This article is about the Imperial Special Weapons Group. You may be looking for the Republic Special Weapons Group.
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Project Celestial Power, also known as the Special Weapons Group, was an Imperial program purported to provide sustainable energy for worlds ravaged by the Clone Wars. In reality, the project's research was being used for the Galactic Empire's superweapon, the Death Star. The program was formed from the Republic Special Weapons Group and was led by Orson Krennic of the Imperial Corps of Engineers.[2]

Overseen by the Imperial Military Department of Advanced Weapons Research and a part of the Tarkin Initiative,[1] the program's research revolved mainly around researching kyber crystals, and in harnessing the massive amount of energy that they produced. Galen Erso was the leading scientist in this area of research. Other scientists, however, worked on varying projects such as powerful shield generators, as was the case with Reeva Demesne.[2]

At some point during the project's development, a devastating accident occurred at the Celestial Power facility on the planet Malpaz; kyber energy output failed to be properly contained, resulting in the destruction of the entire facility, and killing tens of thousands of the planet's inhabitants.[2]

Many of Project Celestial Power's affiliates were completely unaware of the Empire's secret plans for a superweapon, and were fully convinced that they were merely helping supply sustainable energy to developing worlds. Lyra Erso, wife of Galen, grew suspicious, however, and she and her husband fled the Empire in 17 BBY,[3] settling on the remote planet Lah'mu. The work on the Death Star's superlaser array was stalled for several years because of this, until Krennic was able to locate the Erso family and once again force Galen to assist in the construction of the Death Star.[2]

Scientists from Project Celestial Power also attempted to contain dark matter quintessence, although it was not required for the Death Star.[1]

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