One Of The Death Star's Most Iconic Features Was Actually An Accident

There are certain movie moments that are truly iconic. There's the destruction of the White House in Independence Day, Dorothy stepping into Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz, and basically every moment from the original Star Wars trilogy. Tons of frames from A New Hope especially are legendary, and George Lucas' vision would live on with the various sequels, spinoffs, video games, and TV series that have followed since. And one of these movie icons is none other than the Empire's favorite super weapon, The Death Star. The final exciting moments from A New Hope revolved around Luke and company flying through the Death Star's trenches in order to fire a missile into the reactor core, destroying the station. But it turns out, The Death Star only had certain features completely by accident.

Colin Cantwell is a movie designer who created some of Star Wars' biggest vehicles: The Death Star, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Star Destroyer. In a recent reddit AMA, Cantwell revealed that certain aspects of the Death Star were accidental. Prepare to have your mind blown by a proton torpedo.

I didn't originally plan for the Death Star to have a trench, but when I was working with the mold, I noticed the two halves had shrunk at the point where they met across the middle. It would have taken a week of work just to fill and sand and re-fill this depression. So, to save me the labor, I went to George and suggested a trench.

Well, isn't that wild. The climax of A New Hope wouldn't be possible without the Death Star's trench, so Colin Cantwell's accident is basically responsible for the ending turning out the way it did. As a reminder, check out the iconic battle scene below.

It's particularly interesting to note how The Death Star was formed, especially in the final months before Rogue One: A Star Wars story is upon us. The first Star Wars spinoff is set just before the events of A New Hope, where a motley crew of rebels attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. If and when these plans are found, I wonder how prominently the trench will be featured. Will Jyn Erso and company realize that the trench is the weapon's kryptonite? Or will they simply get the plans and bounce? Additionally, we may get a fair amount of action on board the Death Star (I'm looking at you, Darth Vader), and we can see how prominently the visual affects artists feature said trench.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will fly into theaters on December 16th.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.