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What Really Happened To Star Wars The Empire's Death Star
[Image: millennium-falcon-escape-explosion.jpg]

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve watched (or plan to watch) Disney’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first of several standalone “Star Wars” movies that expands upon the main plot of the epic series.
Without spoiling anything beyond the trailers, “Rogue One” picks up at a critical moment: when the Empire has just finished building the Death Star and is flexing its planet-destroying muscles.
But there is something gravely wrong with the moon-size weapon’s ultimate fate in the trilogy’s final film, and physicists want you to know about it.
The Death Star meets its final doom in “Return of the Jedi,” the epic conclusion to the original “Star Wars” saga.
The colossal ship is orbiting the forested Sanctuary moon of the planet Endor and, after it’s blown up, the Rebel Alliance and its hairy Ewok friends party in the trees. Everyone and everything is hunky-dory.
But ask a physicist — or a dozen, as Tech Insider did last year — what happens when you detonate a giant metal sphere above a lush green world. The answer is downright chilling.
“The Ewoks are dead. All of them,” said one researcher and self-professed “Star Wars” fan, who wrote a white paper in 2015 that supported his conclusion.
Each scientist who responded to our emails quibbled over the exact details, yet a strong consensus emerged in support of a popular fan theory: The “Endor Holocaust” is inevitable, and a threat to the plausibility of any future movies (galactic bankruptcy be damned).

Here’s why.
The “Endor Holocaust” fan theory dates back to 1997, when it first appeared on a website called

[Image: the-endor-holocaust-fan-theory-dates-bac...rcenet.jpg]
Curtis Saxton, an astrophysicist and “Star Wars” super-fan, wrote it as part of a technical series that analyzes the movies frame-by-frame with scientific rigor.

[Image: curtis-saxton-an-astrophysicist-and-star...-rigor.jpg]

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