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The Death Star Plans Are Stored in a Totally Impractical Way in Rogue One, According to Digital Archivists


If the Empire didn’t want anyone to steal the plans for the Death Star, then maybe they should have rethought their digital archive methodology. According to the experts at Preservica, the storage system that we see on full display in Rogue One is super impractical.

Their analysis of the storage system is totally tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also a good illustration of how digital archiving should work—and the Death Star plans serve as a great example of what not to do. Well, at least, what not to do if you’re a fascist organization that’s worried about insurgent rebel forces stealing your data.

Here are just a few examples of flaws they noticed in the depiction of the digital archiving system in Rogue One:

–  An authentication system that allowed the hand of a dead archivist to be used to gain entry (not generally recommended by the archiving community)

–  No encryption at rest – physical asset could be removed and re-read on another device, without even the need for the dead archivist’s hand

–  No metadata to prove the provenance of the plans – how could you be sure you were looking at the right death star plans?

–  Using a single metadata tag as a finding aid to locate the key information, and relying on the knowledge of one individual to recognise this tag…

The list goes on, and in addition to being hilarious, it’s also correct. The Empire isn’t entirely at fault for their poor organization and methodology, though. After all, the Jedi Archives had already set a bad precedent, since “poor auditing and lax security controls” were on full display during the events of Episode II, as Preservica’s analysis points out.

Anyway, shout-out to these librarians and archivists for their valuable work and also for their fun Star Wars observations.

(via Preservica, image via Wookiepedia)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (