Mon. Jun 17th, 2024


Posted by Gregory Wallace for

(CNN) – It took no advice from the Imperial Senate to reach this conclusion: the U.S. government won’t be building a Death Star.

A White House official responded Friday to an online petition on its website proposing the government turn what is “Star Wars” fiction into reality – you know, to boost the economy.

“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” the petition read.

The White House response to the out-of-this-world proposal was grounded.

“The administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” wrote Paul Shawcross, chief of the Office of Management and Budget’s Science and Space Branch.

And plus, he wrote, there is “something already floating in the sky.”

“Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations,” he wrote. “Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun.”

The spherical Death Star space station was the domain of the Galactic Empire and featured a super laser with sufficient power to destroy planets.

The petition picked up over 34,400 signatures since it was posted on November 14. The White House says it responds to all petitions on its “We the People” website which reach at least 25,000 virtual signatures.

The Office of Management and Budget prepares the president’s annual budget proposal and scores the costs and deficit impact of executive branch proposals. True to form, the Death Star reply included a score, or cost projection, of the project.

“The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” Shawcross wrote, citing a calculation performed by students at Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics.

Also, Shawcross noted, “The administration does not support blowing up planets.”


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Ken Carman
11 years ago

“Sic semper tyrannis and Ronald Reagan too?”

Glenn Carella
Glenn Carella
11 years ago

Hey, I’m one of those 34,000!

All right, maybe privatization could have cut down the price tag… and the research to do something on that scale may be necessary if huge numbers of people have to be moved off-planet. Botany Bay 2025, anyone?

Just don’t tell Jesse Ventura or Alex Jones.

Ken Carman
Reply to  Glenn Carella
11 years ago


Ken Carman
Reply to  Glenn Carella
11 years ago

Does privatization “cut down price tags?” This is a concept we really need to discuss seriously as a society. I find the assumption that privatizing something always, or even most of the time, cuts cost suspect. (Not making any claim as to your intent either way, Glen, just ranting.) Anyone want to make the case that, for example, Halliburton/KBR has saved us tons of money? That might be a hard sell. Then we have rationality of sending the private sector somewhere (or having them go somewhere) and then siphoning off soldiers and resources to protect them, rather than do what they were sent there for.

I am not saying government is more efficient. That would be foolish. However, claiming the private sector would always be more efficient, or the wisest choice/always more efficient would be as foolish, if not more so. Profit has to be added to the cost of the system, and a certain amount of control too.

I don’t want the government making my shoes, or my guns, or my clothes, to provide a few poor options. Do I want the private sector fighting all our wars? Ah, isn’t an army for hire possibly up for the highest bidder? Hell, I don’t want them running our prisons, not with the amount of influence they’re allowed. When they can lobby for laws that provide more prisoners, while at the same time cut costs to make maximum profit, the end result seems, well, less than a wise choice.

A long response that was wrought from a single sentence, true. But some talking point assumptions bug the hell out of me, and the idea the government never does anything well enough for them to handle it, and business always does, to me, seems simplistic thinking: just like the reverse assumption would be absurd.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x