Why 'Star Wars' Hates Handrails: Finally We Know Why People Keep Plummeting to Their Death

Ever noticed that most of the locations in the Star Wars universe wouldn’t pass a basic safety inspection? A number of characters plummet to their doom throughout the series, and the risk of accidentally falling on The Death Star or in Cloud City, or even tripping into that floor hatch on the Millennium Falcon, seems incredibly high. A new episode of the official web series The Star Wars Show explains that this was by design: George Lucas was against building guardrails on Star Wars sets.

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In the episode (watch it above), Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo takes viewers onto the set of Darth Vader’s Imperial Star Destroyer, re-created from the original design in A New Hope for use in Rogue One. While visiting the bridge with production designer Doug Chiang, Hidalgo observes that the slippery-looking walkway — which passes through the center of the set and over the heads of the ship’s officers — feels “precarious.”

“That’s one of the iconic things that George wanted to establish in the Star Wars vocabulary: There’s no health and safety,” Chiang confirms. “It’s this crazy thing where the minute you take away handrails or anything like that, it really kind of puts it into the Star Wars world.”

So basically, everyone who lives in that galaxy far, far away needs to have excellent balance to make it through the day.

Hidalgo also gives us a look at the Death Star control room, where a giant LED screen was created to project the images seen by the Imperial troops — no computer effects required.

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