Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens introduced a new deadly weapon. The Starkiller base is capable of destroying entire planets. Sounds like the Death Star, but the Starkiller base can wipe out entire star systems.
The first Death Star from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope destroyed the planet Alderaan. The Starkiller base eliminated five planets in one blow.
What planets were destroyed by the Starkiller base? All the planets in the Hosnian system were destroyed, including the capital of the New Republic.
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The Starkiller Base and the Hosnian System
In 2015, The Force Awakens was released and started a new trilogy of Star Wars movies.
This film introduced us to the main members of the Resistance, such as Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). The Resistance succeeded the Rebellion.
The Force Awakens also made us familiar with the First Order, which arose after the collapse of the Empire.
The First Order was led by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
Through this film, we also became acquainted with the Starkiller Base. The First Order constructed this deadly weapon deep in the Unknown Regions of the Star Wars galaxy on the planet Ilum.
The Starkiller Base was able to contain a star’s energy by using the magnetic fields inside Ilum’s core. The base then converted the energy into a destructive beam that traveled through hyperspace to Core regions of the galaxy.
Across space and time, the Starkiller base could wipe out an entire star system with one blast.
The Hosnian system was a star system located in the Core of the Star Wars galaxy. This system contained five planets, including Hosnian Prime, the capital of the New Republic.
In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the Hosnian System was attacked during the Battle of Endor. However, the system was successfully defended and soon became the political base for the New Republic.
The New Republic Senate was established on the planet Hosnian Prime. The Senate and Hosnian Prime represented a new political order, a democratic union of planets across the galaxy.
This move represented a restoration of the Republic that had been disrupted by the Empire.
Starkiller Base directed its first shot at the New Republic capital of Hosnian Prime and completely destroyed it.
What Planets Were Destroyed by the Starkiller Base?
The destruction of the Hosnian system, a.k.a. the Hosnian Cataclysm or the Starkiller Incident, occurred about 30 years after the Battle of Endor. The capital planet Hosnian Prime was the first target since it was the headquarters of the Galactic Senate.
The First Order saw the New Republic as an illegitimate government and decided to use its Starkiller base to wipe it out. The superweapon ignited Hosnian Prime’s core and caused a pocket nova that changed the planet to a star.
This blast not only destroyed the Senate, but also the New Republic Home Fleet, a key part of the naval forces.
Four other planets in the star system were also destroyed: Courtsilius, Raysho, Hosnian, and Cardota were the other planets orbiting the same star that were also eliminated by the Starkiller Base’s phantom energy beam.
After all five planets were destroyed, General Leia gathered together a force to attack the Starkiller Base.
This Resistance force managed to destroy the Starkiller Base right before it was about to fire on the planet D’Qar where the Resistance headquarters was located.
If the Resistance’s attack had failed, D’Qar would have also been destroyed, and the Starkiller Base would have wiped out a total of six planets, instead of five.
The attack by the Starkiller base ended the Cold War period between the New Republic and the First Order. Up until this attack, there had been a standoff between the two sides without any major battles.
Open warfare ensued after the Starkiller Incident with the First Order advancing to control much of the galaxy.
The Starkiller Base Could Have Destroyed Coruscant
In The Force Awakens, the Starkiller Base almost destroyed Coruscant instead of the Hosnian System. The filmmakers seem to have debated which planet would be the main target.
Coruscant had served as the capital of the old Republic in the prequel movies. This planet was known for its cosmopolitan culture, skyscrapers, and population count in the trillions.
Once the Empire arose, Coruscant then became the imperial capital and the center of trade for them. After the Imperial collapse, Hosnian Prime became the capital of the New Republic.
One of the executives at Lucasfilm commented on how Coruscant was considered for the main target of the Starkiller Base. This same executive indicated that Hosnian Prime ended up being the compromise planet doomed for destruction.
It appears that Coruscant was taken out of consideration because of its history and relevance to other Star Wars projects underway. Also, the First Order would have more likely wanted to capture Coruscant, given its value, and not destroy it.
Another source indicates that concept art also initially pointed to Coruscant as the main target of the Starkiller Base.
Yet, the Hosnian System made more sense since it was a new star system and the New Republic established its operations there, not on Coruscant.
Fortunately for Coruscant, this planet escaped the destructive ends of the First Order.
How Many Planets Did the Death Star Destroy?
In the original Star Wars movie A New Hope, the first Death Star captivated audiences with its destructive capabilities. It famously destroyed Princess Leia’s home planet Alderaan with a single blast.
Yet, the first Death Star destroyed another planet before Alderaan. During a failed Rebel attack on the nearly completed Death Star, this weapon blew up the Rebel starfighter carrier Fortressa. It then turned its aim on the planet Despayre.
Despayre was a prison planet and the final site of construction of the first Death Star. Grand Moff Tarkin decided to test the superlaser on Despayre. The entire planet and millions of lives were lost.
The prototype that came before the first Death Star also destroyed a moon that orbited the planet Kessel.
The original Death Star and its prototype were thus deadly, but the First Order’s Starkiller Base proved to be even more destructive.
The Starkiller Base and Star Wars
The Force Awakens helped redefine the Star Wars film series. The Starkiller Base that appeared in this movie provided fans with a weapon of great destructive capabilities.
The Death Stars of previous movies were also quite impressive. Yet, the Starkiller Base was able to wipe out an entire star system of five planets with one blast.
Todd Wahlstrom is a creative and analytical freelance writer and life-long Star Wars fan. He has covered such topics as Darth Vader, the Jedi, Boba Fett, and AT-AT Walkers. Todd has published a non-fiction book, holds a Ph.D. in history, and enjoys hiking, running, and reading about science.