WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the fourth season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, now streaming on Netflix
Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power went through big changes in Season 4 as several key revelations coming to light. We discover the truth about the duplicitous Light Hope and the tragic origins of the She-Ra before Adora known as Mara, and we also witness Hordak's legion and the Princess Rebellion taking huge hits before Horde Prime's monumental arrival.
Most importantly, the truth behind Etheria purpose has been unveiled, and it turns out the magical planet is actually a Death Star way deadlier than any of the ones we've seen in the Star Wars Universe.
The Death Star was introduced as a huge galactic satellite that could destroy planets like Princess Leia's homeworld of Alderaan from outer space. It debuted there in A New Hope and after being destroyed, it appeared in Return of the Jedi orbiting Endor as the Empire tried rebuilding. It's one of cinema's most iconic weapons, even influencing the Starkiller base in the new trilogy. What makes it so interesting is how it acts as a sort of living, breathing organism on its own, since it's run by the scoundrels of the Empire, with Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and a legion of Stormtroopers guiding its path over the years.
But Etheria as a war planet is a whole new ballgame, and it's so lethal it makes the Death Star look like child's play. Season 4 reveals Etheria's mystical powers were harnessed by the First Ones for centuries in order to form the Heart of Etheria. This drew power from all the runestones the Princesses oversaw, including Bright Moon's and Scorpia's Black Garnet, and once the Heart was fully charged, She-Ra was to be corrupted using First Ones' technology with her Sword of Power acting as the trigger to unleash its blasts on selected targets. Light Stone, the A.I. in the Crystal Castle, would be responsible for picking which of the First Ones' enemies would be destroyed, making Etheria the perfect and most unstoppable of weapons.
It's why Horde Prime wants to enslave the planet and use it to expand his own empire, since he's never seen cosmic energy like this before. Etheria can actually select multiple targets at once and obliterate them in the blink of an eye, not to mention the recharging time is said to be minimal, which is why Mara marooned it in Despondos since she didn't want Etheria in the free galaxy.
Given that it can teleport to a war zone, as seen when it dropped out of Despondos and back into the main galaxy, it's already mobile in a way Palpatine's Death Star could only dream of. This gives it the element of surprise and with this stealth, you'll never see it coming the way the Death Star stood out as the elephant in outer space.
Etheria doesn't even need piloting the way the Death Star does with its engines or a crew manning it or fuel sources. It's all run from the Crystal Castle's throne room with Light Hope acting as the First Ones' corrupted autopilot. Once that program gets wind of opposition, Etheria can space-jump or pick apart enemies from afar if need be.
Best of all, its fuel source is magic itself, so there's no need to scour for more fuel or to ensure maintenance is done on parts—once the Runestones are present and the Sword of Power is protected, Etheria's magic sustains what's inside and can then be directed to annihilate external forces who threaten the planet. It's a renewable and self-sustaining source of energy, which ultimately puts it light-years ahead of anything from George Lucas' space saga.
Streaming now on Netflix, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power stars Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, AJ Michalka, Marcus Scribner, Reshma Shetty, Lorraine Toussaint, Keston John, Lauren Ash, Christine Woods, Genesis Rodriguez, Jordan Fisher, Vella Lovell, Merit Leighton, Sandra Oh, Krystal Joy Brown and Jacob Tobia.