- The Final Protocol in Star Wars is a Sith planet-killer that makes the Death Star look kind by comparison, as it kills planets through deadly biological warfare.
- Dropping viral spores on a planet wipes out all life and causes excruciating pain and terror for its inhabitants, making it a much crueler method than simply obliterating the planet with a single blast.
- While the Death Star is faster and more efficient in destroying planets, the Final Protocol is far more sinister, as it revels in the pain and suffering of life forms on a cosmic scale. The Sith behind it are more malevolent than those who just want to send a message.
The Death Star is famously the most detrimental weapon wielded by a Sith in all of Star Wars history, having been the dark shadow looming over the entire Imperial era. However, there’s one other Sith planet-killer known as the “Final Protocol” that actually somehow makes the Death Star look kind by comparison.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope introduced the Death Star to the newly-established Star Wars universe, though even after its destruction at the end of the film (as well as the destruction of the second Death Star at the end of the original trilogy), that wouldn’t be the last fans would hear of the planet-destroying super-weapon. In fact, the first chronological mention of the Death Star was in Episode II, which is set decades before the events of Episode IV. Not only that, but the build-up to the Death Star’s completion is felt in a number of Star Wars projects, including Star Wars: Rebels and the direct prequel to Episode IV, Rogue One. However, even with all the anticipation for something fans know will be a functional destroyer of worlds, Star Wars’ Final Protocol proves in far less time to be much more horrific.
Star Wars’ Final Protocol Kills Planets Through Biological Warfare
In Star Wars Legacy #47 by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, readers are introduced to the Final Protocol by the Sith ruler of the galaxy at the time, Darth Wyyrlok, who took over after the apparent death of the primary ‘big-bad’ of the Legacy era Darth Krayt. As explained in the issue (and disturbingly shown throughout issues #47-49), Final Protocol means dropping viral spores – deadly biological weapons – on a planet, which kills every form of life on that world. When it was used on Dac against the Mon Calamari, the Final Protocol wiped out roughly 80% of the planet’s population, with the only survivors being those who were quickly evacuated or already off-world.
While the process of the viral spores killing the entire planet is fairly quick, it is much slower and more painful than a single direct blast to a planet from an orbiting space station. In both cases, the end result is a dead world, but killing a planet through biological warfare and allowing everyone on the world to experience the pain and terror of watching themselves and their loved ones fall ill as the surrounding wildlife noticeably deteriorates is far crueler than simply obliterating the planet in an instant. Even if there are more survivors through this method of decimating a planet, the Final Protocol makes the inhabitants of whatever world it’s used against suffer far more than a world that’s been blown to smithereens by the Death Star.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Final Protocol isn’t a better way to destroy a world, as the Death Star is far faster and more efficient in planetary destruction, it’s simply crueler. A Sith who deals this fate out to a planet is one who revels in the pain and suffering from lifeforms on a cosmic scale, making them more sinister than a Sith who simply wants to send a message to their wider Empire, which is why – even if the Death Star is a ‘better’ planet-killer – Star Wars’ Final Protocol makes the Death Star look kind.