White House responds to Death Star petition: No
January 11th, 2013
10:42 PM ET
5 years 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. Patrick

    It could have been useful...

    January 12, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  2. Abraham Medina

    I applaud the practical answer from the White House...Correct!

    January 12, 2013 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  3. Jack Alex

    At least it would give many a since of purpose and we could begin the start of cluttering up the galaxy. In terms of practicality, putting a flawed society into space, would be interesting to say the least, would be maniacal to say the most.

    January 12, 2013 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  4. Josh

    I'm fairly certain the 2nd amendment covers personal Death Stars.

    January 12, 2013 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  5. Dan

    I find the government's lack of faith disturbing

    January 12, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  6. Jesse C Anderson

    After read this I sort of have a smile on my face, even if we were going to do this what planets are we going to kill? Beside it will take many years to make this, let just think of ways to make our planet which is earth a better place before we go off on killing other planets

    January 12, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. Will

    At least they have a sense of humor.

    January 12, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  8. Benjamin

    There goes the government again, drawing down our national defense and banning firearms.

    January 12, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  9. volsocal

    Obama can destroy America without it.

    January 12, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  10. spock500

    A facetious story. However, the cynic in me leads me to believe that Republican war hawks would have no hesitation in pursuing epic military deficit spending on such a project.

    January 12, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  11. Jeff

    My calculator doesn't have enough room on the screen for that many zeros.

    January 12, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  12. KEVIN2121961

    But guys like blowing up things. Can't we at least test it out on Afghanistan?

    January 12, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  13. stevephoenix

    If we don't build it, the Russians or Chinese will. Can America afford to have a "death star gap"?

    January 12, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  14. stevephoenix

    Shouldn't we start small with, say, a Corellian Corvette and work our way up to Star Destroyer first?

    January 12, 2013 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  15. Brad76

    A Death Star would have been fitting. Too bad eh?

    January 12, 2013 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  16. Simba

    Oh well, if the US will not build a Death Star, then I will. And I do not want to hear any whining from any congressmen concerning my Death Star, I will call it the Simba Star.
    The US is not welcome on my Simba Star; there will be no treaties or negotiations.
    When I go out into space on my Simba Star and colonise planets and galaxies, the US has no claim on any planets I occupy, and they can not ask me for any resources I discover.
    You had your chance and blew it.
    I guess I am on my own now.

    January 12, 2013 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  17. Alfuso

    I knew this was my kind of White House.

    Almost timey-wimey.

    January 12, 2013 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  18. Dave in Arizona

    Well, if it's in the name of self-defense, Republicans would support it no matter the cost...

    January 12, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  19. keltari

    Who cares if it costs $850,000,000,000,000,000? When you have a Death Star, you dont have to pay your bills.

    January 12, 2013 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  20. keltari

    $850,000,000,000,000,000 is worth the investment. If a bill collector comes around, destroy his planet.

    January 12, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  21. Jack jay

    but blowing up planets is so much fun!

    January 12, 2013 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  22. Eric

    Solid use of time WH. Not like we have a debt crisis, a delayed spending cut that needs to be figured out, wars and battles around the world, a slow economy.... etc. Probably a solid idea. I suppose when you can't get real problems fixed you should get something to the press.

    January 12, 2013 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  23. Bekah

    The response also stated: "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?" HAHA!

    January 12, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  24. Bobbie Flowers

    Don't this nation have enough killing machines/weapons? With such great minds, can't you think of other ways to build the economy? This nation was built on greed, blood, men seeking power and riches. Build new foundations on honesty, righteousness and peace, then it will last...otherwise you seek self destruction/extermination.

    January 12, 2013 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  25. Ben

    This is a breath of fresh air, it's nice to see a piece of journalism that is funny and heartwarming in this day in age.

    January 12, 2013 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
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