always think about when we’re watching Star Wars, especially the original trilogy: Not all good guys are fully good or fully evil.
In the beginning, Star Wars was very black and white when depicting two sides of a war. There were the rebels — the “good guys” — and the Imperials — the “bad guys.” There were the Jedi, and there were the Sith. One always trying to overthrow the other. One always trying to initiate balance … whatever that meant.
Now, decades after A New Hope, we have more of what many call “gray” characters in Star Wars — characters who might act with the greater good in mind but use questionable means to achieve their goals.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker)..Ph: Giles Keyte..© 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Saw Garrera, for example, is technically against the Empire, but the Rebel Alliance views him as an extremist. He doesn’t want the Imperials to win, but in his quest to defeat them, he ends up putting many innocent people in danger, and worse.
General Cracken is another character who may be slightly misguided in his efforts to extinguish the evil in the galaxy.
When it’s brought to his attention that killing the Emperor with his “mini mobile Death Star” would likely result in the deaths of thousands, he just shrugs it off. Whatever it takes to save a thousand more lives in the future, right?
Often when we get stories from Imperials’ perspectives, we hear them refer to the rebels as terrorists. When Luke Skywalker fired the shot that destroyed the first Death Star, billions of lives were lost. Yes, they were on the “wrong” side. But by definition, it could rightfully be considered an act of terror.
Do we see it this way in A New Hope? Of course not! The rebels are the good guys. The Death Star blows up, everybody goes home and celebrates. Woohoo!
But you probably don’t like the idea of the Rebel Alliance having its own weapon of mass destruction, do you? That’s because throughout every major Star Wars story we’ve seen in canon so far, the “bad guys” have been the ones building the big weapons, and the “good guys” have been the ones trying to destroy them.
To our knowledge — so far — the rebels never actually got around to building a full-scale, fully operational Death Star. It wasn’t possible.
But would they have done it, if they’d had the resources? Not if Mon Mothma had anything to say about it, obviously. But at least one high-ranking officer wanted to use the same technology to assassinate Papa Palps. So in an alternate timeline? It could have happened.
It shouldn’t have. But it could have.
Do you think the Alliance had a good reason for wanting the Emperor gone, no matter how many lives were lost in the process? Would it have made them just as “evil” as the Empire?