White House responds to Death Star petition: No
January 11th, 2013
10:42 PM ET
1 year ago

White House responds to Death Star petition: No

(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."

– CNN's Maggie Schneider contributed to this report.


Filed under: Technology • White House
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Justin

    Would you settle for a Star Destroyer or Mon Calamari cruiser? Or just a squadron of X-wings?

    January 11, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. JWoody907

    So how about a little negotiation here? Can we get a star destroyer instead?

    January 11, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  3. Brandon

    LOL good one :) glad to see everyone can still have some fun and laugh even with how serious and intense people get with politics.

    January 12, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. Dapple

    lol. We don't even have the resources to build a death star. We can barely afford what we have in the atmosphere let alone what is already floating up in space currently. lol.

    January 12, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. Andrew007

    Star Wars is sooo last century. Build an Enterprise-D, -E, -J or alternate-universe refit. Star Trek is where it's at. Live long and prosper.

    January 12, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  6. Harvey

    A dumb idea to start with. Who we use it against? Right now if you wanted to attack someone and be able to blame it om a natural disaster; it would be far cheaper to mount some rocket engines on a near earth asteroid aa guide it to its target.

    It would be even cheaper to build a base on the moon and use it to throw rocks at the victims. Would not take much to lift them off in the moon's weak gravity and they would hit earth at 7 miles a second. Hiroshima all over again.

    January 12, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  7. Thomas

    Death Stars are expensive , we should start with a Death Moon , there cheeper !

    January 12, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  8. jwarino

    What if we just take the planet killing features out and just focus on all the other cool stuff not militarily related?

    January 12, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. Brandon

    "The administration does not support blowing up planets."

    But countries, yes.

    January 12, 2013 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  10. TD

    Well within Obama's budget....

    January 12, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  11. richard

    I'll settle for a Lunar resort...

    January 12, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  12. EricInNC

    Sure, $850quadrillion is a big amount to owe the Chinese, but if we have a Death Star, who is going to make us pay it back?

    January 12, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  13. BOBs

    Well now, what a real way to divert the american voice!! way to go merica!

    January 12, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  14. Elliot

    I was at first upset, but now I see why he would not approve this. The Death Star has one major, yet completely preventable flaw...

    January 12, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  15. kris

    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,

    well we should work a littler harder on that reduction now shouldn't we...

    January 12, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  16. Billy Boy

    A Death star? I have no doubt in my mind that behind the scenes they have bases on the moon and Mars...and probably farther out than that.

    January 12, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  17. Derek

    That's absolutely epic and fantastic. As seemingly ridiculous as it might be, it's an amusing thought.

    Capitalism, however, will always impede scientific progress. There's no profit in space exploration... yet. Hence, there's no interest in it... yet.

    January 12, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  18. ad

    The WH's response was hilarious.

    January 12, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  19. Tim

    For the record...that's awesome.

    January 12, 2013 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  20. wohdin

    "We're gonna have Star Wars again! Except this time it'll work!"

    January 12, 2013 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  21. Marc

    Although.... This would be an EXCELLENT idea for not just one country but the world to do. It'd solve the problem of what to do when a near earth asteroid gets too close or will collide with us...

    January 12, 2013 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  22. Mike Murray

    This is am outrage why would you not support the deathstar we need it to protect its against hostile rebel forces its the galaxy and will not rest till the rebels have been crushed.

    January 12, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  23. bobcat

    The funniest thing ever, of all time.

    January 12, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  24. Michael

    Hollow out the moon to use as a Death Star so we can legitimately say, “That's no moon, that's a space station.”

    January 12, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  25. Dr Barbara Young

    Well, first you have to solve the field of gravitational technology that is not allowed. Anti-gravitational was and is not allowed to develop either. Why? Who and what are the powers to be that are afraid of the technology necessary for long term space flight in order to preserve human biological health. Second, you do not have to develop a space station for blowing up a planet. Ridiculous. You have so many problems to solve before you even think of such a thing. Why do the powers to be always view the negative inversion of evolution. You do not even know yourselves, why you live, and the purpose of life.

    January 12, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
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