In the Last Jedi we were shown one of the most breath-taking moments in Star Wars: the Hyperspace jump into Snoke's flagship. Even if you don't like large parts of the movie, like me, there's no denying that this scene had an incredible impact on everyone watching. I also loved the fact that Rian Johnson outshined Star Trek, in which this move is used as well but never with this cinematic beauty.
But gorgeous as it was, it also incited one of the major criticisms of fans. If this was always an option, why didn't anyone do it before? Why didn't they hyperjump into the Death Stars?
Before we look at those arguments though, let's examine this execution move. We have Admiral Holdo flying the star-cruiser Raddus, the largest starship in the rebellion's fleet. It is 3,438 meters long, 707m wide, and 462m high, and it's cigar-shaped, which is the ideal shape if you want to ram into something for maximum damage. It crashes into the Supremacy; a 60,543m wide, 13,240m long, and 3975m high mega-class Dreadnought. The devastation is immense, leaving the Supremacy crippled.
But there is still life-support, and operations are very much ongoing after the event. So the ship is far from destroyed, and with time and resources it could be repaired.
So why wouldn't they use this on the Death Star, being a 100-160km sphere?
Firstly, the resistance launched only small fighters to take on the Death Star. Because the battlestation was so immense, it was well-defended against large ships and could easily shoot them down. Secondly, they had the blueprints and found a weakness in the station. And thirdly, how much damage would you really expect an 12 meter long X-wing to do, even with the speed of light? If the Raddus didn't obliterate the Supremacy, an X-wing would have made nothing more than a dent on the Death Star.
The only thing they could have tried, was fly it into the weapon itself, so they had a little more time to really destroy the station. However, if they did that, it would have raised significantly more alarms. Tarkin didn't consider the fighters to be a threat, and didn't get alarmed even when the first missile hit the exhaust port. Disabling the weapon of the starbase would have made him launch every ship available to make sure the rebels were wiped out fast, so it was actually in their best interest not to.
And the second Death Star was shielded, so anyone brave enough to fly into it was killed without doing any damage. And because it was not actually finished, large parts of the station, including the core, were accessible by pilots. They probably could destroy it with a Hyperjump after the shields dropped, but they had another plan that didn't guarantee the loss of a cruiser.
Let's not forget that this move is incredibly costly. First and foremost it kills the pilot, and although there is no shortage in pilots willing to risk their lives, it's another matter to send them to a guaranteed death. Secondly the resistance just doesn't have the resources to throw ships away like this. Even if success was guaranteed, the Empire had a lot more assets under its belt. Simply put; the rebellion couldn't afford this tactic.
So I have come to the conclusion it doesn't actually change anything, and I retract the paragraph in my Episode 9 article concerning the superweapons. The scene is an amazing moment in Star Wars history, and Rian Johnson does deserve the credit for it.
Article by: Joel “Mith” Storms