Designed to invoke fear throughout the galaxy, the Death Star battle station is the largest, most powerful object in the galaxy. The size of a planet or small moon, the massive weapon took nearly two years of construction in the Horuz system located in the Outer Rim Territories. A fully-equipped array of surface weapons including turbo laser batteries, laser cannons, ion cannons, and tractor beam emplacements served as defense to the centerpiece offensive weapon -- a superlaser system more powerful than the entire Imperial fleet. Capable of disintegrating an entire planet with a single pulse, the superlaser was demonstrated on the planet Alderaan during an attempt to extract vital information from Princess Leia.
Commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin, who oversaw its construction, the Death Star is in effect a self-sustaining world. It houses a crew of approximately 800, 000 enlisted soldiers and officers, nearly 400, 000 support and maintenance personnel, over 25, 000 stormtroopers, and an additional 400, 000 droids of various sophistication to assist the support staff. Also found on the Death Star are several of Darth Vader's specialized meditation chambers. Exactly like the chamber first seen aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor, these compartments function as pressurized spheres offering Vader an inner sanctum.