White House rejects "Death Star" petition

"The administration does not support blowing up planets,” the response to the petition says

By Jillian Rayfield

Published January 13, 2013 3:59PM (EST)

Forced to respond to a petition pushing for the federal government to  "Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016," the White House dashed the dreams of the 34,000-plus Star Wars fans' who signed it: "The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon."

The response, by Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space branch of the OMB, wrote that the White House will not be building a Death Star, for several reasons:

  • 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 continues by touting the advances made in space technology in the last few years, adding: "We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers."

"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," he writes.

The petition was posted on the White House "We The People" website, where the White House says it will respond to any petition that gets over 25,000 signatures.

Read the full response here.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Barack Obama Death Star Petition Star Wars White House