White House responds to Death Star petition: No
January 11th, 2013
10:42 PM ET
2 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. quasihedron

    We need a large-scale public works project to get the economy moving again. The Cross-Continental Railroad, the US Interstate System of Highway and the Mon-on-the-Moon were three great such projects. Paving roads and building big hydroelectric damns worked in the 1930's as well.

    January 12, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    ---star wars will not boost, it is infrastructure, green-energy, public-transportation, tight immigration, innovation, less-greed, equality, honesty etc that boost.

    January 12, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  3. GOP is for the rich

    Very nice response!

    January 12, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Edward

    What a fun Saturday morning read.

    January 12, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. Tony in Maine

    The scary thing is that many of the signers were doubtless serious – and they vote. Probably Tea Partiers though.

    January 12, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Honest John

    Good idea. One XWing with a lucky shot and its 850 quadrillion dollars down the tubes.

    January 12, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Andromeda

    So, if a hostile alien force invades our galaxy or if a rogue unstoppable asteroid is directly on course to destroy the planet, We will have no defense nor will we have a place to evacuate the entire human race. We know that the sun will eventually turn into a red dwarf and destroy the earth. We know that Andromeda galaxy is on course to clash into the Milky Way galaxy. We know that we will be the future dinosaurs. And yet, nothing is being done.

    Maybe the people should know about project: Solar Warden and do research as to who, what, where, and why?

    January 12, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. empresstrudy

    But they're going to raise taxes to pay for something like it anyway.

    January 12, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Vidyashanti

    It was not a serious proposal and the reply is very wise.

    January 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Odinson

    Ow. My head hurts. Too much stupidity.

    January 12, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Jolynn Forman

    Nice to see the government has some sense of humor...and a surprising knowledge of Star Wars lore

    January 12, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Anonymous

    ... but they could DO it, is what they're saying...

    January 12, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. BobW

    I knew we had kooks in this country but a death star? who thinks this stuff up?

    January 12, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Whatup

    then just build the USS Enterprise...

    January 12, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Steve

    Someday we will. I don't mean the death star but we will live in other places and will have the technology to faster than the speed of light to get there. Right now they think that the speed of light is the cosmic speed limit but was not to long ago they "knew" the world was flat. We will think of something.

    I don't know about a death star but I forsee huge jumps in space station technology and computers that will allow us to do many things in space.

    January 12, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Aezel

    The sad thing is this is less insane than what a lot of Republicans want to do with our budget.

    January 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Snufflesbear

    The best way to unify the planet would be if we could enslave another planet..Too bad tho no deathstar as that would be great for our civilization. The general rule of thumb galictic species would be; "If they can come to our planet first, then likely they can enslave us..if we can get to their planet first, then we can enslave them."

    January 12, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. AgonyF

    $850 quadrillion. Yeah No Problem.

    January 12, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Uz

    We go from gun control to "planet shooter" control :-)

    January 12, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. oneslydragon

    You must fulfill your destiny Barack. I am your father! Together we can destroy the rule the world!

    No, Darth Boehner! It is a lie! Obe won said Emperor McConnell killed my father.

    In your heart you know it i true, together, we will defeat the Emperor and rule all mankind!

    January 12, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Merlin

    No, because we probably already have one...

    January 12, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. FOX NEWS: The dung beetle of journalism.

    We should learn how to stop killing one another here in the U.S., before we take our American "exceptionalism" to another planet!

    January 12, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Sarah Dogood

    If an asteroid was heading straight for Earth, you'll WISH we had that Death Star. Everyone will be weeping, saying, "Oh, why didn't we cut all social services to build an interplanetary killing machine? Why didn't we make the U.S.S. Galt to allow all the worthy folks, the ones with the money, to endure and leave us to our meaningless lives?"

    Yeah, you'll be sorry.

    January 12, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Chung

    In order to save USA and Western World, please say: "No" Korean businesses! No hyundai, no kia, no samsung, no ssangyong, ... no korean businesses, ... .

    January 12, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. DasBoot

    Why not, it will be cheaper than Obama care

    January 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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