More secrets of Starkiller Base revealed

Star Wars: The Force Awakens.. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley)..Photo: David James.. ©2016 Lucas Film Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens.. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley)..Photo: David James.. ©2016 Lucas Film Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

On the surface, Starkiller Base seems like yet another attempt at a planet destroying super weapon. But the mysterious project has much more to it than that.

While Supreme Leader Snoke commands the First Order from his personal flagship, the Supremacy, the planet-shaped object called Starkiller Base serves as an unofficial home world for the would-be-Empire and stands as a testament to their galactic might.

As noted by Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens, the base is several times larger than the original Death Star and is more of a planet-killing planet than a moon-sized base.

The size of the weapon-station is a point of interest. Its natural landscape and abundance of flora suggested that the station was not “built” like the Death Star’s were, but that it was in fact carved out of an already existing planet.

What this world formerly was remained a mystery for some years after the release of Episode VII. Fans would get their answers in the 2019 game Jedi: Fallen Order. Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis would come to the frozen world in search of a kyber crystal for a lightsaber. In the time of the Republic, the planet was none other than the world of Illum. A world sacred to the Jedi order for its abundance of kyber crystals.

As we saw in the game, the planet was in the process of being cannibalised by the Empire as it was strip mined for Crystals. The surface of the once pristine world now showing the groundworks for what would become Starkiller Base.

Aside from details of the base itself, there is also quite a deep story behind its name. Star Wars fans may remember the 2008 action-adventure game The Force Unleashed which would make use of the name Starkiller as the code name for the games primary character whose real name was Galen Marek.

The name “Starkiller” is older than that still. Back in the mid 1970’s, the third draft for the original Star Wars starred a hero by the name of “Luke Starkiller.” Lucas, finding this too graphic a name for the primary good guy, would of course change it to “Skywalker” before filming commenced.

But even by then, the name had worked its way into the galaxy far, far away. Prior to the film’s release in 1977, Lucas had published a novel based on a later draft of the original film. This 1976 novel, written by Alan Dean Foster, would include a character named “Windy Starkiller” whose live action debut was cut from the final edit of A New Hope.

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