After months of speculation, it was confirmed yesterday that the Death Star, the Empire’s vaunted, planet-destroying space station, has added a new, state-of-the-art day care center to its already vast array of capabilities. The massive four-room day care center, which, according to Grand Moff Tarkin, will “provide a safe and fun learning environment for tots between the ages of one and four,” has already begun spring enrollment and is expected to be fully operational by June 1.

The new Sunshine Death Star Play and Learning Center provides battle station parents with a fun and safe environment for their children. The Imperial Emperor himself has overseen games of Duck Duck Goose encouraging the tots to "feel the hatred."

“Nothing can stop the Sunshine Death Star Play and Learning Center,” the Imperial Emperor said via holograph. “With its four classrooms, outdoor playground and experienced staff of licensed day care professionals, no other facility can match its awesome instructive power.”

Though still several weeks away from full strength, the Sunshine Death Star Center is already up and running. Among the most popular activities there are finger-painting, storytime and Duck Duck Goose, which the Emperor often helps lead.

“Feel your hatred flow through you,” he told 3-year-old Jenny Bates, as she energetically chased fellow toddler and “goose” Michael Phillips around the outside of the circle. “Give in to your hatred!”

Disaster was narrowly averted last Friday, when the center took a field trip to the nearby planet Bespin. At the end of the day, minutes into the shuttle ride back to the Death Star, adult chaperone Darth Vader locked eyes with 4-year-old Matthew Schumpert. “Wait,” said Vader, probing deep into the child’s mind. “There is another Schumpert.”

Vader sensed the presence of Katie Schumpert, Matthew’s sister, who was still back at the Bespin gift shop purchasing souvenirs. He ordered the shuttle to turn around and averted an embarrassing situation for the new day care facility.

Vader later added: “Join me, parents looking for a safe, dependable child care alternative, and together we will rule the galaxy.”

In addition to enjoying many fun games and learning activities, children at the Sunshine Death Star Day Care Center have already gotten to witness the destruction of several planets out the center’s giant bay window.

Last Friday, in the middle of a coloring activity, the planet Alderan was blown up, delighting 23 of the 24 children who witnessed the devastating power of the battle station. The sole exception was Libby Phelps, 3, whose family was vacationing in Alderan at the time of its destruction. She was frightened by the loud explosion and began to cry upon realizing that her mother, father and younger sister were now dead. The emperor’s elite squadron of imperial guards leapt to action, removing the girl from the room and giving her some ice cream treats to calm her.

According to Death Star officials, the idea for the center sprang up after a number of parents complained about the lack of quality, affordable child care options on the Death Star.

“As a stormtrooper and father of three, I’m very excited about the new day care center,” Death Star citizen Ralph Sedgwick said. “It’s a safe, nurturing environment, one in which my child will learn.”

Added Gail Lindon: “For years I took my daughter to work because I couldn’t afford a nanny. Do you have any idea how hard it is to operate a tractor beam with a two-year-old pulling at your leg?”

As excited as most are about the new day care center, a few extremists have expressed concern about its proximity to the Death Star’s reactor core.

“There is an opening in the Death Star’s main shaft that leads to the core,” parent and dissenting voice Annette Voss said. “If a small rebel ship were to somehow break through the deflector shield and enter the shaft, it’s possible it could hit the reactor core with a single, well-placed proton torpedo shot and destroy the entire space station.”

Experts, however, scoff at Voss’s theory, dismissing such a shot as “a million to one.”