What really happened to Endor when they ganked the Death Star

BenHallert's alternative Return of the Jedi ending mashup adds a little grim realism to the destruction of the Death Star.

Another alternate Jedi ending - Misjudged effects (Thanks, Chairboy, via Submitterator!)


  1. Wouldn’t the same thing have happened to Yavin? THAT would’ve crushed the Rebellion with one swift stroke!

  2. Independence Day would have ended the same. The alien mothership was a quarter the size of the moon. First, one nuke would not blow up something that big but if it did, the pieces would rain down on the earth and moon and destroy everything but underground Archaea and maybe even them.

    1. All the aliens would have to do is park that monster ship in low orbit and let tidal effects disrupt and destroy the surface of the Earth. If anything remains, send those ginormous saucers down to skim over the surface. Again, gravity alone could do the job. The aliens would never have to fire a shot.

      Of course, that would make for a really short movie.

  3. PS: IMHO the music of John Williams is one of the Star Wars series’ great (not-entirely secret) wonders.

    It really really helps!

  4. And on the subject of “big things falling from space”, what about the ending of “Alien Resurrection”? The surviving characters are all grinning and high-fiving each other as the USM Auriga – which they have launched on a collision course with Earth – smashes into the planet.

    The fan consensus seems to be that the Auriga has a mass of around 90,000 tons. If I plugged the numbers into the Earth impact calculator correctly, that will generate an earthquake measuring more than 8 on the Richter scale, with firestorm effects across hundreds of kilometers (or, if you prefer, a substantial tsunami). Assuming the Earth is at least as densely populated as it is today, there’s a good chance that they’ve just killed some tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

    And they’re grinning and laughing about it. That’s cold, man, that’s cold.

    1. Considering how, in the expanded universe, when xenomorphs got loose on Earth pretty much the entire planet got wiped out, they’re being as cold as any military group that can celebrate while suffering “acceptable losses”. They’re also a pretty ragtag bunch who might just not have thought of that.

  5. Oh man! That’s awesome.

    The second Death Star was at least 160km in diameter, which is about 10 to 16 times the diameter of the rock that caused the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. 127,170 vs. 17,148,587 cubic kilometers. Of course, the death star was probably “mostly air”, and wouldn’t be as dense as a meteor… but still, that’s a lot to fall on an earth like planet. Also, a “moon” falling from near orbit wouldn’t have the same kinetic energy as a meteor coming from a distance away (I assume) – still OUCH!

    My guess is if the DS2 was completely obliterated like shown in the movie, that a massive amount of heavy debris including toxic metals and nuclear waste would be pulled into the atmosphere, enough of it reaching the surface to set parts on fire and make everything toxic to the point 99% of life couldn’t exist on the planet. The rest of of the debris would both fill the atmosphere causing a nuclear winter type situation, or go on to form a delightful ring system around Endor.

  6. Wouldn’t the damage caused by a slow fall from near earth orbit do a lot less damage that a comet screaming in at 100,000 Mph from the outer reaches of the solar system?

    Particularly if said object blew into a million small pieces before said fall. and explosion that would push some significant portion of its stucture away from the moon and planet.

    Also, as someone said, In this senario, wouldn’t the planet take alot of the punch as the largest local gravity source?

    If we are going to put science and fantasy together lets go all in.

  7. The title of the articles makes the common mistake of thinking that the Ewoks live on a planet called Endor, when in fact they’re on a forest moon of the planet Endor.

    If you didn’t realize this, it’s because you’re not cool or sexy enough.

    1. According to both Wookieepedia and the starwars.com databank, Endor was the name of both the moon and the gas giant it orbited, although I think this is a bit of retconning to make up for sloppy writing (i.e., “forest moon of Endor” is ambiguous — could mean “unnamed forest moon of the planet Endor” or “forest moon by the name of Endor,” like “city of Compton.”)

  8. I thought the video was hilarious, but it’s definitely an exaggeration.

    Check back earlier in the film when Ackbar is showing the hologram that includes both the planet/moon and the Death Star. The Death Star is a lot smaller than it appears to be in the shot from the planet showing the explosion. Yes, certainly some things would crash to the surface and cause fires or whatever. But the whole place isn’t going to be wiped out. It’s apparently quite sparsely populated (by ewoks or other sentient beings anyway), too.

    1. No, the film was underestimating what would happen. Even the Executor was a speck against the size of the Death Star II. It was hundreds of kilometers in diameter. Even if it was mostly air inside, it was still so massive that it basically would have been like nuclear bombs landing over the entire surface of the planet that was visible from the Death Star. The atmosphere would have burned off and the forest would have been vaporized, not just set alight.

  9. Also worth noting in this discussion: the Death Star was mostly empty space so it’s not really fair to compare its mass to that of a similarly sized celestial body.
    Funny vid, tho.

  10. Hollywood never, ever considers secondary consequences. Then again, neither does Washington!

    My favorite “what happened to Earth after that?” is when the moon takes off for parts unknown in “Space 1999”. End of civilization by worldwide Tsunamis and extinctions of many species of ocean fauna. Possibly some orbital changes, my celestial mechanics is fuzzy.

    1. “Apocalypse Endor” is already in the Extended Universe canon:

      Ah! Of course. “Much of the debris of the superweapon was sent through a hyperspace wormhole that briefly opened up when the Death Star’s hyperdrive regulator was destroyed. This matter was scattered across the galaxy, while the Alliance to Restore the Republic put much effort into stopping the remaining debris from colliding with the moon.”

      Why didn’t we think of that?

      Reminds me of the hoops Ann Crispin jumped through to explain why doing “the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” didn’t mean Han Solo had to be an illiterate nincompoop who didn’t know that parsecs measure distance rather than time.

      IIRC, it involved a whole lotta black holes.

      1. How about, it was a mass in a syncronized orbit. It isn’t going crash like a burst hot air balloon. More than half of it would be pushed away from the planet and some percent would stay in orbit. maybe 25% of the thing crashing into the moon is enough, but even that % would be largely empty space and very meltable during its decent into the atmosphere.

  11. It’s been a long time since I saw the movie, but if I remember correctly, the rebels had to go down to the moon to seize a shield generator that protected the incomplete Death Star. The Empire, with its notorious attention to detail, had apparently seen fit to protect this vital installation with an infantry force so small that it could quickly be overpowered by a few lightly-armed irregulars and a pack of homicidal koalas.

    Why couldn’t the rebels switch off the shield – allowing the Death Star to be destroyed – and then quickly switch it on again, trapping the expanding debris within the confines of the original force field? (Or if that wouldn’t work, reconfigure it to shunt the debris away from the planet). That would seem a far more parsimonious solution to the problem than all this retcon stuff with hyperdrive regulators and tractor beams.

  12. Wouldn’t something the size of the Death Star cause dramatic shifts in the planet’s weather patterns??? Flooding, massive temperature shifts, etc…

Comments are closed.