- "Without the weapon itself, our project is nothing more than a very costly artificial planetoid."
- ―Mas Amedda
The superlaser was the primary weapon of the Death Star battle stations, a powerful laser weapon. It was powered by eight kyber crystals. Laser beams generated from these crystals were focused and combined into a single blast of incredible power, capable of destroying an entire planet at full output.
First Death StarEdit
The first superlaser, installed on the original Death Star, was designed over an extended period beginning before the Clone Wars, finally coming online due to the work of Orson Krennic and Galen Erso. It was capable of destroying a planet, but could be fired at lower power by expending the charge of only a single one of its vast power reactors to devastate an area encompassing roughly 1/8th of a planet's surface. The recharge time on the reactors was nearly an entire day, limiting how often the weapon could be used. The targeting system was accurate only on the order of several kilometers, which was considered acceptable, since even on low power this would guarantee the destruction of the target due to the size of the blast and at full power would be completely negligible on the scale of an entire planet.
Aside from test firing, the superlaser was only used 3 times, and only once at full power. The first use of the weapon was on the main city of Jedha, otherwise known simply as Jedha City, as a demonstration by Krennic to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin that the system was operational; Krennic had wanted to use the weapon at full power but was ordered to use it at the lower setting as Tarkin did not yet wish to reveal the full power of the system to the galaxy. The superlaser was again used on the high-security data bank on the planet Scarif, again on a regional scale, in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Death Star plans being stolen by Rogue One. The superlaser was used for the final time, at full power, to destroy the planet Alderaan. Although the plan was to use it at full power on the moon Yavin 4, in order to destroy the rebellion, the station was destroyed before it could be fired again.
Second Death StarEdit
A second generation superlaser was installed aboard the Second Death Star. This unit featured across-the-board improvements from the first generation unit. The targeting system was greatly improved, giving the system the ability to hit individual capital ships, and the power regulation was revamped, giving it the capability to fire with enough force to destroy any capital ship in a single hit, while recharging for another similar-strength shot in only 3 minutes. The full-power recycle was also improved, shaving the time between shots from almost a day to only 5 hours.
A trap was set for the Rebellion by spreading false intelligence that the superlaser was not operational, only to use the in-fact perfectly functional weapon against several Rebel capital ships at the Battle of Endor. Because the Second Death Star was destroyed before completion during that battle, its superlaser was never fired at full power.
- (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- ; image #14 (of 15)
- ; image #6 (of 16)