A couple of weeks ago, a new poster for Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens was released. Thanks to the first official trailer premiering only days later, speculation quickly moved away from the poster. I'd like to take a moment to study both: specifically concerning one detail. Let's look at the poster first:
Pretty cool right? Out of all the posters released thus far, this seems the most like it truly belongs to the Star Wars universe. For the sake of brevity, let's jump right in and address the elephant in the room: the giant death weapon in the top right corner.
Thanks to some interviews and the official Star Wars website, we now know the official name of this object: Starkiller Base. An entry in the official site's databank section describes the function of the station.
A planet converted into a stronghold for an army with what could be the most powerful weapon ever created? That's intriguing to say the least, but it only gets better (or worse, if you side with the Resistance) with these J.J. Abrams quotes from a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“It is very much — and it’s acknowledged as such in the movie — apparently another Death Star, but what it’s capable of, how it works, and what the threat is, is far greater than what the Death Star could have done. Starkiller Base is another step forward, technologically speaking, in terms of power.”
Another comment taken from the interview, while not clear whether it's a quote from Abrams or Domhnall Gleeson (who plays General Hux of the First Order in the film), or simply a speculation by the interviewer, brings up another point of interest:
The only thing more devastating than being able to blow apart a whole planet is the power to detonate, say, an entire sun. The title ‘Starkiller Base’ may not only be an homage to George Lucas’s original surname for Luke Skywalker; it could also accurately describe the battle station’s capabilities.
While the Death Star's ability to crack a planet open was impressive, the destruction of a star or sun would be much, much more devastating. Planets close enough to the event of a supernova could be fried, or the side of the planet facing the event would boil. In fact, a supernova hitting a planet might look a lot like this:
What do you think the super-weapon is capable of? Do you think Starkiller Base will make the Death Star look like a beat-up podracer? We'll find out when Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres on December 18th!