Re: Bevel Lemelisk and the Death Star

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Posted by Robert Treder ( on June 29, 2002 at 04:03:53:

In Reply to: Bevel Lemelisk and the Death Star posted by Philippe Maranda on June 28, 2002 at 10:45:45:

I too noticed the potential continuity conflict. There are several good explanations, as have been pointed out. We can't really say which is the correct one, but rest assured GL will have it explained. The EU is probably not allowed to talk about it for now; it will undoubtedly work its way into EIII somehow.

My ideas on what the deal is with the Confederate design and the Imperial design (please forgive the stream-of-consciousness style):

1 - Lemelisk and the Maw team had to convert it to a more human-centric design. This would occur if the Geonosians initially designed the station to be inhibitively Geonosian-specific.
This is possible, but not likely. The Geonosians seem to be highly business-oriented, and a space station that only they can use efficiently isn't going to sell. It is true that the foundries of the Baktoid Armor Workshop on Geonosis, seen in AOTC, were extremely Geonosian-specific in their operation, but this does not betray a disinclination from being pan-species friendly.
For one, their final product, the battle droids and the armor used by the Trade Federation in TPM were not species-specific, and it is only really the final product that need be examined. The Death Star would be the final product; its construction might involve exclusively Geonosian processes, but it, as a final product, would not probably disallow its use by other species (e.g. humans).
Also, we have only seen the droid foundries on Geonosis itself. For all we know, the production facilities on the other worlds under Geonosis' control, or at least the worlds on which Baktoid Armor Workshop (referenced as designers and manufacturers of the Battle Droids, AATs, and MTTs from TPM in SW EpI Incredible Cross Sections and others) maintains factories are more human-friendly. The Geonosian foundries may remain so Geonosian-specific out of nationalistic sentiments, cultural/religious mandate, a mix of both, or some other similar reason.
Another point against this idea is that in almost every Lemelisk reference, he is credited, above all else, with heading the engineering of the superlaser...which would not be affected too much by Geonosian specificity, I shouldn't think. So that's probably not it (or not entirely it).

[Some thoughts about the Baktoid Armor Workshop and Geonosis: another potential continuity controversy is that the Geonosians are generally understood to be the designers and manufacturers of the battle droids and super battle droids...which means that the Baktoid Armor Workshop is probably the business manifestation of whatever political entity Poggle the Lesser presides over. However...Geonosis is generally referred to as 'mysterious' and the like (e.g. AOTC novelization). (is this recognized as an official source??? And if not, why?) revealed that Republic society suspected but could not confirm (indeed, their economic experts refused to believe) that the Trade Federation was involved in an Outer Rim military buildup { }. In this reference, Baktoid Armor Workshop is described as being designer and manufacturer of the battle droids in question (it is, to my knowledge, the only EII-related reference to use the name "Baktoid Armor Workshop"). It also describes the company as having extensive holdings throughout the galaxy, including locations throughout the Inner Rim and Colonies, such as Balmorra and Telti (both thoroughly established EU planets). Now, seeing as how Baktoid Armor Workshop is apparantly such a large corporation, and very well-known throughout the galaxy (would the TradeFed give such a lucrative contract to an unknown? Highly unlikely.), why is it that Geonosis is so unknown? Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi knew first-hand the armies of the Trade Federation. Why was he surprised to find so many Trade Federation ships at a factory that produces these armies? It was mentioned that the Federation's armies had been reduced...were they even forbidden to assemble at known military locations, like with some form of restraining order? If so, why was the usually skeptical Obi-Wan surprised to see such an unenforceable decree violated? Is Geonosis' role in the operation of Baktoid Armor Workshop unknown to the galaxy? At first, this seems like an attractive explanation, but on further examination, it seems unlikely: it is not uncommon for diplomatic summits to be held at relatively unimportant locations, so Geonosis may just be a token member of the Confederacy...but Poggle the Lesser seems to hold real power. The audience universally inferred that it was the Geonosians who designed the Death Star, hence this discussion. A token member faction would not design the Confederacy's "ultimate weapon," or even be entrusted to the only, or one of the only, copies of the plans for said weapon. Furthermore, why would Count Dooku need to use such subordinate language when trying to get the plans from Poggle? It did seem, to me at least, that Dooku was trying to sweet talk him into handing over the plans (though they were handed over quite quickly, and without a fuss...expedient exposition, of course...but intratextually, is it an indication of Poggle's low-standing within the Confederacy...or is it a Jedi mind trick...
The galaxy has to know, or at least 'know' where Baktoid Armor Workshop's headquarters is. Do they think it is Neimoidia? Is the Trade Federation taking credit for Geonosis's work? If so, does Poggle the Lesser know about this? Why would they do that? Why would Poggle go along with it?]

2 - Bevel Lemelisk was involved in designing the Death Star for the Confederacy and the Empire.

3 - The Maw Death Star and the Confederate Death Star are significantly different in some way that is not obvious to the audience. In this scenario, the Geonosians design it, Dooku procures the idea for the Empire, and Lemelisk and the Maw team design a Death Star, superficially similar to the one designed by the Geonosians. This is not a very good option, but it is there.

4 - As has been noted, the plans shown in AOTC are not identical to the Death Star seen operating in ANH. There are indeed extra structures protruding from several points on the surface. One reason that structures might protrude from the station in one version and not in the other would be that in the final version the station was very much bigger than in the first. As has also been noted, all of the Death Star's constituent technologies have existed previously in the Star Wars society, the only marvel of the Death Star was scale.
Picture it: the Confederacy, which cannot possibly have resources on par with the Empire, planned to build a 'small' Death Star...its effects would presumably be similar to the effects of the EU-existing 'small' superlasers, such as those found on the Eclipse and Sovereign-class battleships of Dark to completely devastate a planet, but not capable of completely destroying it (think BDZ effects with one shot, perhaps). This would be strikingly efficient in turning key worlds to the Confederacy's cause. The Empire, having effectively unlimited resources, was able to bump up the scale of the idea...and Lemelisk and his team, being the ones to implement such an increase in scale, receive all the glory.

5 - Bevel Lemelisk and the Maw are a fabrication, and the real designers were the Geonosians. The reason would presumably be that the Empire did not want to admit that the Geonosians, enemies of the Republic, developed the weapon. Racism could also play a role, but I have always felt that the Empire's supposed severe racism (speciesism?) is something of a Rebel propoganda piece more than's the only sensible option when you get down to it.
As far as this option goes for explaining Lemelisk, it's not very attractive. Not only do you have to disregard a well-ingrained EU character, which many fans are loathe to do, but it doesn't make much sense anyhow (at least within an inclusionary mindset). The Empire probably doesn't tell people much of anything about the Death Star; there's not a need to fabricate any immense propagandistic lies about its construction.

Well, we won't know what it really is until they tell us what it really is. But it's possibly one or a combination of these. Or something completely different, of course.

/pointless meandering

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