Sorry Vader, White House Won’t Build a Death Star

The White House says building a Death Star would be an out-of-this-galaxy waste of money — not only because it’s against government policy to blow up planets, but also because the United States already has access to a space station as well as a laser-wielding space robot.

The petition, which has pulled in 34,435 signatures so far, asked that “the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.” Photo: Mark van Seeters/Flickr

Sorry, guys. It just not gonna happen. The Obama administration will not be building a Death Star.

In a memo titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For,” the Obama White House formally (and finally!) responded Friday to a petition asking to secure the resources to begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.

“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” was said in the petition,written by Paul Shawcross, chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The petition garnered more than 25,000 online signatures within a month, partly due to a signing campaign that went viral on 4chan, Reddit and Twitter. Under the Obama administration’s rules for the “We the People” program, that required the White House to come up with a reply.

The petition, which has pulled in 34,435 signatures so far, asked that “the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.”

After giving props to economics students from LeHigh University who calculated Death Star construction costs at some $850 quadrillion (13,000 times the Earth’s GDP), the letter gives voice to a common-sense argument every moviegoer knows: “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

Also the Administration does not support blowing up planets. In the “Star Wars” movies, Death Star space battle stations are the size of moons and are capable of destroying entire planets. They were built by the evil Empire for the purpose of intimidating freedom loving planets.

But — that’s not all! Cheekiness aside, the White House used this petition response as an opportunity to remind us of all the great space programs that are currently underway, says the Mashable.

There’s the International Space Station, robots on Mars, telescopes discovering new planets, and prospects of manned missions to the Moon this decade — exciting times, no matter which side of the Force you’re on.

“Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.”

Shawcross closed by plugging a big initiative of the Obama administration: science, technology, engineering and math education:

“If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

“We the People” petitions allow users to bring issues to the government’s attention. According to the official website “If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”

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