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Death Star

Background

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 3" 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!")


Features

From the Death Star Space Station instructions:

"Exciting Features 1. TRASH COMPACTOR
  • Separate pretend pre-cut "Trash" and place into Trash Compactor with Trash Monster. (Add STAR WARS Mini-Action Figures as shown.)
  • There are two entrances to the Trash Compactor -- one in the end and a Trap Door in the First Floor.
  • Your Trash Compactor is designed to come apart rather than break. If it comes apart, simply line up the slots and press in.
2. FAMOUS BRIDGE SCENE
  • You can make Luke Skywalker swing Princess Leia over the retracting drawbridge.
3. Stand Mini-Action Figures on the pegs throughout DEATH STAR.

4. ELEVATOR

  • Open by turning transparent door.
  • Lift Elevator.
  • Turn latch to lock Elevator into place.
5. LASER CANNON
  • Push lever -- Cannon will eject from slot.
  • Figures can be seated in chair.
  • Cannon raises, lowers, and turns for action play."

Parts List

  • Floors: Second (control room), third (light bridge), fourth (laser cannon base), roof.
  • Supports:
    • Floor 1 - (2) wide gray support walls.
    • Floor 2 - (4) very slightly angled light gray. One of the supports is shorter than the other three. This one is the support column for the bridge.
    • Floor 3 - (3) slightly angled dark blue.
    • Floor 4 - (2) angled light gray (angle steeper than those from floor 2).
  • Miscellaneous: Laser cannon, ropeswing (shown right), trash compactor, foam trash, trash monster, elevator, ledge (small semicircular walkway that wraps around top rear of elevator), trap door, light bridge with retainer, and cardboard "instrument panels".



Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Gun

Roof

Tower

Tower

Trash Compactor

Trash Compactor

Dianoga

Trash Compactor Foam

Rope

Panels

Supports

Parts

Backdrop

Backdrop

Box Front

Box Back

Box End

Box End

Instructions

Instructions

Instructions

Instructions

Instructions

Instructions

Stickers