This Theory From 'The Force Awakens' Has Finally Been Confirmed By Lucasfilm
Did You Know All Along?
Starkiller Base is the massive superweapon of the First Order we see in The Force Awakens. Many consider it a Death Star rip-off, and from an out of universe perspective it very much is. However, from an in-universe perspective Starkiller Base has quite an interesting backstory and history that is connected to the wider Star Wars universe, going back all the way to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, both 2002 and 2008 incarnations.
Essentially, Starkiller Base is the planet Ilum, mined by the Empire for its kyber crystals. Later it was transformed by the First Order into a superweapon to destroy the New Republic. It is a tragic fate for a planet that was so connected to the Jedi and the Force only to be warped by the forces of the Dark Side.
For a long time, many had speculated that the world of Starkiller Base was the Jedi world of Ilum. For thousands of years, Jedi younglings were sent to the planet to find kyber crystals for their lightsabers. In The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, the location of Starkiller Base’s origin was in the same location as Ilum. Then, the speculation and theories began as more and more information began to piece together pointing to the idea that maybe just maybe the superweapon was really linked to the planet Ilum.
According to Digital Spy, Ilum's fate was eventually revealed in The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary and later in Secrets of the Sith. It was a sad fate but one that did not seem unlikely given the nature of the Sith and the Empire. Long have they used kyber crystals for their own ends. The first and major attempt by Palpatine to use them was of course in the construction of the Death Star. The superweapon used a kyber crystal in order to power up the laser, giving it an energy powerful enough to destroy a planet. That secret was of course unlocked by Galen Erso, who studied the crystal for energy purposes only for the Empire to turn it into a weapon. During its construction, the Empire managed to mine kyber crystals from all over the galaxy as a means to keep the station powered. Illum was so full of kyber crystals that the Empire’s mining left a huge scar on the planet. That scar can be seen in the Jedi: Fallen Order videogame when Cal Kestis goes to the planet.
With such potential in the kyber crystal, the forces of the Dark Side would continue to experiment with them, evolving them, making darker, and more terrible weapons to behold. That would eventually lead to the creation of Starkiller Base, which harnesses the power of a system’s sun in addition to the kyber crystals to power up the weapon.
It is a fascinating storyline to see how the Starkiller Base retroactively became connected to one of the most important planets in Star Wars. It is the nature of the Star Wars saga to sometimes connect bits and pieces of the wider universe, making the place feel so alive and interesting. Sure it is not in the movie but that does not make it less interesting, especially for the fans of the Star Wars universe at large.
Star Wars at the end of the day is an interconnected universe, where books, movies and television shows all nicely come together to make a wider universe. A background character can be expanded into someone with quite an interesting arc, while a planet can retroactively have more meaning then what the original intent was. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, but the effort is there. Because of it, this makes the galaxy far, far away quite a rich universe indeed.
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Written By Joel Davis
Source(s): Digital Spy
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