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"Do you copy? Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Detention Level! Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Detention Level!"
"Shut them all down. Hurry!"
―A frantic Luke Skywalker and C-3PO[2]

The Detention Level was an area on the Death Star that held numerous detention blocks located on descending sub-levels. Sub-level 0 was the first sub-level, with other sub-levels extending downwards towards the battle station's southern pole. Detention levels were organized around a large, spherical central airway for their sector, from which turbolifts brought in new prisoners and guards.[3]

Detention Levels were not meant to hold prisoners long-term, but rather serve as a stopgap measure until prisoners could be transferred to other Imperial prisons.[4] Prisoners were kept in the dark, and were then dragged to brightly lit interrogation rooms.[3]


Detention Block AA-23 on sub-level five was reserved for political prisoners. Cell 2187 was located on AA-23, and was the location where Princess Leia Organa was imprisoned by Darth Vader for suspected Rebel activities in 0 BBY. After rescuing Organa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the princess herself were trapped in a garbage masher on this level and nearly crushed to death before being saved by the droids C-3PO and R2-D2. Later, the Detention Level, along with the rest of the Death Star, was destroyed during the Battle of Yavin thanks to Luke.[2]


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