- "You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port."
- ―Alliance general Jan Dodonna
The meridian trench, sometimes called the Polar Trench, was a trench situated near the north pole of the Galactic Empire's Death Star battle station. It contained its only weakness, the thermal exhaust port. After the Alliance to Restore the Republic managed to steal the plans to the Death Star, they discovered that fatal flaw. Consequently, the Alliance decided to send an attack run of starfighters down the meridian trench in order to fire a proton torpedo into the exhaust port, triggering a chain reaction that would cause the Death Star's main reactor to explode. After navigating his T-65B X-wing starfighter through the meridian trench, Luke Skywalker managed to destroy the battle station as planned.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Darth Vader 1: Vader (Appears in flashback(s))
- Darth Vader 6: Vader, Part VI (Appears in flashback(s))
- All Creatures Great and Small (Mentioned only)
- (as "Death Star trench")
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes
- Ultimate Star Wars (First identified as meridian trench)
- Star Wars: Card Trader (First identified as Polar Trench)
- ; images #9, 10 (of 10) (Indirect mention only)
- ; images #2, 5, 6, 9 (of 15) (as "Death Star trench")
- (Indirect mention only)
- ; images #9, 10 (of 12) (as "Death Star trench")