From a 1978 Kenner in-package catalog:
"Help Luke, Ben, Chewbacca, and Han Solo rescue Princess Leia from Darth Vader. Manual elevator takes figures up to any of the four floors. Top floor has an exploding laser cannon, third floor contains a manually operated light bridge, second floor houses the control area and the first floor features the infamous Trash Compactor -- complete with removable garbage and Trash Monster!"
The Death Star Space Station was the first, and largest, of the playsets offered for use with the 3¾" figure line. Although one of the better playsets that Kenner marketed, the Death Star was not built to stand up to kid-style abuse! The cardboard outer walls were fragile and the support columns just never seemed to want to fit correctly. (Of course if we had taken the time to look at the directions before building the playset, we would have found that the columns only fit one way and only on their respective floors!) It is not uncommon to find these sets today with the ends of the supports broken off in their slots in the floors -- usually because they were forced in backwards.
The Death Star
was one of several playsets to include a "figure". The Trash Monster is made out
of a soft green rubber and features four tentacled arms, a head with single eye,
and a wide open mouth. Back in the days before manuals that explained the
Star Wars universe, this figure was the first glimpse many of us got of
that monster we saw so little of in the movie. ("So that's what the rest
of him looks like!")
From the Death Star Space Station instructions:
"Exciting Features 1. TRASH COMPACTOR