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Which is bigger: Texas or the Death Star?

It’s the match-up of the millennium: Lone Star State vs. Death Star vs. Starkiller Base.  In the war of stars, who comes out the biggest?

An image from “Star Wars” Instagram meme account gungan_grand_army has been making the rounds on Texas social media, and it plays to the state’s well-documented obsession with size.

That’s right, everything is bigger in Texas, and even Resistance pilot Poe Dameron knows it. The meme plays on a scene from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” where Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac) explains to his comrades via holograph just how big the First Order’s new Starkiller Base is in comparison to the Empire’s iconic Death Star from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. In the meme version, Texas is shown to dwarf both planet-killing bases. One assumes the scene is talking about the Death Star from “A New Hope” (and “Rogue One”), not the second Death Star from “Return of the Jedi.”

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But is Texas actually bigger than the Death Stars and Starkiller Base? “Actually” is a loaded word, given the fictional nature of the two celestial weapons, as well as their fluctuating dimensions depending on the source. That’s not even mentioning the fan theories about their theoretical sizes. But let’s give it a shot.

Keep in mind, we’re comparing a (large) plot of land to spheres, so there are inherent limitations. According to Texas Almanac, the state is 801 miles at the longest distance between two points north to south; it is 773 miles at the longest distance between two points east to west. Citing the 2016 edition of “Star Wars: Complete Places,” Wookieepedia puts Starkiller Base at about 410 miles in diameter. The online “Star Wars” resource puts the first Death Star at about 99 miles in diameter, citing 2016’s  “Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide.” Death Star II, meanwhile, is about 124 miles in diameter, which Wookieepedia got from 2017’s “Star Wars: Rogue One: Death Star Deluxe Book and 3D Wood Model.”

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So, our answer is yes, Texas is bigger than Starkiller Base and both versions of the Death Star -- if you’re looking at them in two dimensions. If you want to talk surface area, the comparison is a whole different story. Texas’ total area is 268,596 square miles. The surface area of Starkiller Base, using Wookieepedia’s diameter measurement, is about 528,102 square miles. The first Death Star’s surface area would be about 30,791 square miles; Death Star II would be 48,305 square miles. So in that contest, Starkiller Base blows up Texas.

Now, the next question: Which is hotter, Texas or Tatooine?

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