MBG presents another installment of MyBaseLessGuide: our special series of guides and relocation handbooks to the military's most tippy-top secret, super weirdest, and/or 100% fictional posts. This one comes from one our fine contributing writers and Star Wars afficionado, Chris Walker.
If you’re reading this, then you have hit the galactic jackpot. You have been assigned to DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, known lovingly by those aboard and planet-side (if they haven’t been vaporized) as the Death Star! This is THE hot new duty location with all the most modern amenities, facilities, and turbo-lasers. At 160 kilometers in diameter, the Death Star is one of the larger installations to which one can be assigned, therefore it can be a bit daunting and confusing. To help, we’ve assembled this handy guide. If your ship has been impounded by our tractor beam and you are languishing in one of our luxurious detention blocks, turn to page three. Congratulations and welcome to the Death Star!
Development was mired in bureaucracy for a long time before the project got off the ground. A 2012 petition to the White House proposed building the station as a job creation and economic stimulus project similar to the New Deal under President Franklin D Roosevelt. Short sighted members of the administration however, stated that, “the Administration does not support blowing up planets,” and questioned the funding of a weapon as well as the fact that, at the current rate of production of steel, the station would take 833,000 years to complete. Well, I guess we showed them. Pfft. Thanks, Obama.
Developed by the brilliant minds of Galen Erso and Director Orson Krennic, development of the station began shortly after the formation of the Galactic Empire (See also, US Space Force Command). The station was of a Geonosian design and construction lasted nearly two decades. Development was a long and very secretive process with much public speculation about the project and rumors galore. You may have heard baseless rumors of security breaches such as raids at the archive facility on Scarif. Well we can tell you; those are just people blowing hot air like our facility blows out its thermal exhaust ports, which are no bigger than a womp rat, honestly.
The Death Star's main laser being installed.
Created to establish a large, mobile command and control station and weapons platform which can outmatch even a fleet of carriers or Star Destroyers, this mobile projection of force makes the Carrier Strike Groups of the US Navy’s Surface Fleet look like kids playing with bath toys. This station was created to quell unrest in far flung systems at the edges of the Empire’s control where distance from the Galactic seat of power emboldens rebel scum to cling to archaic ideas such as democracy and the Old Republic, not to mention cults and religious extremists such as al-Quasar, and JediSIS.
Fully armed and operational, the station has conducted numerous live fire exercises in recent months to the delight of local star systems. One test fire at the planet Alderaan has even had an environmental benefit of reducing overpopulation (annihilation is technically a reduction) and clearing up hyperspace routes to the Outer Rim planets, though like any newly paved highway, you might want to watch out for debris for a hot minute.
Commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin, the facility is capable of housing more than 600,000 troops, including: 200,000 Storm Troopers, 42,000 Starship Support Staff, 167,000 Support Ship Pilots and Crew, 11,000 Combat Vehicles, four Strike Class Cruisers, 3,600 Assault Shuttles, 1,800 Dropships, and 13,000 various support craft (Not to mention a whole mess of contractors. Who do you think mans the Jawa-mba Juice in the Death Star Exchange [The DX]?) As you can see there are too many units to feature here so we will highlight just a few.
The 501st Stormtrooper Legion
Nicknamed “Vader’s Fist,” the Legion was formed during the Clone Wars and was made entirely of Clone Troopers, gaining notoriety in the battles of Geonosis as a fighting force which could tackle overwhelming odds and emerge victorious. The unit became the personal force for Lord Vader following order 66 and Operation Knightfall which hunted down the religious extremist and insurgent Jedi. The pride of the Stormtrooper Corps, these troops are known for feats such as occasionally hitting what they’re shooting at.
The unit has suffered discipline problems in recent months with young Troopers being preyed upon by Twi’lek dancer girls hunting for military benefits as well as predatory lending from used Speeder dealers charging 19% interest on four-year-old used Speeders and Swoop Bikes.73rd Tie Fighter Squadron
Nicknamed, “The Screaming Wilhelms,” this squadron has a storied history and seriously high mortality rate. These ace pilots can fly rings around rebel scum but don’t fare too well in asteroid fields. It’s a good thing that in space no one can hear you scream because the signature engine noise emitted by the Tie Fighter makes it very hard to sneak up on insurgents. Their unit motto is “Semper Eeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrgghhhhhhhh.”4th All Terrain Armored Transport (ATAT) Battalion
Known as “Old Surefoot” or “The Untrippables,” the 4th Battalion has made its stomping grounds all over the galaxy, from the ice sheets of Hoth to the jungles of Kashyyyk. These mechanized behemoths provide their pilots and troops with a safe, albeit bumpy ride to battle. Without much room to train aboard the Death Star, duty for this unit is fairly cushy until they head planet-side, though daily preventive maintenance on an ATAT is a bitch. Hope you don’t get motion sickness.11th Space Artillery Brigade
The cream of the crop for artillerymen in the Empire. These are the gunners who fire the Death Star’s main planet-destroying gun. Their motto, “Planets can’t rebel if there’s no planet…” perfectly describes these trigger-happy cannon-cockers. Seriously, if you think you like guns, try hanging out with these guys. The smugness is out of control. Try telling one of them about how big your gun is or how many kills you have. It’s actually kind of unbearable.
Some of the Death Star's bravest storming Omahoth Beach.
Housing and Amenities
On-station housing is pretty spacious especially if you’ve ever been on a Navy ship. No coffin racks and ducking through passageways here. This place is the size of a small moon! You may want to bring a plant and some posters to spruce up your barracks room, however, as there aren’t a lot of view-ports since they provide structural weakness and studies showed that gazing into the black void of the abyss of space for too long causes massive anxiety and existential dread, leading to poor morale.
Located on level 812, Subsection C, the hospital is equipped for anything and everything that can happened to you in the blackness of space. We have a state-of-the-art limb-replacement clinic for those pesky lightsaber maimings and a stocked pharmacy for the myriad of exotic venereal diseases you’ll contract at the many ports we visit. In response to the high number of Force-choking related injuries aboard the station, we have an excellent Force-injury center/Chiropractor to straighten your spine back out. The Medical droids can attend to your every need.
The Med Bay also features a Clone Wars veterans center for the retirees who all seem to settle on the station and sit around jawing about the old Corps when there we no women when men were men. And Jangos were Jangos. And everyone looked exactly alike. And were genetically identical. Because they were clones. Of a man. It was really kind of a boys’ club. Well… boy.CrossForce Fitness Center
While popular among officers, this gym is kind of annoying. There is always that one guy in the corner making everyone else feel bad about how much he can lift… with his mind. And they just can not shut up about how they do CrossForce.Jawa-mba Juice
Need a healthy snack or some blue milk in between missions planet-side? Slip into one of the dozens of locations onboard and pick up a smoothie made by our resident Jawas. You can even add a scoop of “Protein-i!”Tattooine-toos
The best tattoo parlor around. Interrogation droids have been reprogrammed to use that needle to ink you up. Get your unit logo on your shoulder or the name of that dancing girl you met at Jabba’s Palace your last shore leave. Or you can get some characters from an alien language that says something like “peace” or “honor,” just make sure you check with a Protocol Droid first so you don’t accidentally get, “Nerf-herder” or something else offensive by mistake.Mynock ‘em Dead Exterminators
Do you have Mynocks chewing on your power cables again? Maybe an aquatic cycloptic tentacle monster lives in your garbage disposal? Pick up your communicator and give us a call! We’ll Mynock ‘em Dead!That’s No Moon Pizza Parlour
That’s no moon hitting your eye, it’s a Space Station Sausage and Pepperoni!Mikey the Mandolorian’s Carbonite Freeze Storage Center
So, you’re getting ready to deploy and need somewhere to store your belongings? Has Jody already been sniffing around your spouse? Freeze them both! Ice out Jody by putting your husband or wife and all your furniture in deep freeze refrigeration until you come back from deployment. No more coming home to a cleaned out house and empty bank account. Remember: They can’t cheat on you if they're unconscious.
Q: Where do I go upon check-in?
A: When you arrive, simply follow the little squeaky mini-droid on the floor which will guide you to the administration center. It’s over the narrow bridge with no railings, past the bottomless pit, and through the massive blast doors. Honestly, it’s like a freaking level from Pitfall to get anywhere around here. OSHA has been contacted.
On the upside, due to staff frequently falling into the bottomless pits, laser columns, and Lord Vader strangulations, we have a high turnover rate. So wait times are low.
The Imperial Military bears no responsibility for unintentional laserings, intentional force chokings, or railing kills.
Q: I’m excited to see the Universe and meet new races! Will I get to live among any onboard?
A: No. Oddly enough, despite the galaxy being made of thousands of planets and races, the Death Star is entirely staffed with white British guys. Our diversity rating needs some work.
Q: I heard that this station was not yet fully armed and operational, is that true?
A: Who told you that? A Bothan? Just ask Alderaan. Oh wait. You can’t. Burn on all of them. Literally.
Q: Don’t you think your overconfidence is your weakness?
A: Your faith in your friends is yours.
Q: Nearly every unit, ship, and base in the military has a cool Latin motto. What’s the Death Star’s?
A: The base motto is Nos spem non habent aedificare tertium: “Let’s hope we don’t have to build a third one.”
Events and Goings-On
January 10th: Youth Lock-in in Detention Center cell block AA23. Rumors of a reactor leak and slight weapons malfunction have been debunked. Bring the kids.
January 17th: Death Star Canyon Hike. Strap on a space suit and enjoy the magnificent vistas and beautiful colors… well… color. Watch out for thermal exhaust ports.
January 24th: USO Tour by the Mos Eisley Cantina Band! They only seem to know that one song but who cares! Play it again, boys!
About the Author:
Chris Walker is a Marine Artillery Officer and JTAC who served eight years on active duty, deploying to Afghanistan and on two Marine Expeditionary Units with infantry, ANGLICO, and Force Reconnaissance units. He is still serving in the reserves, lives in New York, and recently founded the military-themed apparel company BootSOC.