Star Wars sanitation: The flush awakens

10 questions and answers about plumbing and health in a galaxy far, far away.

Image via starwars.wikia.com

In a cinematic and literary universe as vast as Star Wars’, there seems to be no question left unasked or unanswered. I prepared for this week’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens release by Googling several sanitation-related queries based on sewer topics we cover in our common Q&A. The results, like Star Wars itself, are epic, like…


How could Stormtroopers use the bathroom?

This question about the troopers’ complex battle gear was posed on Reddit and drew a surprising number of responses. Consensus seemed to be a hinged hidden access panel.


How do astronauts pee in space?

This one is a bit closer to home, at least our home galaxy, affecting astronauts even today. It’s a common question many think about. The answer is a high-tech toilet, one a bit more expensive that the one you have at home. On the Space Station, the vacuum-based john costs upwards of $30 million.


Who cleans the toilets on the Death Star?

There apparently is a droid you’re looking for. And the job must be important since this article indicates the Death Star’s C deck alone has “hundreds” of restrooms. We also found a popular estimate of the first Death Star’s population exceeded 31 million, which means its daily toilet paper consumption was about 4 million rolls per day.


Who’s responsible for sanitation across the Galactic Empire?

Why the Imperial Center Sanitation Department, of course. But I wouldn’t trust them any further than I could throw them.


What are the sources of fresh water in the Star Wars galaxy?

Water is life, and in Star Wars episodes I through VI, water is found throughout the solar systems, “necessary for many lifeforms,” sources say. When water is scarce, “moisture farmers” draw it right from the air.


What kind of diseases afflicted Star Wars characters?

On earth, sanitation is a tremendous contributor to better health. We know from experience. But here’s a list of seven diseases — including Brainrot Plague and Vira 606 — that even proper sanitation could not control in a galaxy far far away.


Ah the Sarlacc pit.

How does the Sarlacc pass or store its waste while living more than 100 meters below the surface?

This one may not have a direct answer, but we uncovered a few interesting points about the sand creature: Seeing that the sarlacc does not even mature until the age of 30,000 years, and its digestive process takes a full millennia, I would not want to be on the business end of its fecal research.


Do sewers play a role in public health in the Star Wars galaxy?

The amount of solid waste reported to exist in the sewers of the planet Coruscant seem to indicate they were quite important in daily life, and the creatures inhabiting them are a bit more perilous than even the alligator our crews rescued near a sewer outfall in Cleveland back in 2012.


Would Finn’s work in the sanitation division have benefited him and his efforts with the Resistance?

Well of course it did. He knew the Starkiller’s passageways and vulnerabilities, he knew how to improvise, and he was great working with a team, all skills that were honed while working in sanitation. And speaking of trash compactors…

Is there any reference to sustainability or resource recovery in Star Wars? Couldn’t the Death Star employ a significant recycling program?

Considering the fact that the cost of a Death Star is upwards of $852 quadrillion, it leaves one to wonder whether the Empire has any consideration of conservation in the first place. I imagine it does not, based on the amount of unseparated recyclable material found in its trash compactors.