How the Death Star Works

Inside the Death Star

Large shafts like these are typical of the Death Star's inner decks.
Large shafts like these are typical of the Death Star's inner decks.
Photo courtesy © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Most of the space inside the Death Star is devoted to systems required to maintain the Superlaser, propulsion system and hypermatter reactor. Of course the largest space is the main reactor chamber at the core of the Death Star. The rest of the interior is made up of a honeycomb of decks for personnel and equipment. This space is designed with two separate layouts each with a different source and orientation of artificial gravity.

The "layer" closest to the surface is laid out in a series of concentric decks with artificial gravity generators pointing towards the Death Star's core. Below this are thousands of levels of sprawling stacked decks dotted with vast, deep shafts that all link to the reactor's main chamber. This section of the Death Star makes up the bulk of the interior and has gravity pointing toward the station's southern pole.

The two interior sections of the Death Star are divided into 24 zones, 12 per hemisphere. Each zone is organized into six sectors:

  • General
  • Command
  • Military
  • Security
  • Service
  • Technical

All the sectors are run by an officer who answers to a zone captain, who controls his or her zone from a zone bridge. The entire Death Star command structure answers to one Death Star Commander. The Commander operates from the overbridge. The overbridge is the nerve center of the Death Star and is located just above the top edge of the Superlaser dish. Governor Tarkin was acting commander of the first Death Star. The station's military forces fell under the command of General Tagge (ground forces) and Admiral Motti (naval forces).