If you thought the Death Star destroying Alderaan was the most destructive sci-fi event ever, you need to talk to your grandchildren. Because their standard of sci-fi destruction has gone up drastically thanks to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The film not only depicted the destruction of one planet but a whole star system, along with your reverence for the Death Star as a weapon.
But what planets were destroyed in The Force Awakens? We’re here to consider the statistics of such a spectacle. Those planets weren’t exactly empty, and Starkiller Base lives up to its reputation as a star system destroyer. Time to discuss the finer details of which planets were destroyed in The Force Awakens and the profound impact it had on the Star Wars universe.
The Hosnian System erased
The Hosnian System was the star system in question here. It was home to five planets, namely:
- Hosnian Prime (New Republic capital)
The whole star system was the capital of the New Republic. Needless to say, the incident was not a test fire for the Starkiller Base but a strategic nuking of the First Order’s key enemies.
The importance of the Hosnian System
The Starkiller Base’s destructive debut, known as the Hosnian Cataclysm or the Starkiller Incident, unfolded several decades after the Battle of Endor. The New Republic, having replaced the Galactic Empire, had established its political center on Hosnian Prime. This move represented a resurgence of democracy after years of Imperial rule.
However, the First Order viewed the New Republic as illegitimate and decided to employ Starkiller Base to eliminate it. The base ignited Hosnian Prime’s core, triggering a pocket nova that transformed the planet into a star. This cataclysmic event not only obliterated the Galactic Senate but also decimated the New Republic Home Fleet, a key military asset.
The power of Starkiller Base
The Force Awakens not only breathed new life into the Star Wars franchise, but It also introduced us to the destructive capabilities of Starkiller Base, a superweapon hidden deep within the Unknown Regions of the galaxy on the planet Ilum.
Starkiller Base’s modus operandi was a marvel of malevolence. It harnessed the energy of a star contained within the planet Ilum and transformed it into a devastating energy beam. This weapon had the capacity to annihilate an entire star system with a single, cataclysmic blast.
Starkiller Base, or the whole planet of Ilum, is quite costly since it siphons power from an entire sun just as it did when it destroyed a whole star system.
The Starkiller Incident
In the wake of this devastating attack, General Leia Organa rallied the Resistance to strike back at Starkiller Base. Their heroic effort paid off as they managed to destroy the superweapon just moments before it could target D’Qar, the location of the Resistance’s headquarters.
Had the Resistance failed, D’Qar would have suffered the same fate as the other five planets.
The Starkiller Incident shattered the Cold War status quo between the New Republic and the First Order, thrusting the galaxy into open warfare, with the First Order rapidly expanding its control.
Moreover, the Starkiller Incident also provided context as to why the forces of good, or the Resistance in the subsequent films, look ill-equipped or poorly backed. Starkiller Base practically erased all the efforts of the original trilogy, meaning Luke, Leia, and Han’s heroics to restore the galaxy to a republic were all washed away in mere moments.
This also explains why the First Order appears to have quickly won without much resistance after the Starkiller Incident and why they were just chasing around rebel survivors.
It could have been Coruscant
Interestingly, The Force Awakens originally toyed with the idea of targeting Coruscant instead of the Hosnian system. Coruscant, renowned for its cosmopolitan culture and towering skyscrapers, had served as the capital of both the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire at different points in history.
However, the filmmakers ultimately chose Hosnian Prime as the target for Starkiller Base. Coruscant’s historical significance and ongoing relevance in other Star Wars projects played a role in this decision. The First Order, rather than destroying Coruscant, likely aimed to capture it due to its strategic value.
Despite the near-destruction of Coruscant, the Hosnian System proved to be a more suitable target, given its status as a new star system and the New Republic’s decision to establish its operations there.
Comparing Starkiller Base to the Death Stars
While the Death Stars from the original trilogy were iconic symbols of Imperial might, Starkiller Base redefined the scale of space nukes in the Star Wars universe.
The first Death Star famously destroyed Alderaan before its own demise, and the second Death Star never had the chance to destroy any planet.
In contrast, Starkiller Base obliterated five entire planets and a whole star system, cementing its status as the more formidable superweapon. With that kind of power, who needs Sith Lords?