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Why There Are NO Handrails in Star Wars, Specifically Empire?

Why There Are NO Handrails in Star Wars, Specifically Empire?

The Star Wars universe is filled with iconic imagery, from lightsabers to the Death Star. 

But one curious absence that fans have noticed is the lack of handrails in the Empire’s vast, perilous structures. 

This seemingly trivial detail has sparked a wealth of theories and discussions among Star Wars enthusiasts. 

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most compelling explanations, focusing on the Empire’s ideology, design origins, and humorous takes.

The Empire Values Power and Efficiency Over Safety

The Empire values order, control, and power above all else. 

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This is reflected in its architecture and design choices, which often prioritize function and intimidation over comfort and safety. 

For example, the Death Star, a massive space station with endless chasms and narrow walkways, is designed to look intimidating and powerful. 

Many fans suggest that the absence of handrails is in line with the Empire’s “survival of the fittest” mentality. 

This philosophy implies that only the strong and capable deserve to thrive. 

In such a regime, safety features like handrails might be deliberately omitted to weed out the weak and ensure that only the most disciplined and vigilant individuals survive.

Geonosians Influence the Empire’s Design Choices

The Empire’s architectural designs were heavily influenced by the Geonosians, the insect-like species that designed the first Death Star. 

The Death Star Plans - Star Wars Attack of the Clones

Geonosians can fly, and thus would have little need for handrails. 

This design legacy might have carried over into other imperial structures, resulting in environments that are not human-friendly. 

For example, many of the narrow walkways and high platforms seen in Imperial facilities make sense for a species that can fly but seem perilous for humans.

Filmmaking Constraints Affect Handrail Design

From a practical standpoint, the absence of handrails makes sense in the context of filmmaking. 

Handrails can obstruct camera angles and limit the movement of actors during action sequences. 

By omitting handrails, the filmmakers could have more freedom in staging dynamic scenes, which adds to the visual appeal and dramatic tension of the movies. 

For example, in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” the scene where Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia swing across a chasm inside the Death Star showcases a lack of handrails. 

Star Wars New Hope Luke and Leia Swing scene First Kiss

As they evade stormtroopers, the absence of safety barriers adds to the tension and danger, making their escape more thrilling and visually dramatic. 

Humorous and Satirical Explanations

The Empire Avoids Trooper Leaning the Handrails

One humorous explanation is that the Empire didn’t want troops loitering or leaning on handrails, which is why they avoided installing them. 

This is humorously depicted in a Family Guy parody, where the absence of handrails is pointed out in a comical way. 

Family Guy Blue Harvest No Railing Death Star Technicians Star Wars

The idea is that without handrails, troopers are less likely to slack off and more likely to stay alert and focused.

The Empire Cuts Costs and Chooses the Lowest Bidder

Many comments humorously suggest that the Empire was cutting costs, with lines like “The Empire had budget cuts due to cost overruns of the Death Star.” 

Another angle is that the Empire chose the lowest bidder for construction, resulting in a lack of handrails. 

This idea aligns with the notion that the Empire prioritized cost-efficiency over safety. 

For example, building the Death Star was enormously expensive, and cutting out handrails might have been a way to save money on the massive project.

The Galaxy Lacks OSHA Regulations

A frequent joke among fans is the lack of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations in the Star Wars universe. 

This satirical take points out how the Empire, as a totalitarian regime, wouldn’t adhere to any safety standards, leading to the hazardous environments seen in the films. 

For instance, the numerous scenes where characters navigate dangerous, handrail-free walkways highlight the Empire’s disregard for safety.

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