In the United States there is a program called ‘We The People’ that allows ordinary Americans to submit online petitions for whatever they want. If a petition gets more than 15,000 signatures, the White House is required to officially respond.
In November 2012, a petition was submitted asking the White House to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016”. According to the petition, building a Death Star-like object would be beneficial to the United States:
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 received over 34,000 signatures. So, Paul Shawcross (chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget) submitted an official response on behalf of the White House, acknowledging the need to create jobs and bolster national defense but denying the request to build a Death Star.
In his response, Shawcross pointed out three main reasons to not build a Death Star — cost, public policy, and design flaw:
- 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.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Shawcross further goes on to state the United States is already involved in a space project (International Space Station) and already has various toys, including a robot with a laser orbiting Mars, a marshmallow cannon, “floating droids”, and robotic arms. He signs off by reminding everyone that even “the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
Clearly we need to blow up Mr. Shawcross’s home planet to make him see our side of the story.