If you've seen Return of the Jedi, you might remember one of its most striking visuals: an incomplete Death Star II. For the nerdier among us, the image begs the question of how such a thing could be built. Even science fiction storytellers need to consider the basic forces of economics, resource availability and logistics. And according to Wookieepedia, Death Stars were 200 kilometres wide, and cost around one trillion galactic credits; no small change, even for an evil Empire.
If you've ever found yourself grappling with such questions, you're in luck: designer Isaac Botkin has produced a detailed recreation of the build via an incredible time-lapse animation. Botkin used 3D graphics software LightWave, which he says enabled him to find the hidden geometry within the Death Star, and then build it from scratch (virtually, of course). Botkin’s video even takes into account the logistics of ferrying resources from a nearby planet, with thousands of smaller craft travelling to and from the build site.
The result is a convincing and detailed look at the building of one of science fiction's most famous weapons. Good to know that if someone ever needs to construct a world-destroying space station, they’ve got themselves a blueprint for it here.