Disclaimer: I am not George Lucas, I don't own Star Wars, and I am not making any money from this.
To: His Imperial Majesty Emperor Palpatine
re: the Death Star
I have just reviewed the detailed plans that you sent me of the battle station to be known as the Death Star, and I have several concerns that I would like to mention. With regard to the actual operation, no set of defences can be made impenetrable to everything no matter how hard one tries. With a project this size there are likely to be dozens of loopholes. In particular, I would like to draw the project designer's attention to the garbage chute in drawing 1180A, which is at a shield overlap point without being covered by an energy weapon. There are probably many more such problems, at least one of which will not be discovered before the Death Star is placed in service.
These small problems would not be so important if the Death Star were not so massive and threatening as to make it the most obvious target for any enemy of the empire. As it is, the station represents the strong arm of the law in its most extreme form, and loss or damage to the station would be extremely embarrassing as well as hideously expensive. I am certain you have thought out the possible consequences if the rebels or a renegade moff were to destroy or capture it.
As to the actual usefulness of the Death Star, I regret to say that I still do not find it very useful as a weapon. All it can do is destroy entire planets, and the vast majority of problems do not require that. I fear that many of the commanders would turn to it as an easy solution to civilian unrest. This would result in both enormous death tolls and increasing unhappiness with the Imperial regime, since far more innocent people would be killed than traitors. This would likely make ordinary people elsewhere fear for their lives and increase the chances of their turning to the Rebel Alliance. If you need a planet destroyed, it can be done with conventional weaponry, such as a massed star destroyer attack and a few commandos to take down the shields. While this takes more effort, the additional effort required helps prevent commanders with itchy trigger fingers from destroying a planet for little reason, or without direct authorization from your majesty. I urge you to think carefully about whom you place in command of this station, if you still wish to proceed.