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. ToldUso

    See? Obama is just weak on defense. What's a few quadrillion when comes to our safety? We best invade Iraq again to be safe.

    January 13, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Bambam

    I'm moving forward to write the draft RFP anyway. I'm betting we can develop and deliver something within ten years for about $100B. Obviously, not through the traditional mega leaches like Boeing, Ratheon or Haliburton.

    January 13, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Aaron

    Once again the Obama administration has trampled our constitutional rights, rights given by the grace of GOD and RUSH LIMBAUGH to every white male not born in California. It is every citizens right to own a Deathstar our forefathers in their infinite wisdom decided long ago that all white males not from California not only had the right but they had the DUTY to destroy any blue planet that they feel threatend by. LONG LIVE THE EMPIRE!!!

    January 13, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Darth Cheney

    If W was still our president, we'd build the Death Star, pay for it by cutting taxes, point it at the Middle East, and miss and blow ourselves up instead.

    January 13, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Daniel

    That was beautiful Aaron, thanks for a good laugh.

    January 13, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. maine liberal

    while we are at it. stop the missile defense shield which has been shown to be less effective than solendra

    January 13, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Admiral Ackbar

    ITS A TRAP !!!!! We cant fight firepower of that magnitude

    January 13, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Newt Gingrich

    I've got a bad feeling about this.

    January 13, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. N&W 1000

    This is the pinnacle of irresponsibility from Obama.

    All we had to do was, mint a platinum coin, say it is worth a quadrillion dollars, and build it.

    Obama is NOT for jobs.

    January 13, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. chiro2010

    I can just see it now... China is going to take this idea and run with it. They'll build it for only $50,000 and it will implode and become a super dwarf star giving constant light to the North Pole, in turn driving Santa and the elves crazy and ruining Christmas forever.

    Thanks again China...

    January 13, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. hitman03

    Do noy be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant to the power of the force

    January 13, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. hitman03

    Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force.

    January 13, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Plasma Gadgets

    YES YES YES lets build it they will blow

    America neeeds to avert the alien war that is coming in 200 years


    and de-regulate tacos NOW

    January 13, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Honest John

    A death star is a little excessive. I am sure a Star Destroyer class warship would suffice for now.

    January 13, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Kevin Costner

    I you build it, Obi Wan will come...

    January 13, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. jorge washinsen

    We already have a Death Star in Washington DC called the national debt.

    January 13, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Vera Waitress

    The US spends $650 BILLION per year on defense. That's what darkens this comedic charade. Seriously. $700 BILLION in defense each year, while some of our teachers buy their own classroom supplies. Seriously, people. Halliburton, Raytheon, Blackwater, CAE, it's got to stop, girls. No more death star. No more 1,000 new tanks. No more new bases in the Maldives. Build something constructive– the cross country train. Now.

    January 13, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. ZL

    Just be glad we didn't have 'moon base' Newt in office with this proposed....no bid military contracts, and an endless expense to funnel money into...has republican written all over it

    January 13, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Sarcastro

    As a lifelong NRA member I demand the right to own my own planet-killing death star as well!

    These weapons, owned by individuals, are the only thing stopping tyrannical rule in the US.

    Any regulation against extinction-level-event-generating weapons is a direct blow to the 2nd amendment and must be halted.

    January 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Mr. Correct

    The Death Star is just another effort by the military industrial complex to bloat our defense budget even further. Anything we could accomplish with a Death Star could be accomplished much more efficiently by a few Imperial Star Destroyers, which have the advantage of being more mobile and less vulnerable to Ewoks.

    January 13, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Gene

    Too bad, with the O b a m a administration's j o b s record, we could have used that $850,000,000,000,000,000 to produce at least 50 or so jobs.

    January 13, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Gene

    The current administration could have at least produced 50 more jobs with that $850,000,000,000,000,000. Kinda like the stimulus....

    January 13, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Zac

    What Obama should of done is green light the death star project and nominate Dick Cheney to chair it.

    January 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. thatoneguy

    Palpatine-Vader 2016

    January 13, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. 66Biker

    Who's scruffy-looking?

    January 13, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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