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. JARJAR

    What if some third-party space exploration group did manage to get a death star operational before any other country in the world could counter-build something to fight it? You would be the new owner of Earth. Or if the Earthling refuse you could just blow up Earth and move to a new planet.

    January 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Admiral Ackbar

    Thats no moon.

    January 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. E

    Now that we've saved $850 quadrillion dollars, we should use a portion of that, let's say $85 trillion dollars, to rebuild the infrustructure in this country. Then, president Obama could take credit for having saved us over $849 quadrillion dollars, and still been able to increase annual spending by over $81 trillion dollars. That's financial genius!

    January 13, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. more2bits

    But the WH hasn't nixed their $22 trillion dollar plan to bankrupt our country?

    January 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. werewolf1

    If Obama could he would just add it to the National Debt.

    January 13, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. stephen

    BEFORE ANYONE GRIPES ABOUT THE PARSECS THING

    The Kessel Run is a smuggling route from the spice mines of Kessel, which goes near The Maw, a giant cluster of black holes. The standard distance of the route is 18 parsecs. Han, however, was able to use the Millenium Falcon to skirt much more closely to the black holes, making the run in a shorter distance - only twelve parsecs. Nowhere is anybody suggesting that parsecs are a unit of time.

    January 13, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Anon

    ... but if the Chinese started building one...

    January 13, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Hillcrester

    Props to Obama for setting up the "We the People" public petition website and for responding with pseudo-seriousness to even fanciful petitions.

    January 13, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. dave

    Obama won't build it because he hates America - Rush

    January 13, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Floyd from Illinois

    America shouldn't be too proud of this technological terror you would have constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

    January 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Steve

    Ha ha, we always knew there was not much different between democrats and republicans, this is where they would meet. A gigantic military boondoggle, built out of paranoia, under the belief that all the money drained out of productive enterprises in the private sector to fund this is "free" money for "jobs" (that produce a giant in orbit military boondoggle). This is where McCain's and Warren's love each other.

    January 13, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. agadvice

    "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. "In fact, he time has come to tell all. Now witness the power of this ARMED and FULLY OPERATIONAL ISS! Wah HAH-HAH-HAHA-HAHH!"

    January 13, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. EL

    Bully is weapon of gangs and hate criminals. It is of no value to human race and mankind.

    January 13, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. pmk

    "It's A Trap"

    January 13, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. L. Skywalker

    I got a bad feeling about this.

    January 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Alan Smithee

    And I'll bet it's the toughest decision Obama's ever made . . . . .

    January 13, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. RunForTheHills

    This is the perfect example of the absurdity of the white house petition system. The white house does not care one iota about what people think. The system exists only as a means to make millions of naive, impressionable youngsters love Obama.

    January 13, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Yossarian

    I find the government's lack of faith disturbing.

    January 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. AK

    I would like to know where they came up with those figures? Must be from one of the government tit sucking defense industry leaders. That sounds as ridiculous as the cost of one stealth fighter.

    January 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Jar

    I would like to know where they came up with those figures? Must be from one of the government tit sucking defense industry contractors. That sounds as ridiculous as the cost of one stealth fighter.

    January 13, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. Bill

    What a joke. "we're working hard to reduces the deficit"... what a joke LOL

    January 13, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    No matter how much we spend, or do not spend, the fact remains that a parsec is not a unit of velocity, but rather of distance, equal to three thousand trillion meters.

    January 13, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. steinbruegge

    No wonder we can't balance the budget – a parsec is a unit of distance, not velocity .. equal to 19 trillion miles, or 3.26 light-years ..

    January 13, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. MrId

    We can't have nice things. :(

    January 13, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. General Nadine

    I think we need to put our space energies into learning how to go faster. Maybe something like an X-prize for the fastest once around the moon and back. Then it would be more realistic to build something like a Corellian Corvette to go to Mars and further... maybe even Tatoine.

    January 13, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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