Words > 4 things the Death Star isn't (by definition)

4 things the Death Star isn't (by definition)

"That's no moon… it's a space station." -Obi-Wan Kenobi

Let's not jump to any conclusions, Obi-Wan. Before making any big pronouncements, we prefer to consult the dictionary.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

1. A Moon

moon n. A natural satellite revolving around a planet.
The American Heritage Dictionary

There's nothing natural about a moon-sized space station that blows up planets.

Confirmed: Definitely not a moon.

2. A Star

star n. A celestial body that generates light and other radiant energy and consists of a mass of gas held together by its own gravity in which the energy generated by nuclear reactions in the interior is balanced by the outflow of energy to the surface, and the inward-directed gravitational forces are balanced by the outward-directed gas and radiation pressures.
The American Heritage Dictionary

Right. So not a star, either. We're beginning to wonder who named this thing.

3. A Life Star

life n. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.
The American Heritage Dictionary

The Death Star is neither alive, nor does it give life, so it appears the Empire did choose correctly when coming up with that part of the name. Now that George Lucas has sold the rights to the franchise, fans can probably rest easy knowing it's not likely that the Death Star will be renamed the "Life Star" in any future special editions. But you never know.

4. Invulnerable

invulnerable adj. Immune to attack; impregnable.
The American Heritage Dictionary

Well, two out three films in the original trilogy end with a Death Star getting blown up, so it's not quite the invincible behemoth it's made out to be, is it? It's not so scary when you realize that is has, as the White House pointed out, "a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship."

We've covered what the Death Star is not. So now we can confidently say that the Death Star can only be…

A Space Station

space station n. A large satellite equipped to support a human crew and designed to remain in orbit … for an extended period and serve as a base for launching exploratory expeditions, conducting research, repairing satellites, and performing other space-related activities.
The American Heritage Dictionary

Equipped to support a human crew? Check.

Designed to remain in orbit? Check.

A base for exploratory expeditions? Check—if by "exploratory" you mean exploring the destruction of planets with a superlaser. It seems like the definition should have more about that.

Let's get a second opinion from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia:

Artificial … satellite, usually manned, that is placed in a fixed orbit and can serve as a base for astronomical observations; zero-gravity materials processing; satellite assembly, refueling, and repair; or, possibly, as weapons platforms.

A-ha. There's the clincher.

The Death Star: definitely a space station; definitely not a moon.

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