The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The destruction of Death Star was an unjustified act of terrorism

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/9/2016 Category: Movies
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 584 times Debate No: 92334
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)




This is not a troll debate. Apply in the comments after you've agreed to the rules detailed below. Do not accept the debate by any other means, as doing so will result in automatic forfeit and loss.

Full Resolution

The destruction of the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin was an unjustified act of terrorism.


Death Star (a.k.a. Death Star I; First Death Star) - a moon-sized deep space mobile battle station constructed by the Galactic Empire. [1]

Battle of Yavin - a major battle of the Galactic Civil War, which occurred 19 years after the founding of the Galactic Empire. [2]

Unjustified - not shown to be just or right; not warranted or well-grounded. [3]

Terrorism - the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. [4]

Any other terms, if need be, shall be defined in a reasonable manner, using the most common definitions that apply to the given context.


Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive cases
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Counter-Rebuttals and Summation

Time for each argument - 72 hours
Argument character limit - 8,000
Voting Period - 10 days
Voting Style - Open, 7-point system, RFDs required


1. The definitions and structure detailed above must be accepted.

2. The Burden of Proof shall be shared and equal between both sides.
3. Arguments from the lore of Star Wars shall primarily follow the Star Wars canon. [5]
4. Arguments from Star Wars Legends [6] shall only be accepted if shown relevant & applicable to the debate.
5. No kritiks or semantics.
6. No trolling, swearing or personal attacks.
7. Sources must be cited at the end of the round. Do not use the comments section for that.

Any violation of one or more of these rules shall merit a conduct penalty, or, in the worst case, a full forfeiture of the debate.





I accept.

This was a justified act of 'terrorism'.

Actually there was no one set of laws to claim it was really terrorism but it was motivated due to politics of a sort.

Anyway, Pro has to argue first so good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to ContraDictator for accepting this debate. Being a big fan of Star Wars, I am pretty sure I'll be enjoying this, and I wish my opponent the best of luck!

Burden of Proof

I'd like to remind everyone that the burden of proof is shared, and so I will have to show that the destruction of the Death Star was unjustified, while my opponent will have to demonstrate the opposite. It is not enough for each of us to show why our opponent's case is invalid. Both of us will have to provide something constructive.


My opponent agrees with the resolution that this was an act of terrorism, and we will not be arguing about this, as we will be focusing on the whether or not it was actually justified.

For readers who may disagree, I will not write out the full argument, but it basically boils down to the definition of terrorism given in Round 1: "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." Since the destruction of the Death Star was a struggle between different political systems, and the destruction itself was intended to coerce the Empire into giving up their power, it qualifies as terrorism by definition.

I am happy to explain this in more detail in the comments. But now, let's move on to the main argument. I will first introduce Arguments A and B, which deal with the general principles of the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Then, with further arguments, I shall show how those principles apply to the Death Star and its destruction.

Argument A: The Empire was a legitimate form of government

The Empire is often seen as an illegitimate form of government, a coup d'état that overthrew the supposedly legitimate Jedi-supported Republic. However, the proclamation of the New Order was a wholly democratic move. Emperor Palpatine's ascension to the position of Galactic Emperor was generally supported by the Senate, as seen in Episode III, where Padmé Amidala described the whole scene as follows: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."

A thunderous applause would not have occurred if Palpatine was disliked, or if the Senate had trusted the Jedi Order's view of Palpatine. The fact that the Senate voluntarily gave power to Palpatine and recognized him as an Emperor suggests that it was the right thing to do from the perspective of the Senators, which represented their planets and their people. It was the right thing to do from the perspective of democracy. And while Padmé may have seen this as the death of liberty, throughout this debate I will argue that this is the wrong way of looking at the Empire.

The point of this argument is to show that the Empire was legitimate and created by the will of the majority, and, thus, trying to overthrow it with the use of a military organization like the Rebel Alliance would indeed be a coup d'état, and it would actually be illegitimate, since bringing back the Republic is something that only a minority of the people wished for. The Rebel Alliance and the people who supported it were therefore advocating for extremist, undemocratic views and the use of terrorism to achieve their goals.

Something that goes against the law may not necessarily be morally unjustified, but I would argue that the Rebel Alliance didn't even have moral justification for their actions. The only thing they did was bring war and death upon many Empire's officials and civilians, and it was an attempt to destabilize a stable regime. Which brings me to my next argument...

Argument B: The Empire was good

The reason why the Empire was founded in the first place was because the Galactic Republic was unstable, facing constant wars and unable to deal with conflict efficiently. The Jedi Order and their promises of peace and safety never came true, and, therefore, the people and the Senate were right to wish for a better system. That system was the Empire.

The Empire stabilized the galaxy and introduced safety measures against conflict. It built a vast array of academies where people could learn advanced military skills to protect the galaxy from internal threats, they introduced new jobs and started work on powerful infrastructure. The institutionalization of bounty hunters was also a very effective way to combat crime. Even professional smugglers like Han Solo faced difficulties with the Empire. Greedo, an employee of the Jabba the Hutt smuggler's clan, commented on how Han wasn't able to outwit the Empire, even with his experience and fast spaceship: "He [Jabba the Hutt] has no use for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser [obviously referring to Han Solo's incompetence when faced with the Empire]"

Moreover, no large scale wars occurred when the Emperor was in charge, as opposed to the time of the Galactic Republic, when wars and separatist movements were extremely common. Indeed, the only threat the Empire faced was the Rebel Alliance - an alliance of smugglers, traitors and extremist-sympathizers who's only goal was to re-instate a Jedi-ruled galaxy with an ineffective Republic.

Even if the Rebels weren't an illegitimate organization, their goals would go against most people's common sense, because the Empire brought stability to the galaxy, as it had promised. Recognizing that their methods were not rational and would never have been accepted democratically, it is no surprise then that they resorted to violence and terrorism.

The Death Star

The Death Star was one of the primary peacekeeping machines of the Empire. Its construction was perhaps one of the greatest technological achievements of the Galaxy. Thousands of planets and millions of people working in tandem to create a beautiful piece of engineering - and for such a noble purpose. One of the shortcomings of the Galactic Republic was that it never decided to create anything like that, it never fought against crime with the deliberateness it required, and that, perhaps, was one of the reasons for its downfall.

The Death Star, on the other hand, was a symbol of the security and peace of the Galaxy. Extremists, wishing upon the destruction of this regime by military means, were rightfully afraid of such a machine. The Death Star was a symbol of everything that was good with the Empire - and everything that the Galactic Republic was lacking. Perhaps that's why the Rebel Alliance, wishing to re-instate the Republic, viewed the Death Star with such a hatred - it empirically demonstrated the soundness of the Empire's methods.

To destroy the Death Star means to go against the will of the people, who wished for a secure and peaceful galaxy, as shown in Argument A. To destroy the Death Star also means to go against everything good that the Empire has done for the Galaxy - education, efficiency, security and peace, as shown in Argument B. With this I hope that most of the readers can now see the blatant terrorism of the Rebel Alliance - an unfounded, irrational and blatantly stupid attempt at overthrowing a successful and beneficial regime.

With this propose that the resolution is true and that the Destruction of the Death Star was unjustified.

Over to Con.


ContraDictator forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Apparently, my opponent's account is inactive. This is unfortunate.

Due to the strict structure of the debate and a very limited number of rounds, should ContraDictator return, I am happy to restart this anew, because continuing the debate after a forfeit really messes up the flow.


ContraDictator forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Extending my case. Vote Pro.

If anyone would like to debate this properly - send me a message, I will recreate the debate and send you a challenge.


ContraDictator forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 months ago
To me an interesting facet of this issue, is the true Jedi violently opposed the rebellion.
Posted by Gareth_BM 3 months ago
Your argument rested on the basis that the empire was a legitimate government and the idea that your have a political obligation to obey the law because it is the law. I don't know the details of the senate's legal system but it would be reasonable to assume that you are bared from office if you assisted an enemy of the country which. Plus he didn't actually give the majority of Jedi a chance to choose to support or oppose him he. Further more I disagree that the empire had the ability to maintain a lasting peace, such a large military can only be maintained through either heavy taxes, which would have resulted in wide spread poverty and rebellion, or conquest.
Posted by Biodome 4 months ago
The fact that the movie was made a long time ago doesn't really matter here, because me and my opponent have already agreed to use a specific definition of terrorism. So we know what it means, and whether or not such a definition would have applied 40 years ago isn't important. We are debating from today's perspective, using today's language and meanings.

As for the Jedi warriors, I would agree with you that their participation in the Galactic Civil War was unjustified. I think that they should have accepted the authority of the new Imperial government, not fought against it. Since they decided to turn against Palpatine, they immediately became criminals and thus brought upon themselves Order 66.

If you had other wars in mind, then they should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I believe that there were situations when the Jedi were actually in the right.
Posted by wolfqueen22 4 months ago
This is highly and slightly true. The death star was sort of like the US government they are forceful but they are here to make sure all enemies are tooken care of. The jedi warriors are terrorist that try to take over the galaxy to regain their balance. But at the same time this cant be confirmed because the movie was made before terrorism was a big problem so there is no evidence to say it is.
Posted by Biodome 4 months ago

That would be an unfortunate kritik to make. Obviously, the debate is set within the scope of the Star Wars universe, and it treats it as real for the sake of the argument. I did add a "No kritiks" clause in the Rules section, so it should discourage such approaches.
Posted by Ragnar 4 months ago
Re: K
I've always hated that type of reasoning against topics.
Posted by tejretics 4 months ago
Kritik: the destruction of the death star "was" not anything, because it never "was" - it's a fictional thing, and "was" implies existence.
Posted by ContraDictator 4 months ago
Ninja were also guerilla warfare strategists but they were illicit and fighting samurai rule so were terrorists to begin with but became bounty hunters later on.
Posted by ContraDictator 4 months ago
Terrorists operate on guerrilla warfare strategies. It's warfare, that's a given.

The only non-terrorists to use geurrilla warfare strategies were Napoleon's men.
Posted by Syko 4 months ago
I'd say the destruction of a purely military asset in a clearly defined civil war is an act of warfare, not terrorism. I'd be interested to see your case.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: (Given that con disappeared, I'm going to have a little fun with this writeup) Conduct for running away to Hoth. Con's rebel tactics were no match for the glory of the empire, which as pro proved was not only a legitimate and democratic government, which freed the galaxy from religious tyranny on top of bringing about education, efficiency, security and peace. Con offered the total justification possible for such an action as destroying the Death Star, which is none. (really suggest you relaunch this debate for a real opponent)
Vote Placed by fire_wings 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Hayd 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con completely dropped all of Pro's arguments and made none of his own thus Pro wins arguments by default. Con forfeited multiple times so conduct goes to Pro