The Death Star prototype was simply a durasteel frame with a reactor core, superlaser, engines, and a control room. First conceived by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, it was constructed by Bevel Lemelisk and his engineers at the Maw Installation.
The Death Star prototype measured 120 kilometers in diameter. Its superlaser was only powerful enough to destroy a planet's core, rendering it uninhabitable, although it was powerful enough to totally destroy larger moons. The superlaser also took a large amount of power and drained the vehicle's batteries. It took hours to recharge the batteries and superlaser.
The targeting system on the Death Star prototype was also never calibrated, greatly hurting its accuracy. The prototype had no interior except a control room where all the computers including the superlaser were slave linked. This meant the station could be run by a small crew. The interiors of the later Death Stars were taken up by the hyperdrive engines and other components.
The Death Star prototype was constructed to see if the planet-destroying superlaser could be built. As soon as the laser worked, the prototype was left anchored above the Maw Installation since it had fulfilled its mission. It was never completed.
Tol Sivron used it to attack the New Republic in 11 ABY. He attempted to destroy Kessel by firing the superlaser, but missed and hit the moon. It was driven off by the Millennium Falcon and assorted pirate forces. Later that year, Kyp Durron destroyed the Death Star prototype by luring it into one of the Maw's black holes. However, there are indications that other prototypes might have existed.
Behind the scenesEdit
Originally, the Death Star prototype was considered to be just that—a project begun prior to work beginning on the Death Star I. However, following the appearance of Death Star plans in Attack of the Clones and the first Death Star in Revenge of the Sith (confirmed by George Lucas himself), The New Essential Chronology retconned the prototype into being built alongside the main Death Star because concerns were raised.
- Death Star Owner's Technical Manual
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 7 (DEA1, Deploying the Death Star) (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 9 (CHE11, Chewbacca)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 74 (CRE3, Creating the Death Star)
- The New Essential Chronology