Death Star Technical Companion (1993)

This is the Death Star Technical Companion, a meticulous examination of the Death Star in RPG terms, published in 1991. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: books like this are almost entirely useless in any practical sense for someone running a roleplaying game, but damn, I love them.

The DSTC is useless for one major reason: the Death Star is operational for a tiny amount of time covered in the original Star Wars movie and explodes at the end of it. There is not a lot of time to get your characters in and out of it, especially without the gigantic problem of encountering or otherwise messing up the events of the movie. Further: most West End Star Wars material takes place after A New Hope, so the designers likely never seriously intended this to be a much-used book.

Still, for you continuity brains out there, this is probably a dream come true. Whatever questions you might have about the logistics and operation of a planet-sized laser cannon, they are likely answered within, in pretty tedious detail.

Let’s be honest: this was likely designed as a moneymaker with the RPG elements really an afterthought required by the licensing agreement. This sort of book, in the form of Technical Manuals filled with plausible blueprints, had been feeding the appetites of Star Trek fans since 1975. Following suit for Star Wars was a no-brainer. In fact, Starlog would publish several volumes of technical journals dedicated to both Star Wars and Star Trek, starting in 1995. I have the collected Star Wars one – if you’d like to see it, let me know in the comments and I’ll dig it out.

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