How did they flush the toilet on the Death Star?

And four other water questions to ponder about Luke, Chewbacca and the gang.

May 4, 2016 | By: Steve Snyder, Jay Adams
Yoda meme
Yoda credit: cmiper, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s May 4, also known in some circles as Star Wars Day. (“May the Fourth Be With You.” Get it?)

And as “Star Wars” geeks ourselves, we hope that fans of the iconic films will appreciate our tribute, which comes, as you would expect, with a water twist.

While you may not realize it, the films explore some fascinating water issues. Many planets were covered with it, and several species evolved in it.

With that in mind, we present our top five burning questions (and answers) about water a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  1. Is the water connection in “Star Wars” really that strong? Yep. When we meet one of the franchise’s greatest heroes, he is working in the water industry. Luke Skywalker toils away at his Uncle Owen’s moisture farm on Tatooine until a couple of chatty droids change the whole course of the movie. Otherwise, it could have easily been an engaging documentary about water efficiency in a desert setting. Stupid droids!
  1. Did water help turn Luke into a Jedi? Indirectly, yes. Stay with us here. Luke is rescued by Obi-Wan Kenobi after he is attacked by Sand People (also known as Tusken Raiders). And Tusken Raiders were native to Tatooine and believed that all water was sacred and promised to them. Sometimes they raided moisture farms like the one Luke worked on. So if Luke doesn’t work with water, he might never be attacked, and he might never meet Obi-Wan, and he might never become a Jedi Knight! Then where would the galaxy be?!
  1. How much water would it take to wash a Wookie? Wookies like Chewbacca were more than 7 feet tall and covered in fur. (Did you know the actual Wookie costumes were made of yak hair?) The average person spends about five minutes in the shower and uses about 2.1 gallons per minute. But Chewbacca is larger than the average human and has substantially more hair. So, we project the average Wookie to spend at least 45 minutes in the shower, using about 90 gallons of water (since we hope he would be using a WaterSense-labeled showerhead). There you go. Ninety gallons to wash a Wookie. You heard it here first. Though good luck forcing a Wookie into a shower. And can you imagine the hair balls?
  1. How did they flush the toilet on the Death Star? Do you see a water main running into this thing? Then what exactly were the half million occupants of this battle station supposed to do when nature called? For that matter, how were they cooking, cleaning or drinking? Clearly some type of water reuse was taking place, but we couldn’t find any specifics. Do you know what you get when you Google “Death Star water”? Google autocorrects to Death Star watermelon! That would have been soooo much easier to destroy.
  1. What planet had the most water? Given that we are relying on a Wookieepedia for all of our information, we can’t vouch for the scientific accuracy. But Hoth seems to be the obvious answer. At nearly 4,500 miles in diameter, its surface is entirely covered by a frozen ocean. A close second would be Dagobah — a planet not only strong with the Force, but also known for its bog-like conditions and fetid wetlands. Yoda sought refuge here, and perhaps Dagobah’s abundant and reliable water supply played a role in why the wise Jedi master enjoyed the Dagobah lifestyle.

So there you have it “Star Wars” fans: five water-related questions to ponder the next time you binge-watch all seven films. From Endor to Alderaan (or what’s left of it), water plays a critical role in keeping the characters sustained and the plot lines moving — just like it does here in our little neck of the galaxy.

2 thoughts on “How did they flush the toilet on the Death Star?”

  1. Add another Star Wars engineering question to the list of “things I never thought about, but will bug me now”.

    I always thought the refuse water was tied into the garbage compactor system for some reason. Where else would that knee high water they were all standing in come from? Disgusting, but that scene couldn’t have gotten much worse anyway.

    Also, how is Naboo not an honorable mention for planet with the most water? It has a literal underwater city and they pilot a submarine through the “planet core”!

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