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In order to render an emotionsl response from the audience, the Death Star needed to be imposing and ominous. Colin ordered a styrene sphere to create the image. Unfortunately it came in two halves. After scribing multiple designs on the two spheres, Colin was ready to connect the two halves. As he put them together, he realized that the edges of each half had shrunk so they would show an obvious seam around the equator. So… this presented a possibly unsolvable problem. He wasn’t sure if he could do enough work to completely disguise the seam . However, not to be deterred, Colin called George Lucas and said something like. “Hey George, how would you feel about having a trench in the middle of the Death Star where the ships could be shot at during dramatic fight scenes as they attempted to destroy the orb. ” George said “I’ll call you back.” A few minutes later George called and said ‘It’s a go. Can you do the extra work”
So that is how the Death Star fight scenes materialized.