Almost every ship (excluding speeders and small fighters) in the Star Wars universe can travel at light speed. As far as I'm aware most space stations can't (Bespin certainly doesn't seem to).

The Death Star is shown to move very slowly (at least it gives them plenty of time while orbiting Yavin). However it also appears to move between star systems.

Can the Death Star travel faster than light? If so is this common in the Star Wars universe?

1 Answer 1


Yes, of course! If it could not travel faster than light, interstellar travel would be impossible and battle station restricted to a single star-system would be pretty useless.

In Star Wars Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Death Star travels from Alderaan to Yavin IV, which are not in the same stellar system. Without faster than light capacity, that journey would have taken years.

Here is what the first Death Star Wookiepedia article says about it:

The battle station also included two massive sublight engines in the midsection, as well as a formidable hyperdrive system. Driven by 123 individual generators tied to one navigational matrix, the class 4 hyperdrive was fast enough to allow the Death Star to travel thousands of light years from Alderaan to Yavin IV in only a few hours.

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    Logically you have to be right... perhaps a better question would have been "Why do we never see the Death Star" enter hyperspace?
    – Liath
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 13:33
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    That would have an out-of-universe answer. I suspect George Lucas was not aware that the distance between star would take years to travel at sub-light speed. This had bean retconned later, as for the travel of the Millennium Falcon From Hoth to Bespin without Hyperdrive.
    – DavRob60
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 13:50
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    Given he was writing a sci-fi you'd have thought he'd have worked that one out! That and what a parsec is!
    – Liath
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 15:55
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    Moreover, it would be doubly useless as a battle-station explicitly designed to blow planets up.... what would it do after it finished? Commented May 3, 2013 at 18:41
  • @Clockwork-Muse - moreover, it would only have been able to blow up the planet where it was made. You would think the contractors would have gotten nervous as that became apparent...
    – Will
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 10:30

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