One Star Wars Fact Will Transform How You See the Death Star


Spoilers for Star Wars #26 ahead!

A small detail in the pages of a recent Star Wars comic illustrates the swift and merciless punishment awaiting those who fall out of line on the Death Star. During a security inspection of an Imperial Black Facility, codenamed Second Sun, an Imperial aide gives insight into just how strict and dangerous life aboard the space station was, even for Imperial officers.

Relaunched in 2020 and published by Marvel, Star Wars follows the galaxy’s favorite Rebels immediately after the events of The Empire Strikes Back. By expanding on what happens between Empire and Return of the Jedi, the series connects the events of the original trilogy with elements of the Star Wars galaxy that have been introduced in the decades since. It also adds more perspectives to the war between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire, including those of the Imperial officers fighting to defeat the Rebels.

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Written by Charles Soule with art by Andrés Genolet, Star Wars #26 sees the Empire tighten up security after the Rebel Alliance lands a major blow during a Unity Day celebration on Bar’leth. Major Sharin arrives at Second Sun demanding Moff Jerjerrod show what steps his officers have taken to ensure security in the facility. Jerjerrod’s aide, Lieutenant Melton, explains polices like the logging of all transmissions, using dead drops for supplies so that delivery pilots do not know the end location, and how all personnel are kept on site until the completion of “the project,” which is later revealed to be the second Death Star. An interesting detail is the Empire also encourages personnel to report any and all transgressions on board, including a lack of personal hygiene. This means that not washing your hands could lead to death on the Death Star. By itself the detail is funny more than anything, but when taken in context of all the Empire is, it showcases the cold galaxy the Emperor envisions.

Star Wars 26 Death Star

Payments are given to those report on their fellow workers for the slightest policy violation, highlighting the Empire’s attempts to rule through unmitigated fear. Many years earlier, in 14 BBY, Wilhuff Tarkin laid the foundation of the Empire’s “Rule by Fear” belief in his statement after being appointed Grand Moff. He called on citizens to do their part in upholding the values of the emerging Empire. Policies like reporting on those who don’t keep up their hygiene creates a level of fear not only towards the Imperial Military but anyone around them.

It’s important to remember the Empire — and by extension the Death Star — isn’t just made up of faceless Stormtroopers and gray uniformed Imperial officers. In the 2018 film Solo it was made it clear that the Empire runs a ruthless propaganda machine, and many people end up in its services due to desperation or without a full knowledge of what the Empire actually is. It’s clear throughout Star Wars that in addition to weapos like the Death Star, the Empire uses this propaganda, strict policies, and ruthless force to create a dangerous and fearful world for anyone who finds themselves part of the system.

Star Wars #26 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.

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