The Death Star was designed by Geonosians led by Archduke Poggle the Lesser, a member of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. During the Battle of Geonosis, he gave the plans to Count Dooku, who decided to ferry them to his master Darth Sidious, who would keep them safe. Dooku was intercepted by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in his solar sailer's hangar, but defeated them and fled Yoda by dropping a pillar on the two unconscious Jedi. Dooku met Sidious in the Works on Coruscant, and construction commenced three years later.
Stolen at some point nineteen years later via unknown means, a copy of these blueprints fell into the hands of members of the Rebel Alliance, stationed aboard the Tantive IV. Unfortunately, as the ship arrived at Tatooine to ferry Obi-Wan Kenobi to Alderaan, it was intercepted by the Devastator, and Leia Organa, in a desperate gamble, entrusted the blueprints to the memory systems of the astromech droid R2-D2. He and the protocol droid C-3PO were then sent in an escape pod to Tatooine, where they eventually ended up being purchased by Owen Lars, who gave them to Luke Skywalker to look after. R2-D2, however, determined to fulfill the mission given to him by Organa, tricked Skywalker into removing his restraining bolt so that he could seek out Kenobi.
Luke, worried about his uncle's reaction, sought out R2 in the Jundland Wastes, where he was rescued by the very Kenobi that the R2 series astromech droid was seeking. The group returned to Kenobi's home, where Kenobi discovered that R2-D2 was carrying a message for him from Leia Organa explaining that R2 was carrying information vital to the survival of the Rebellion that needed to be delivered to Alderaan, but that the Tantive IV had been captured by the Empire.
The group secured passage to Alderaan aboard the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Upon the ship's exit from hyperspace at the planet's coordinates, however, they discovered that it been completely obliterated by the very vessel whose stolen plans R2-D2 was carrying. The group managed to hide from the Empire and, in sneaking aboard the vessel to disable its tractor beam, found that Leia Organa was being held prisoner there. The group, sans Kenobi, hatched a plan to rescue her, while Kenobi disabled the tractor beam. Though Kenobi was killed in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader, the remainder of the group escaped and made their way to Yavin 4. There, the stolen plans were brought to the leaders of the Rebellion as the Empire pursued the tracked Millennium Falcon to the location. In a space battle, the information from the stolen plans was used to destroy the Death Star, effected by Skywalker firing a single proton torpedo.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Death Star plans were central to the plot of the original Star Wars film, ultimately enabling the Rebellion to find a key weakness in the Death Star, allowing Luke Skywalker to destroy it. The plans were also seen in the prequel film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, showcasing the early development of the Death Star, known at the time as the "Ultimate Weapon." The means by which the Death Star plans were captured by the Rebellion was the subject of numerous, mutually exclusive stories in the Expanded Universe of Star Wars, later rebranded as Star Wars Legends, leading Pablo Hidalgo to comment that "...if you had to throw a dinner party and invite everyone who had ever stolen the Death Star plans, you'd be surprised at how many place settings you'd have to worry about." The canonical theft will be depicted in Rogue One.
The grid plan animations shown during the Rebel briefing for the attack on the Death Star late in A New Hope were an actual computer graphics simulation from the Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) made by Larry Cuba and Gary Imhoff as part of a project for school at CalArts, and had been included during filming for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (then known as just Star Wars). Originally, the writers and staff planned to thank JPL for assisting in the graphics, but it was changed to the specific programmers' names after one of the programmers, Mike Plesset, pointed out that JPL didn't even know their computers had been used.
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Lost Stars (Mentioned only)
- Rogue One
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Episode IV: A New Hope Read-Along Storybook and CD
- Escape from Darth Vader
- The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
- Star Wars: Princess Leia, Part I (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Darth Vader 1: Vader (Mentioned only, in flashbacks)
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Mentioned only)
- Bloodline (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
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