How many Species 8472 planet buster formations would be needed to destroy the Death Star 1?

Here are the results:-

One....................................41% Two.....................................5% Four....................................5% Eight...................................3% Sixteen.................................3% More than sixteen......................43%

My Comments

It definitly seems that voters like extremes. Once again, the upper and lower options attracted the most votes. Over half the voters thought that four or less would be sufficient to destroy the Death Star, but a large minority thought that more than sixteen formations would be required. My personal view is the more formations the better! However, for a minimum number I would personally go for 2-4. That gives you enough firepower to destroy the battlestation regardless of whether its shields are up or down, but it also gives you a certain level of redundancy, just in case the Death Star gets lucky and manages to destroy one of your formations before you fire.

Your Comments

(Note: Your comments may be modified to improve grammer, readabilty and to remove offensive terms. However, meaning and content will not be changed. All my comments are in itallics, and yours in bold.)

"The Death Star is designed to fight off ships with firepower like a Star destroyer. Something that has planet busting firepower is way too much for its shields. One species 8472 formation should be enough, two to be absolutely certain." - This might be true. We know from 'A New Hope' that the Death Star was designed to fight off a conventional attack by large ships, but we also know that the Imperial fleet couldn't duplicate the planet destroying firepower of the Death Star. It seems very unlikely that the Death Star is shielded to withstand superlaser level firepower. Why should it be? Only the Empire had superlaser technology. It is 'possible' therefore that a single blast from a Species 8472 formation would be enough to overload the shield and destroy the station "The DS1 was only 120km in diameter. An Earth sized planet is nearly 13,000km in diameter. Something that can destroy a planet with one shot will pulverize a 120km station. Only one formation needed!" - True enough. The mass of a planet would be much much greater than that of the Death Star. Having just done some quick calculations of my own, I discovered that a planet the size of Earth has a volume that somewhere around 1.2 million times larger than the Death Star. I think therefore that most people would agree that against an undefended, unshielded Death Star, a single blast would easily be enough. "The DS1 is armed with 15,000 turbolasers , over 2,000 ion cannons, over 700 tractor beams, and a fighter compliment of 7,000 tie fighters, tie bombers ect.. With all of this offensive power the DS will easily hold of alot more than just 16 of the Species 8472 planet buster formations. Also it takes over 10 seconds for one of the Species 8472 formation's to charge up and fire it's beam, meaning that while they are powering up they will make nice target practice for the thousands of turbolasers and fighters mentioned above." -I will keep most of my comments on this until after the next quote. However, just for a bit of fun, i just did a quick calculation and discovered that if we count the turbolasers and ion cannons, the Death Star has 17,000 weapons (tractor beams are not weapons!). However, assuming a perfect sphere, it has a surface area of 45239km2. Assuming an even distribution of weapons, that means that it only has one weapon (ion cannon or turbolaser) for every 2.66km2 of its surface. That would be the equivilent of a star destroyer having just one weapon! Hardly an awe inspiring concentration of firepower. It should also be considered that over half the weapons would be pointing the wrong way (ie on the other side of the sphere, the 'concentration' of fire is actually very weak (relatively speaking) compared to almost any other sci-fi design! "All of which is very impressive, except that we saw in ANH that they didn't fire until the enemies were within a few miles, and even then were not effective. In Scorpion, we saw a Species 8472 formation appear without warning from a rift and fire on a planet from a distance of thousands of km. The whole attack took seconds. The Death Star would not have time to respond before it was hit." -Well here's the problem. According to the evidence, the Death Star has thousands of weapons and fighters. However, in ANH we only see a handful of TIE fighters and weapons used. Not only that, but none of the weapons were used at more than a few hundred kilometers range. Why were those weapons not used in the battle of Yavin? Why did those weapons not fire earlier at greater ranges? The fact is we don't know. There appears to be only two options. Either the weapons lack the capability, or the comanders and operators on the Death Star were terminally stupid. Neither option bodes well for the Death Star if it is facing Species 8472! On the other hand, Species 8472 have shown an ability to attack from thousands of kilometers away. Given the displayed use of weapons, Species 8472 seems to have the advantage here. However, if the Death Star had a smart commander (i.e not Tarkin) the extensive use of TIE fighters could be useful. "Star Wars Enemy Lines II - Rebel Stand, Pg. 302:"They 'know' that once its ready to fly, we can destroy their worldship in orbit around Coruscant; we faked up a low-power demonstration of this by positioning one of our capital ships outside the Coruscant system and firing off a laser battery attack at the worldship to coincide with the firing of our fake weapon array." I'm not quite sure what the poster was trying to say here. It is somewhat unclear. I think he is trying to show the long range use of weapons in Star Wars. If that is the case, there are a number of problems. Firstly, the events in 'Rebel Stand' takes place over twenty five years after the Death Star was destroyed. Weapon technology may have changed a lot on 25 years (compare the attack range of a 1945 P-51 Mustang to a 1970 F4 Phantom). In fact, we know that at this time the New Republic was experimenting with Vong biotechnolgy in their weapons (i.e the Starlancer ). Of course, at the time of 'A New Hope', no one even knew of the Vong, so that technology would not have been available. Secondly, the example shown does not even involve the Death Star! It cannot therefore be used to definitively show a capability for the Death Star. This is confirmed by the fact that the Death Star did not display any such capability in 'A New Hope' when it would surely have been useful. Finally, the attack is stated to have been made by a "laser battery", and NOT a turbolaser battery. The two weapons are quite different. A 'laser' is invisible in space and travels at light speed in a vacuum. Turbolasers are visible and travel much slower than light speed. Therefore, this example says nothing about the capabilities of the 15,000 turbolasers on the Death Star. "Use sixteen here, eight to drop the shields with a single blast and eight to fire as the shields are punctured straight through to the core and Boom." - The majority of people (57%) in the poll agree with you that sixteen should be plenty.

This page was last updated on Monday 1st July 2002.

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