There’s been bad news for Sith Lords, aspiring Darth Vaders and other supporters of the Dark Side after the US administration rejected an official public proposal to build a Star Wars-style ‘Death Star’ in space.
The Death Star, source : http://starwars.wikia.com
The request came in the form of a petition posted on the We the People page of the official White House website. Created in September 2011, “We The People” is designed, according to its creators, to “(provide) a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.” Once a petition has garnered 25,000 signatures, it has earned the right to an answer from the US government. Since the Death Star petition was posted in November last year, almost 35,000 people have given their backing to the request “to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.” The petition argues that “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.”
But the answer came back negative.
Paul Shawcross of the Science and Space Branch of the US budget office said in his reply entitled “This isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”, that the project would prove too expensive in these times of economic hardship. He goes on to say that a study at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania puts the estimated cost at $850,000,000,000,000,000, simply too much at a time when the government is trying to trim the deficit. Shawcross, clearly well-acquainted with the Star Wars universe, adds that “The Administration does not support blowing up planets.” and asks “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”
In an apparent attempt to appease the petitioners, Shawcross lauds the US government’s current space efforts, claiming that “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.”
He concludes by offering the Death Star campaigner a New Hope: “If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us!”
Over 200 petitions on “We The People”
There are currently around 250 petitions on the “We The People” page of the White House site.
The most popular, with around 310 000 signatures, asks that the anti-homosexual congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church be recognised as a group that incites hatred. Others demand the resignation of President Obama, the removal of the terms "In God We Trust" and "Under God" from US banknotes and even support for a referendum on Catalan independence..