With the latest release of the Star Wars episode we can establish some of the themes of the story. One is that it is a movie of different buildings and ships engineered by Preposterous Designs (PD). The drama revolves around the heroes getting from one tense situation to another. What are these situations? They often involve standing on a walkway over an abyss or hanging on ledge along an abyss. Now there are plenty of flying vehicles in SW world (see bottom image on the right), but none ever are used to safely lift an individual to one of these areas. Usually the individual will have to cling to something at the precarious position.
One situation usually involves crossing an abyss with no hand rails on the bridge or some control station sitting over said abyss. Two examples are on the Death Star. In the top image on the right Obi-wan crosses a bridge with no safety rails. In the second image from the top Obi-wan stands on a narrow ledge accessing the power controls.
Why do hallways always seem to end with a door leading to one of these abysses? To further increase the danger the door at the end of these hallways open upwards. This may be so the pedestrians will see if there is a bridge walkway over the abyss or so that someone on the other side can shoot them in the legs before they can see what is happening.
Also, in space why is the artificial gravity turned on at the abyss? That would seem to be a big waste of power but it probably can't be turned off because of some fault built into the systems by Preposterous Designs.
Poor Luke, he fell victim to one of Preposterous Designs control stations on end of arm over bottomless abyss. Why does a flying city need a huge central void? As if the structure supporting the compartments around it don't have mass. Still it furthers drama to put some sort of antenna inside an enclosed metal structure (i.e. Faraday cage). No dish TV for these folks.
Maybe the people of the floating city have flying jet-skis/motorcycles or modified for civilian use Single Trooper Aerial Platforms as seen in Clone Wars. But no one seems to use them to access precarious control stations.
Then we have the latest release of Rogue One where Jyn has to go out to a control station on a platform over a 3000 (est.) foot drop on the outside of a building. Again PD has put the controls of the radio dish on the outside of a building instead of having control by an I-phone or at least from somewhere not exposed to the weather.
Other examples in Rogue One is the outside ladder up a 500 (est.) foot cliff below the research station, The hangar over the cliff has no hand rails (PD) and no security nor blast doors. Now this could be modeled to represent the German Norwegian heavy water plant or Peenemunde rocket research.
So the question of why such ridiculous engineering in this great Empire? An Empire that spans many worlds and possess faster than light travel. I'm afraid the answer can be found in Rogue One. Engineers and scientist in research and development are not appreciated but are expendable. They as in many dictatorships pay with their live if they fail the Empire. However, in this Empire they will pay with their lives if they succeed. So that their secrets remain secret they are liquidated once the project proves itself. So like Galen they build in failure. They don't sabotage overtly but design dangerous walkways and control stations. How many Empire technicians and storm troopers die each year in falls from these dangerous situations we will never know.
It really isn't the storm troopers fault that they can't hit anything with their blasters. Most fans think that the storm troopers can't see out of the eye holes in the plastic helmets, but that isn't the problem. Designed into the targeting software when held by a storm trooper glove the blaster fires randomly in a cone 22.5° around the intended target. So as not to give away the fault occasionally a target will be hit. Sacrificed to keep the secret.
What about X-wing fighters vs. Tie-fighters? With the addition of hyper drive to the X-wing fighters they should heavily outclass the Tie-fighter. Any Tie-fighter getting on the 6 o'clock of an X-wing would be left in the dust if the X-wing hit hyper drive. (There doesn't seem to be any problems using hyper drive in an atmosphere.) Maybe to not give away that X-wings have hyper drive or the Rebels have no Top Gun training they are often shot down by Tie-fighters trailing them. (Strange that Imperial shuttle cargo ships have hyper drive but not Tie-fighters.) But that may be by PD design.
If the technicians and storm troopers used these flying segways they wouldn't be endanger of falling off the ledges.
Star Destroyers are essentially weak sisters. Supposedly they have shields but they only work when the plot needs them to work. In Rogue One a low speed collision caused the superstructure of a fully powered SD to come apart like a summer squash when another SD was pushed into it. The shields should of bounced one off the other like a billiard ball, but not so much. And then it crashed into a gate ship at the planet shield door. And then the door opened. ??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. If the door wasn't there the shield would surround the entire planet as no hole in the shield would exist.
If the Death Star is made of the same steel as a Star Destroyer it would be easy to drive a ship like a Hammer Head in one side of a Death Star and out the other.
Ramming Speed! A disabled Star Destroyer is pushed into a fully functional one destroying it. The superstructure folded like cardboard. Plus something caused an extensive fire to break out.