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Four decades later, ‘Star Wars’ fans are still debating what purpose, if any, the Star Destroyers’ space balls serve

If you thought attacking a fully-operational battle station took cojones, wait until you see what the Empire is carrying.

Star Wars Space Destroyer
photo via starwars.com

With the first film in Taika Waititi’s upcoming Star Wars trilogy not due to bow until late 2023, and the next Disney Plus series, Andor, not due to launch until the end of summer, Star Wars fans have a lot of downtime to read poetry, perhaps catch up with family and friends, or even sit on Reddit and nitpick every detail from every movie, TV show, and video game in the franchise. And so, a member of the Star Wars subreddit watched the original film trilogy and noticed, perhaps for the first time, that all of the Star Destroyers had a pair of gigantic spheres on their tail ends.

The answer, as anyone who’s ever taken even the most basic Imperial engineering course in their academy can tell you, is an ISD-72x deflector shield generator dome. These domes come standard in every Star Destroyer and are, naturally, arranged around the command tower and its sensor globes. The shields that the domes project protect the ship from large ships and projectiles but make it vulnerable to attack from tiny one-man attack vessels like the X-Wing.

As you can imagine, this was the moment Star Wars Redditors had been waiting for; the chance to explain minutiae about Star Wars to an actually interested party:

One Redditor pointed out that the actual U.S. Navy has a similar design strategy on their real-life battleships:

While this Redditor reminds us it’s just a movie, and we should breathe and just relax:

In any case, we’ll leave you with a quote from the original movie that the headline of this piece reminded us all of:

“May The Schwartz Be With You.”

Liam McEneaney
About the author

Liam McEneaney

A professional comedian since the age of 19, Liam has been writing, editing, and performing for various TV shows and websites his entire adult life. He produced and starred in 'Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!' which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. Liam is currently attending the prestigious University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.