When it comes to the Galactic Empire and its offspring the First Order, bigger is always better! Why simply build a fleet of heavily-armed warships capable of engaging enemies on multiple fronts, when they can sink all their capital and resources into one massive, impractical and highly vulnerable super weapon?
With all their various Death Whosits and Star Whatsits, it's hard to tell them apart without a program!
Here's a handy guide to the Imperial Super Weapons Of Star Wars.
First up of course is the granddaddy of them all, the Death Star. Despite its relatively small size, the original Death Star had enough firepower to destroy an entire planet, which it demonstrated on the peaceful world of Alderaan.
Unfortunately for the Empire and the crew of the Death Star, it had a minor, yet fatal design flaw— a small exhaust port connected directly to the station's main reactor. This led to a catastrophic failure caused by a single, incredibly lucky blaster shot. It was destroyed by Luke Skywalker at the Battle Of Yavin.
Undaunted by this minor setback, the Empire simply picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and built a second, even larger Death Star. Even though it apparently took two decades or so to construct the first one, the Death Star II was seemingly built in just three short years (perhaps the Empire secretly had a head start on it).
Like the original, the Death Star II also had the power to destroy entire planets. Its powerful super laser was fully operational even though the station was still under construction.
The original station's design flaw was corrected in the Death Star II. Unfortunately it had an entirely new set of defects. Due to its unfinished state, it had no protective shields of its own. One would think that would have been a top priority, even ahead of the super laser, but one would be wrong. Instead the station was enveloped by a protective field beamed directly from a massive shield generator on the nearby forest moon of Endor.
The Rebellion was able to knock out the shield generator and a squadron of small fighter ships, led by Lando Calrissian, entered the interior of the Death Star II. The fighters then targeted the main reactor, destroying the station. This apparently led to the downfall of the Empire.
Thirty years later, the sinister First Order rose from the ashes of the Empire. Never ones to let a good idea go to waste, this plucky band of fascists somehow obtained the material, personnel and most amazingly, the capital to construct yet another, even more humongous super weapon— Starkiller Base.
Starkiller Base was a mobile ice planet (no, really!) that was partially hollowed out and fitted with a massive energy weapon. There was also a large complex on the planet's surface that housed hundreds of thousands of First Order troops.
It was, in effect, the Death Star III, or the Death Planet, if you will.
Starkiller Base traveled from system to system, where it would drain the primary sun, storing its energy in colossal batteries in the planet's core. It would then release this energy as a highly destructive beam that traveled through sub-hyperspace, whatever the hell that is, to its intended target. Instead of simply destroying one planet at a time, Starkiller Base was capable of wiping out entire solar systems.
Naturally a weapon of this size was not without its defects. The entire planet was protected by a shield powerful enough to deflect any bombardment, however, a ship with a skilled pilot could exit hyperspace inside the shield. The shield control system was easy to override and deactivate, allowing a larger squadron of ships to approach and attack.
Since a small planet couldn't possibly accommodate the enormous energy of an entire sun, naturally the Base used a thermal oscillator to generate a containment field large enough to store it. The inevitable destruction of this oscillator caused Starkiller Base to implode.
After the destruction of Starkiller Base, the First Order began construction on the Death Solar System. This super weapon consisted of a gargantuan Central Star, some 800,000 miles wide, orbited by a series of seven smaller Death Planets, forming an artificial solar system 3.6 billion miles in diameter. Oddly enough construction of this enormous weapon took just under five years. Perhaps First Order commander Kylo Ren found "new ways to motivate" his men.
The Death Solar System was mobile, and could move freely through hyperspace and pop up anywhere in the galaxy. Like the super weapons before it, its power was exponentially greater than its already vast size. The combined firepower of its Central and Planet Stars was capable of destroying hundreds of enemy solar systems at the same time.
It was destroyed when the Resistance boarded the outer Planet Star and took control of it, targeting the enormous Central Star and causing a chain reaction which destroyed the entire system.
Thirsting for revenge, the First Order upped their ante considerably and immediately began construction on the ridiculously huge Death Galaxy.
They replaced their home galaxy's central core with a gargantuan Death Star a thousand light years across. From its central position, the Death Galaxy's ultra laser could draw power from the hundred billion stars around it, unleashing a beam powerful enough to destroy a good section of the known universe.
Unfortunately for the First Order, this time they were defeated by their own hubris. The first time the Death Galaxy was activated, a faulty baffle plate erupted. This caused a massive black hole to form, which sucked the entire Death Galaxy into a parallel universe in another dimension.
Stranded in an alien dimension, the tattered remnants of the First Order began a final, last-gasp attempt at complete and total domination. They used the last of their resources to convert known space into the ultimate super weapon— the Death Universe.
The Death Universe was massive, inconceivably huge base that encompassed all of reality. It could drain power from the billions of galaxies within it, and fire a beam capable of destroying entire universes in other dimensions.
Kylo Ren intended to use the vast station's inter-dimensional super laser to target the universe housing the Resistance and be done with them once and for all. But as with all the First Order's super weapons, this one was also easily destroyed.
Rey, Finn and the droid BB-8, members of the Resistance, flew their Millennium Falcon into a third parallel dimension, one that had also been turned into a Death Universe. They then simply aimed this station's super laser at Kylo Ren's Death Universe, destroying him and the First Order forever.
I hope you've enjoyed this Field Guide To The Imperial Super Weapons Of Star Wars. You'll have to excuse me as I duck out the back window, as I hear a group of Disney lawyers pounding on my front door.