If you browse long enough on the Internet, you’ll find some crazy ass shit. I was reading a forum on the Star Wars PocketModel game, and someone made a side-comment about Endor being destroyed by fallout from the second Death Star. That lead to another Web page about the different theories about the aftermath of Return of the Jedi, which led me a completely over-researched yet engrossing study entitled: “The Truth About the Endor Holocaust’” by Gary M. Sarli. Written in the summer of 2004, Sarli attempts to disprove the idea of an Endor Holocaust using physics, images from the Return of the Jedi movie, and canonical and official source material.
I found two things interesting about Sarli’s thesis. The first was, “holy fuck, someone put a lot of time into this.” The second thing that impressed me was how methodical Sarli was, from determining what the cutoff point was for establishing a bit of information as valid (including what constituted an acceptable variance in the size of the second Death Star) to analyzing screen captures from the movie on a pixel-by-pixel basis. There is a fair amount of statistical analysis in the document, as well as incredibly detailed discussions about relative and absolute size of objects in the movie, and how those objects are used to extrapolate additional information. I think the most mind-bending part of the thesis was the math behind how it was not accurate to use a screenshot of the second Death Star from outside the Millennium Falcon‘s forward viewport.
Even though this is old news if you’re a Star Wars geek, I figured it was interesting enough to post. There are a few math-minded Gibberish readers and they may appreciate (or perhaps critique) the methodology Sarli uses to draw his conclusion. For me, the document was another example of how no matter how crazy and obscure a topic is, the Internet will have at least one expert on it.