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.
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. Prisoners were kept in the dark, and were then dragged to brightly lit interrogation rooms.
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.
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