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. john

    The premise of the idea is good look to buld big projets and better our defense.the main idea is not to make a star wars theme park.

    January 12, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. mike

    Why don't they spend the money here on earth where we need it? How bout' new roads, sewers, gas lines ect...

    We don't need a death star.

    January 12, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Martha in CF

    It must be McConnell, Boehner and Cantor..............

    January 12, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. DavidInNC

    We already have a laser weapon that is used to shoot down incoming missiles. It has been tested and it works.

    January 12, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. taylor

    We're doing just fine destroying this planet without all that overhead cost.

    January 12, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Tony

    A Death Star will only cost 850,000 of those trillion-dollar coins. Mint those coins now!

    January 12, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Bleh64

    Good grief, we can't even cure the common cold and they want a Death Star? Hmmm, Odumba will put that in the hands of civilian companies much like he's done with our own space program program.

    January 12, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Mark

    Lightsabers than could stop mere firearms would be worth having. Tell the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to get going on it. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age, is what we really need.

    January 12, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Me

    You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor. Take her away!

    January 12, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Tony

    What we should do is to build the USS Enterprise. You know, NCC-1701. Or a TARDIS. A TARDIS will not take up a whole lot of space. It is bigger on the inside.

    January 12, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Norm

    What a dumb idea! Only hard line politicians like McCain might approve of something like this. A Trillion Dollar Coin suggestion makes logical sense in comparison!

    January 12, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Aye Roller

    So many without any sense of humor... so sad.

    January 12, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Chris R

    I am an independent. I do not vote. I have a Master's degree in business and self-educated on a large range of subjects. I am smart enough to know that we need to explore space and move the human race to locations other than Earth.

    Anyone who involves politics with space exploration, has ONE TWISTED HEAD ON THEIR SHOULDERS.

    January 12, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Gas Predictor

    So, we just mint 850,000 of those trillion-dollar coins to pay for it. What's the problem?

    January 12, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. ariana

    America has been asleep at the wheel again! they have a death star sort of: Its called the US Embassy in Iraq its 80 football feilds in size in the Green Zone! Go to US Embassy Iraq Images on google and take a look its huge. I was looking at this thing it is not the embassy for Iraq. "It is the Embassy for the entire "Middle East Command"! they are going to run the Middle East out of this place. How did they get funding for this? who cut this check? we have been begging for JOBS JOBS JOBS in this country and the ones with the Jobs are the Independant Contractors in Iraq!!! This country apeases us like cattle,while they pull this off??
    I want Televised Senate Hearings on this!!! Billions gone on this!! no wonder we are suffering here,and they play us with the FISCAL CLIFF. and the Debt ceiling. I don't beleive a word they say!!! Its all a con. they play us like a Harp! The Military Industrial Complex is incharge of our Country People. WAKE UP!!

    January 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. jenny smith

    Ldets sedthe CONGREES intoa DEATH SYTAR andake them live on $1.00 a year sincetheywantgto blockallthe legeislation thats about to be propossed

    January 12, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. jenny smith

    that might makethe think twice abouty doing what there party wants instead of th what the people the[at sent them to congress want the NRA can pay for every gun that is used to kil some one at the rTE OF $1,000,000.00 PER SHOOTING THEY DONT STOP ANDTHAT MONEY CAN BE PUUT TOWARD NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK PAYMENTS

    January 12, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Mark

    34,400 signatures that infer 34,400 people that still live in their mom's basement and require a lot of medication.

    January 12, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. David

    Good idea. Now if we get mad at Iran or North Korea, we could just teach them a lesson by blowing up the world.

    Oh wait, we don't have that kind of technology yet, not even close.

    January 13, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. Kenneth

    Watch democrats try and write that in as deficit reduction.

    January 13, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. GreggEsq

    And no doubt Michele Bachmann or Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh or some other right-wing whack job will come out with some complaint about President Obama's failure to lead on this issue and to appease our enemys by not building a giant space station that can destroy other worlds and that we do not have the techology to build anyway. In fact, I'm shocked it's taken this long...should be any time now...

    January 13, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. Alexa

    Any government projects would be great help to the economy. Like interstate and dam projects pulled the U.S. right out of the 20' recession, they could do it again now.

    But nobody wants this. I see no huge interstate, bridges, dams projects. So why not some large space station project - Call it Death Star or whatever... Why NOT?!!!

    January 13, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. elbob248

    Is it April 1st already?

    January 13, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Matthew Harvey

    Why don't they just save money by outsourcing it to China..... Oh wait.... that was Romney.....damn!

    January 13, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Anthony L.

    Sure, the idea is far fetched, but how about this one? Bring those Space Shuttles out of retirement and book civilian 7-day orbits for the rich at $500,000 per guest. If I was a billionaire I would most surely want to do this. Now you're redistributing the wealth and giving the rich something for their money instead of just asking them to pony up to help the economy. All I want for my great idea is a free ride for filling two ships.

    January 13, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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