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. krozar

    "We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it," - That's the fanciful part of this entire article.

    January 12, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  2. craig

    Ah shucks. The article doesn't mention the obvious drawback that the response included...that obvious a weapon system that expensive that can be taken out by a single X-wing fighter does not seem like a properly designed platform for strategic objectives.

    January 12, 2013 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  3. Kris

    Next thing you know, republicans would want a concealed death star permit so they could carry one around.

    Hey what's that in your pocket? "That's my death star, in case, you know, some planet out there attacks me. The only safe planet is an armed planet."

    January 12, 2013 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  4. Vincent

    LOL :D
    Perhaps a fleet of Star Destroyers would suffice at first.

    January 12, 2013 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  5. Michael Levon

    Interesting. How did you come up with that? Fact is Ronald Regan already not so long ago suggested this. Lord only knows what kind of weapons the U.S. has in orbit! This isnt new!

    January 12, 2013 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  6. Dave Green

    To hear some people talk, this is a big surprise! You would think Obama would have jumped at the chance to bring his evil plan to fruition! Whatever that evil plan happens to be this week.

    January 12, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  7. Daniel

    They just don't want us to know they're building a death star; Now that they have the idea they're going to mass produce Death Stars, one for every planet in our solar system.

    January 12, 2013 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  8. Alex

    That's hilarious! :D

    January 12, 2013 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  9. eric

    $850 quadtrillion? and our government said no? did they mention the deathstar is green energy? That it would truely stand as a symbol for what america has become? Was Obama aware that most people already hear the vader theme when he enters a room and we could very easily see him murdering younglings? Not to mention if we gravitate to lasers and lightsabers gun laws wont matter... did they mention ANY of this!?

    January 12, 2013 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  10. Richard

    This is ridiculous, but there IS something America should be building, something the was killed by the Apollo chemical rocket program, something that represents the only way mankind can reach the planets in the solar system and the nearest stars: Project Orion. Conceived in the late 1950's, it is the only technology that allows any chance for real space exploration and colonization. Look it up.

    January 12, 2013 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  11. jason

    What? You mean emperor palpatine,i mean, president obama dosent want a way to take over the universe AND increase the national debt at the same time? Uh oh, the stormtroopers are here to take me away.

    January 12, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  12. Kenoscope

    Perfect laid back response.

    January 12, 2013 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  13. NoMoreReoric

    Let me guess..... Tea Party Dreams backed by benefactors of the great military complex!

    January 12, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  14. ghost

    Why on GOD's green earth would anybody want to destroy this planet or any plane for that matter. If we have that kind of money to spend lets spent it here on earth. Hell, with that kind of money you can give every poor person a million dollars. I loike that ideal. Otherwise, forget it....

    January 12, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  15. orlop

    Well then where is our Jedi Council? We need to maintain balance throughout the galaxy. You would think that our President would have some concern. With so many Star Wars fans voting Obama wouldn't have been re-elected had this announcement come out before the election.

    January 12, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  16. Brandon

    hahahahaha; I needed a good laugh this morning

    January 12, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  17. Red Dog

    No doubt Kim Jong-un is showing an interest in building his own Death Star.

    January 12, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  18. Sean

    At least this would have been a cool way to blow money.

    January 12, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  19. Tom

    Yess, I can see where a Deathstar can be cost prohibitive.Damn! We should of just asked for the Orbital Defense Platforms at a cost of 360 billion per. Would of left money for food replicator development and a real nice computer tablet!

    January 12, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  20. TA Martin

    I thought we had four ships leaving the environs of the Sol system: Pioneers 10 & 11 + Voyager 1 & 2.

    But, whatever.

    January 12, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. dax

    $850,000,000,000,000,000 you know who has this much cash on hand?? drug cartels O_o combined of course

    January 12, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  22. charles Gannon

    You can have my Death Star when you can pry it from my cold dead hand

    January 12, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. red

    The Earth doesn't have enough raw materials to make one anyway...per chance a large iron bearing meteroite might still be available in the asteroid belt..however the metal is radioactive and would be unsuitable for human occupation.

    January 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  24. MC

    "The administration does not support blowing up planets."
    Typical liberals ...

    January 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  25. morewaste

    Please pat yourself on the back America.. you deserve it!!!!

    Nothing like wasting your time, wasting the time of the whitehouse staff having to respond to such a rediculous, frivolous, fictional request. I have to commend you also on the blatant waste of internet resources.

    But.. i guess we have to judge this against the sorry administration that they actually had the gall to ask this from.

    Sad

    January 12, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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